Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Legal Services Bill will bring minor benefits to consumers as Law Society gets its way on regulation, ownership & control of Scots justice market

Law Society of ScotlandLaw Society of Scotland will remain in charge of Scotland’s legal services market despite Legal Services Bill ‘reforms’. CONSUMERS of legal services in Scotland may have to wait for some time before they see any real benefits from the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, which finally completed its ‘Stage Two’ hearings at the Scottish Parliament today, seeing yet more amendments & capitulations by MSPs to the Law Society of Scotland, almost rendering the bill worthless in terms of achieving an increase in consumer protection from Scotland’s notoriously poor legal services market.

Supporters of the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, including the consumer organisation “Which?" have apparently praised the almost ‘momentous’ occasion of the Justice Committee voting through a proposal to allow external investors (non-lawyers) to own up to 49% of existing law firms, should of course, investors chose unwisely to invest in them.

The Scottish Government had initially proposed to allow external investors majority ownership, which the Law Society of Scotland objected to, and the proposal was duly dropped. I reported on last week’s Justice Committee decision to restrict non-lawyer ownership of Scottish law firms here : Holyrood’s Justice Committee votes against majority non-lawyer ownership of law firms, saves investors from Scots legal world's organised crime gangs

While some still spin out the Legal Services Bill as a major advance for consumers of legal services in Scotland, the fact is that the trail of amendments, many of which were requested and even authored by the Law Society itself, have made the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill almost worthless to the ordinary Scottish consumer, compared at least with the benefits enjoyed by English consumers as a result of the passage of the Legal Services Act in England & Wales over three years ago by the previous UK Government.

The English version of the Legal Services Bill has already had the effect of creating a regulator, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), which is so far enjoying favourable reports in the UK media over its ambitions & abilities to independently regulate the English legal services market. Even the Legal Complaints Service has made giant strides forward, compared with its Scottish Counterparts, currently the SLCC & Law Society of Scotland.

However, Scottish consumers will once again have to suffer the regulatory regime of the Law Society of Scotland who, if the Legal Services Bill becomes law, will be approved by Scottish Ministers to regulate the entire legal services market – lawyers & non-lawyers alike, making consumer choice almost like choosing the colour of a Model T Ford (you can have any colour as long as it’s black)

Curiously, “Which?” the chief proponent of the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, are now reluctant to answer questions as to why the organisation has not done more to protest against the watering down of the Scottish Legal Services Bill, which is now a third rate example of its English counterpart.

Amazingly, for instance, little has been said about the fact consumers who lose out financially to dishonest legal representatives will, under the terms of the new Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, be forced to make a claim against the Law Society controlled “Guarantee Fund” – a compensation scheme run by the Law Society of Scotland to pay out client claims made against dishonest solicitors, but which is widely viewed by most who try to make a claim against it as being just as corrupt & protective of ‘crooked lawyers’ as the Law Society of Scotland’s infamous Master Policy, which a study by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission last year linked to client suicides, information which was apparently covered up by the Law Society of Scotland for years.

Speaking this evening, a Holyrood insider said the now toothless nature of the Scottish version of the Legal Services Bill stemmed from the “poor presentation” of evidence by Which? & the OFT to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee during its December sessions, which you can read about in my earlier report, accompanied by the video footage of the evidence session, here : OFT & Which? call for independent regulation of lawyers as Justice Committee hears evidence on Legal Services Bill

An aide to an MSP commented : “This was a pretty poor performance by the consumer lobby which caused some consternation with Justice Committee members. Lets just say msps felt the evidence was less than convincing, which ultimately allowed the Law Society a free hand in how the bill has shaped up since.”

Unsurprisingly, the Law Society of Scotland welcomed the many changes & retreats to the Legal Services Bill the society had requested and also went on to praise the Legal Services Bill as guaranteeing the ‘independence of the legal profession’ – a well known Law Society phrase roughly translating to “We won again, phew”.

The Law Society also welcomed the agreement at the Justice Committee today that ministers should not be able to influence the composition of the Law Society’s Council. However, to ensure that the functions of the Council and a new regulatory committee, established by section 93 of the bill, are kept separate (in other words, to create an illusion of transparency and laughable accountability within the Law Society) an amendment was also passed to make explicit that the Council should not interfere unduly in the regulatory committee's business. A proposal to set up a separate representative council was rejected.

The Law Society and many of its members had objected to the potential for ministers to have powers to stipulate who sat on its Council, the decision-making body for solicitors, stating that it would compromise the profession’s independence from government. The Council currently consists of up to 43 elected solicitors from across Scotland and up to nine co-opted solicitors from a range of legal disciplines. There are also four non-solicitor observers. This was such an important issue to the legal profession it sparked a threat by lawyers to break the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, and forced widely reported retreats by the Scottish Government as I reported in an earlier article here : Scottish Government back down on lay appointments to Law Society Council as lawyers interests threaten to break pro-consumer legal services bill

Jamie Millar, President of the Society said he was pleased that that the committee had backed the commitment (capitulation) expressed earlier this year by Communities Safety Minister Fergus Ewing to bring forward amendments to ensure independence of the profession.

He said: “The Society takes its responsibility to protect consumers very seriously and has for many years had a number of regulatory committees with 50% solicitors and lay members to ensure that public interest is being represented and that action can be taken against solicitors who are not meeting the required professional standard. However, as a membership body we have a clear obligation to represent our members’ interests and provide the professional support that they require. It would have been contrary to the Society’s duties to its members to allow ministers, even as a last resort, rather than the profession alone to shape its Council and I think the amendments passed today will help ensure the right balance.”

“We all recognise that there needs to be a careful balancing act and that at times the tension between regulating and representing our members can create challenges, but I would echo Robert Brown MSP by saying it is a ‘creative’ rather than ‘destructive’ tension which helps to maintain the high standards that we expect our members to work to.”

The Society also supported an amendment today to strengthen the Scottish Legal Aid Board's obligation to monitor the availability and accessibility of legal services in Scotland. It will require SLAB to take into account relevant factors, relating particularly to rural or urban areas, to ensure there is no detrimental impact on the public’s access to legal services.

MSPs also agreed an amendment which at some future point would allow ministers to change the percentage of non-solicitors or regulated professional ownership of licensed legal services providers if necessary, however the Society believes that there needs to be a clearer specification under which ministers might act – so we can expect a summer filled of lawyers squabbling amongst themselves, with a resultant climb-down yet again from the Scottish Government when the Legal Services (Scotland) bill finally comes up for a vote.

Mr Millar continued : “The requirement to consult the Lord President, the Society, all other approved regulators and the OFT before making regulations to amend or repeal the section on majority ownership, offers some reassurance. However we do have concerns that if Scottish ministers have free rein to alter the percentages, this uncertainty might be a disincentive to investors. There is also a lack of specification of the conditions under which Scottish ministers would exercise those powers.

“There are to be further talks during the summer prior to stage 3 and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the bill further with Scottish ministers and MSPs.”

Not much of a consumer victory for wider access to legal services in Scotland, when the Law Society of Scotland – the very organisation which has caused tens of thousands of complaints over the years for its poor regulation and vice like grip over Scotland’s legal services market, still calls the shots on regulation, compensation, access to justice, ownership of law firms, certification of legal representatives … etc … almost one could say, no change at all for consumers while the legal profession gets away with co-opting ‘reforming’ legislation once again …

Background to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill :

The Legal Services (Scotland) Bill originated from a ‘supercomplaint’ filed by consumer organisation Which? to the Office of Fair Trading in 2007, alleging lack of competition in Scotland’s solicitor only dominated legal services market. The Law Society of Scotland initially rejected the OFT’s call for an investigation into the Scottish lawyer monopolised legal services market.

The SNP controlled Scottish Government joined the Law Society and initially rejected any idea of legal services reform then, after the legal profession decided it would be better to take the issue and control it themselves, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill ‘changed his mind’ and the Legal Profession Bill was created, and was renamed to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill on the suggestion of .. yes, you guessed it, the Law Society of Scotland.

The sheer scale of the amendments to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, many of which were requested by the legal profession itself, can be viewed on the Scottish Parliament’s website here : Legal Services Bill Committee page

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

2nd best for Scotland as usual

Anonymous said...

Whats up with Which not answering Q's ?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you realised from an early stage the Law Society would always get it's way on legal services reform no matter who said what so what you now write holds little in the way of surprise.

Regulation will always be the key to reforming the sector and as you rightly point out there are little in the way of regulation reforms in this bill which the Law Society dont want compared with the English equivalent.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Penman defrauded my family of an inheritance, faked up papers and file notes, was found guilty by the Law Society of Scotland, but senior Law Society officials intervened in the case to save him and killed the case.

The Law Society of Scotland then made sure I could'n`t sue him in the Courts by killing my legal aid. The case made the press and television and is also featured at the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee website.

PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND, THIS IS LAW SOCIETY JUSTICE IN ACTION. THERE CAN NEVER BE A MEETING OF THE MINDS WITH THESE CRIMINALS.

THE COMPLAINTS REGISTER IS AN IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT PETER. BYPASSING THE LAW SOCIETY AND SCOTTISH LEGAL COMPLAINTS COMMISSION IS CRITICAL BECAUSE THEY ARE THE GRAVEYARD FOR CLIENT COMPLAINTS AS YOU AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WELL KNOW. THE COMPLAINTS REGISTER IN TIME WILL REVEAL THE REALITY, AND OBLITERATE THE LAW SOCIETY RHETORIC.

LAW SOCIETY JUSTICE IS SAVING AS MANY LAWYERS AS POSSIBLE.

Anonymous said...

The former Legal Services Ombudsman was right when she said -several years ago - "This bill is a mess".

A mess made worse by the inept performances of Which and Consumer Focus Scotland before the Justice Committee and their suppine acceptance of the Law Society's control of the proces before and since.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks this bill represents progress is barking mad.

Anonymous said...

There is doubting whose side the Committee was on, the Law Society and Faculty of Advocates were not asked for evidence to support their contentions, but the Committee repeatedly asked Which and other consumer bodies for just that.

Fair and balanced? - I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Millar, President of the Society said he was pleased that that the committee had backed the commitment (capitulation) expressed earlier this year by Communities Safety Minister Fergus Ewing to bring forward amendments to ensure independence of the profession.
----------------------------------
Mr Millar,

whether you appreciate this or not, the Scottish Legal Profession are a dictatorship. Any member of the public complains about one you your membership and the Drew Penman's are protected. You are in a rare legal position Mr Millar, you will never be solicitor barred from legal rights. What about the rest of the population of Scotland, the non self regulators?

I have as much chance of obtaining legal representation against Cameron Fyfe as you have of becoming a virtuoso concert pianist.

The Law Society and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission are houses dedicated to protecting the legal profession. They must be bypassed and you have a lot of victims out there with documents that will prove your Law Society and Commission whitewash complaints against you membership.

Anonymous said...

Curiously, “Which?” the chief proponent of the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, are now reluctant to answer questions as to why the organisation has not done more to protest against the watering down of the Scottish Legal Services Bill, which is now a third rate example of its English counterpart.

I wonder how much they have been paid?

Anonymous said...

Well full marks for impartiality Mr Cherbi!
The Law Society have been saying all along Which? would walk away from abs which you seem to have confirmed.

Keep up the good work from your solitary solicitor fan ?

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your comments on this article ...

While I agree the Justice Committee were and are definitely not on the side of the consumer (they haven't even invited any actual consumers to speak in front of them or be questioned on their experiences of the current Scottish legal services market) I was slightly take aback by a comment last night from someone linked to a consumer organisation regarding the Law Society's Guarantee Fund being forced onto consumers when they take a financial hit from a 'crooked lawyer'.

The individual, linked to a consumer organisation said he had no problem with it, and neither had those who would be forced to pay into it (non-lawyers, as well as lawyers) ..

Of course, the non-lawyers as well as lawyers will be very happy to pay into the Guarantee Fund because the Guarantee Fund hardly pays out any claims at all to the full amount of the client's funds taken by the solicitor .. so keeping client claims to a minimum, or giving them the "Douglas Mill" treatment will certainly be an attractive prospect to all in the legal services sector.

However, this leaves clients who do fall victim to dishonesty or other matters covered by the Guarantee Fund in a dangerous position, as the Guarantee Fund is not a trustworthy or independently run compensation scheme and has an abysmal record of paying out claims for whatever heading of claim the Law Society categorises the client's financial loss ...

For those many people over the years who have approached me over the Law Society making sure they never recovered a penny their solicitor stole, I am very happy to continue to present the argument that the Guarantee Fund and Master Policy have a common factor between them - that of corruption in the claims handling process, ensuring victims of the legal profession who lose out financially hardly ever receover their money. If the Legal Services Bill supports the continued corruption in claims against the Guarantee Fund & Master Policy, then the Legal Services Bill itself is nothing short of a fraud on Scots consumers ...

Anonymous said...

"If the Legal Services Bill supports the continued corruption in claims against the Guarantee Fund & Master Policy, then the Legal Services Bill itself is nothing short of a fraud on Scots consumers .."

A fraud and a monopoly perpetrated by the Law Society of Scotland, assisted and supported by the Scottish Parliament, and with the tacit approval of Which and Consumer Focus Scotland.

Anonymous said...

I have as much faith in MSP's as I have in the legal profession. MSP's are every bit as corrupt as the Master Policy.

The majority of Scots do not have a clue their Parliament is a safe house for legal dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting as always although personally I have never heard anyone not connected to the legal profession put forward the Guarantee Fund as a cure all for financial claims relating to dishonesty.Most of us believe its more of a policy statement than an actual fund which as you regularly point has a number of obvious shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

I think the first comment sums up this Legal Services bill good enough "2nd best for Scotland as usual"

Anonymous said...

Like most reforms proposed by consumer do gooders the lsb hasn't been thought out past the first corner.
Oh and with regard to which & the oft their presentation at the justice committee is well known to have been rubbish.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know two of the claims made against John O'Donnell were Guarantee Fund claims which the Law Society managed to shift to the Master Policy.

I dont think I need to tell you what happened next (and we are talking about 4 years ago).

Anonymous said...

Is it any coincidence that these backdoor amendments are happening just as the summer holidays begin?

Anonymous said...

Good links in this posting especially to the story in the Guardian about LeO.Of course the same was said about the SLCC to begin with and look how it ended up but I take your point that LeO looks to be a lot more capable and independent than the arrangements for complaints in Scotland.

Good luck with your campaigns Mr Cherbi.

Anonymous said...

" Most of us believe its more of a policy statement than an actual fund which as you regularly point has a number of obvious shortcomings."

There is an easy way to find out, when will a Scottish solicitor have the courage to not only ask the Law Society for, but insist on receiving, a copy of the Master Policy?

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree a very interesting post as always from Peter on Scots legal issues.
It must be very uncomfortable for the Scottish Govt that Peter is always spot on in things he uncovers about these so-called 'reforms' which are being mis-sold to us just as much as mortgage mis-selling etc

Anonymous said...

Peter said "It is now therefore time to skip the complaints confidentiality of the legal profession which protects rogue lawyers from public scrutiny, and publish all complaints information, so consumers can decide for themselves who best to represent their legal interests".

Good morning Peter,

I think your new blog independent of the legal profession will reveal a reality we already know but many Scots who are not victims do not.

There will be a vast difference between Pritchard's "best consumer protection" rhetoric and the reality of a lawyer protection racket, not regulator. This will sound the alarm bells in the law offices, the ones who have ruined many of their clients are going to reap what they have sown. It will take time, but like E bay it will work. Lawyers decisions HAVE TO AFFECT THEM the way they have affected clients.

For any system to function the rot has to be removed, The Law Society and the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission must be bypassed. If all of your readers send you their letters form these organisations, we will see what we already know, the Commission and Law Society are more bent than their lawyers.

Crooked lawyers cannot work if we target the supply of clients, and they know they cannot stop this, so they should be concerned. I go back to my old statement, lawyers have caused all of this, and clients will now regulate the legal profession by publishing all of the documents that block clients from justice, because they will destroy the career of a state protected thief.

All of you people out there, from 1, 2, 15, 20 years ago, send in your documents. Lawyers should be concerned.

All the best Peter, brilliant work.

Anonymous said...

http://www.solicitorsfromhell.co.uk

THIS IS JUST THE SCOTTISH SECTION FORM THE ABOVE WEBSITE

EWAN, HARRIS & CO - SUTHERLAND (97531 hits)

Ewan Harris & Co - Sutherland (33722 hits)

Blackadders (19689 hits)

Thorntons WS (19336 hits)

THE MACKENZIE LAW PRACTICE (12391 hits)

W.G.Boyle (10687 hits)

Rubens Solicitors - Argyll (7944 hits)

Burns (7781 hits)

EWAN HARRIS & CO DORNOCH (5824 hits)

TSH Burns & Son (5030 hits)

TSH Burns now Burns (4904 hits)

Blackadders of Dundee - Angus (4363 hits)

Rubens Solicitors (2440 hits)

McGrigors (2120 hits)

Ian S Smart & Co (2092 hits)

George More & Co (2056 hits)

Grant Smith Law Practice - Turriff (2008 hits)

Shepherd Wedderburn (1992 hits)

Stormonth Darling Solicitors -

Roxburghshire (1824 hits)

RUSSELL AND AITKEN, DENNY (1816 hits)

Andrew Murchison (1766 hits)

Ross Harper (1634 hits)

Murchison Law (1610 hits)

Walker & Sharpe (1607 hits)

John Henderson & Sons (1577 hits)

Thorntons of Dundee (1536 hits)

BANSKI & CO (1533 hits)

Thorntons of Dundee (1530 hits)

Warners (1463 hits)

Innes & MacKay Solicitors -

Inverness (1358 hits)

Culley McCalpine (1265 hits)

Purdie & Co Solicitors (1263 hits)

Primrose @ Gordon (1250 hits)

Buchanan Clark and Wells - Glasgow (1173 hits)

BRODIES LLP- Edinburgh (1117 hits)

W.G. BOYLES (1051 hits)

James Guthrie & Company (1047 hits)

ROSS HARPER SOLICITORS - GLASGOW, STRATHCLYDE (1024 hits)

RUBENS Solicitors (1010 hits)

W.G.Boyle and Co. (956 hits)

Anderson Shaw and Gilbert - Inverness (920 hits)

HBJ Gateley Wareing - Edinburgh (904 hits)

Blackadder and McMonagle - Falkirk, Scotland (901 hits)

Bob Bruce & Co Solicitors -

Arbroath, ANGUS (890 hits) Whelan & Co - Arbroath, Angus (882 hits)

Blackadder and McMonagle - Falkirk, Scotland (847 hits)

Adams Solicitors (836 hits)

Thorntons Solicitors - Dundee (783 hits)

Thorntons Solicitors - Angus, Forfar (744 hits)

Muir, Myles & Laverty - Dundee,
Angus (735 hits)

THE DOUGLAS MILL, KENNY MACASKILL BRIGADE WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE THEIR IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SELF REGULATION. LOOK AT THE AMOUNT OF HITS AGAINST THESE LAW FIRMS.

IF THE LAW SOCIETY AND COMMISSION PROTECTED THE PUBLIC MR MACASKILL THIS WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS OUT THERE WHO WILL HAVE DOCUMENTS TO SUBMIT TO PETERS NEW INDEPENDENT "SCOTTISH LEGAL CONSUMER COMPLAINTS REGISTER".

SEND IN YOUR DOCUMENTS FOLKS BECAUSE CLIENTS UNITING IS THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT THESE CRIMINALS IN WIGS.

Anonymous said...

I thought so from the start and when Mike Dailly and the gang began to make such a fuss of it I knew consumers would eventually lose out to the lawyers vested interests.
Looks like I was right all along - and you too from reading all your stuff on it.

Anonymous said...

One thing we can be sure of, The New Scottish Legal Consumer Complaints Register will be independent.

It will expose the criminals who have the power to ruin lives with the stroke of a pen, and they have ruined many.

Only one lawyer has commented so far Peter, and that comment was full of contempt for the people who provide his or her income. How are they going to defend themselves and their Law Society, SLCC now?

They know when their corrupt ways catch up with them they will have no clients. They cannot stop the register either, because if they could try, it would exacerbate the fact they are criminals with a lot to hide.

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and Law Society Master Policy are the best in legal protection FOR LAWYERS ONLY, Mr Pritchard.

Self regulation will be exposed for the corrupt ideology it is, protecting criminals who believe that clients are maggots with no right to question them. We will fight to our dying day, Martin Luther King Jnr said "If a man will not die for something he is not fit to live". Lawyer criminality will be extinguished.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Just in time for my lunch break so I'll stick in a comment.

Mr Cherbi all this will prove is most 'consumers of legal services' in Scotland cant string two words together and need a lawyer to keep them on course or fight their silly little legal disputes with all & sundry.

I dont think anyone has the right to know who has complained against me other than myself and the nasty piece of work who put in the complaint in the first place.
----------------------------------
Because you do not think anyone has the right know who has complained about you is irrelevant. The more clients learn what you are from other clients the more business you will lose. That is what is worrying you.

And the "nasty piece of work" comment, is this how you look at your clients like Untermenchen (subhumans) to be exploited so you can have a nice house, car, holidays? If we get our way and you are as crooked as your comment suggests you will be in the Jobcentre. Starve you of clients that is what is required.

I think you are a rather immature individual, and if you have ruined many clients your past will catch up with you. This is why the legal professions reputation is in the gutter now.

Adieu

Anonymous said...

Personally I think it was in the millions :http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_scotland/10448546.stm

Leonardo da Vinci case and investigation costs revealed

By Giancarlo Rinaldi
South Scotland reporter

The costs of a Leonardo da Vinci theft investigation and extortion case at the High Court have exceeded £350,000.

The figures were obtained by the BBC via Freedom of Information requests.

Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary has spent nearly £250,000 on its operations since the Madonna of the Yarnwinder was stolen in 2003.

Prosecution costs of two extortion cases, which did not result in any convictions, have been estimated at a little more than £130,000.

The figure does not include defence costs for the accused during their trial.

The artwork, worth an estimated £40m, was taken from the Duke of Buccleuch's Drumlanrig Estate north of Dumfries in August 2003.

It sparked one of the biggest police operations in the history of Scotland's smallest force.

DA VINCI COURT COSTS

* Case preparation - £70,000
* Trial preparation - £19,813
* Preliminary hearings - £3,400
* Trial costs - £41,500
* Total - £134,713

About £25,000 was used in police and support staff overtime, expenses and investigation costs in the first year of inquiries.

Det Ch Insp Michael Dalgleish said the theft investigation had been a "significant" one.

"When the crime happened it is important to realise what type of crime we were investigating," he said.

"This was a brazen daylight attack at Drumlanrig Castle with two men who entered the premises armed - one with an axe, one with a crowbar - and assaulted a young female member of staff and threatened her with violence.

"They stole a painting that is obviously significant in terms of value and art worldwide.

"There is no doubt in my mind that the people involved in the planning for this crime and the actual execution of it are operating at the very highest level and are involved in organised crime in the UK."

Annual police costs dwindled to a little more than £100 in 2005/06.

However, they rose to about £185,000 between 2007 and 2009 as an undercover investigation began.
'Not unreasonable'

Det Ch Insp Dalgleish said police had been "duty bound" to follow up on information they received that someone had possession of the painting and was seeking money for its return.

"That operation was fairly lengthy and by the very nature of it, it was sophisticated and delicate," he explained.

"It resulted in some costs being incurred but I think if you look at the seven or eight years since the painting was stolen and balance out the costs that Dumfries and Galloway have incurred I don't think it's unreasonable by any means.

DA VINCI POLICE COSTS

* 2003/04 - £26,151.25
* 2004/05 - £5,557.98
* 2005/06 - £124.17
* 2006/07 - £12,884.69
* 2007/08 - £134,497.34
* 2008/09 - £50,694.24
* 2009/10 - £8,219.09
* Total - £238,128.76

"If you were to ask me would I make the same decisions again in terms of that undercover deployment - yes, I would without question."

The investigation resulted in five men being accused of conspiring to extort £4.25m for the painting's safe return at a lengthy trial in the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this year.

The case was found not proven against three individuals with the other two found not guilty.

Charges against three other men accused of a similar extortion conspiracy were dropped shortly afterwards.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said it did not routinely record the costs of prosecuting individual cases.

Anonymous said...

With Peter Cherbi in charge of a cpmplaints register we can be confident that the Law Society SLCC coverups will come out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I thought so from the start and when Mike Dailly and the gang began to make such a fuss of it I knew consumers would eventually lose out to the lawyers vested interests.
Looks like I was right all along - and you too from reading all your stuff on it.

1 July 2010 14:32

I agree.The video clip Mr Cherbi posted of that Politics show debate with Ian Smart & Mike Dailly was a fine example - the whole 'fight between lawyers' thing was a fit up just to make sure they got their way to stop any real competition against their rotten monopoly over our need of legal services.

The whole thing proves to me easily the msps and lawyers are in it together for themselves and bugger any thought of helping real people outside the political/legal bubble.There is no way around it from what I can see.

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your continuing comments on this article.

I agree with the comments relating to the internal squabbles within the Law Society over the Legal Services Bill & Alternative Business Structures ... it was all just a show to ensure the legal profession were able to amend the Legal Services Bill to their own ends. This is the usual fall back policy of the Law Society when faced with strong consumer campaigns .. the problem is however, it usually succeeds, and the Legal Services Bill has now become totally compromised in terms of consumer choice & protection ... in the same way the LPLA (Scotland) Act 2007 was compromised over its 'regulator' reforms .. which now lie in the ruins of the SLCC .. little more than a front organisation for the Law Society ..

There have been several comments placed tonight regarding the solicitor Cameron Fyfe.

Rather than simply leave this case in the comments section, could the individual please send more details of the case to lawcomplaints@gmail.com where the case will be looked at for publication on the Scottish Legal Consumer Complaints web blog ...

Anonymous said...

You appear to be very well briefed so what is your solution to what you term the "compromised" Legal Services Bill ?

Which way would you like to see the vote go at the Parliament ?

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 1 July 2010 22:53

If consumer protection & consumer choice of legal services is top of the agenda then the only solution to the present difficulties of the Legal Services Bill is to vote against it and wait until a Scottish Government comes along which wont be intimidated into cowardice by threats from the legal profession who are so obviously interested in protecting their business market monopoly.

Anonymous said...

If the case against the accused lawyers cost 350K I'm a duck house !

What a load of f*king crap.Hope the BBC do some more digging.It must have cost well over 2mil for an investigation that long and then a buggered up prosecution.

Proves we cant even trust the Crown Office to reply truthfully although I'm sure this wont surprise anyone.

Anonymous said...

There have been several comments placed tonight regarding the solicitor Cameron Fyfe.

Rather than simply leave this case in the comments section, could the individual please send more details of the case to lawcomplaints@gmail.com where the case will be looked at for publication on the Scottish Legal Consumer Complaints web blog ...

Thanks Peter, I will get back to you as soon as possible. I will also attach some documents to back up what I am saying about Cameron Fyfe. I am convinced your complaints register will work, and you are doing a wonderful job against these lawyers, and they know it. Thank you.

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 2 July 2010 09:54

I agree ... its difficult to see how such a large scale & long investigation & prosecution comes down to those costs revealed so far ...

# Anonymous @ 2 July 2010 10:53

Thanks ... look forward to publication ...

Anonymous said...

Which? usually shout from the rooftops when they are involved in something so its curious to me they have now left the scene of the crime before even a vote is taken.Probably something to hide so I will look into it.

David

Anonymous said...

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Keep up the wonderful work!