Friday, September 17, 2010

University of Glasgow threatens legal action over publication of former Law Society Chief Douglas Mill’s taxpayer funded ‘lunches for judges’

Douglas Mill 4Ex Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill, now Director of Legal Practice, University of Glasgow. DOUGLAS MILL, the controversial former Law Society of Scotland Chief Executive who once ‘swore on his granny’s grave' he had not intervened in damages claims made by ruined clients against crooked lawyers, to the Law Society’s Master Policy and who effectively resigned in disgrace after a bitter, much publicised confrontation with John Swinney MSP during a Justice 2 Committee meeting in 2006, has, in his position as Director of Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow, wined & dined a significant number of Sheriffs, judges, lawyers, tutors & even the media, all at the taxpayer’s expense.

Mr Mill’s expenses claims figures obtained through Freedom of Information legislation show the well known former Law Society Chief Executive who now has his own business “Douglas Mill Consulting” and has occupied a number of consulting posts in other roles, raked up thousands of pounds of expenses claims to taxpayers for at least sixteen lunches with judges, lawyers & ‘fellow’ tutors.

Readers, especially those who may already have been affected by the worst public service sector cuts in the entire history of the country, can view the details of Mr Mill expenses claims, published today by Scottish Law Reporter, here : Ex-Law Society Chief, now Glasgow University Legal Practice Director Douglas Mill soaks broke public coffers for ‘lunch with judges’ expense claims

Law Society of ScotlandGranny pays for the Law Society : Douglas Mill bills taxpayers for his annual Law Society membership fee. Staggeringly, Mr Mill also makes the public pick up the cost of his ‘annual retainer fee’ for the Law Society of Scotland, this despite the fact the entire country is facing the worst public service cuts in its entire history, with even the University of Glasgow recently announcing it is facing a £35m budget shortfall unless it takes action to cut costs.

While Mr Mill’s luxurious expenses claims figures make stark reading in recession hit Scotland, Glasgow University refused to disclose details of Mr Mill’s salary (thought to be £80,000 or more), and even threatened “Diary of Injustice” with legal action if any of the disclosures of Mr Mill’s expenses claims released by the University were published.

Censored FOIGlasgow University refuses to release details of ex Law Society Chief’s taxpayer funded ‘teaching’ salary. Glasgow University said : “The information on Douglas Mill’s annual salary has been withheld as: (a) the individual salary information is considered as personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”); and (b) the release of such salary information would be in breach of the data protection principles as set-out in the Data Protection Act 1998. Therefore the exemption from release of such information applies as specified under section 38(1) (b) and 38(2) (a) (i) of FOISA.”

Glasgow University took the view that disclosure of such personal data would breach Data Protection Principles of the DPA where it claimed “The release of the salary information on an individual basis will undermine the expectation of the individual that his/her personal data would not be released.” – this despite Mr Mill’s salary being paid for by UK taxpayers. Glasgow University founded upon their refusal to disclose Mr Mill’s publicly funded salary by referring to an English FOI case involving the University of Cambridge (30 July 2007).

Cash strapped Glasgow University then went onto claim the details of Mr Mill’s salary & expenses “shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects. The release of personal data may result in a real risk of his/her personal data being displayed on the internet and thus viewable outside the European Economic Area.”

The University ended its terse response to the FOI request threatening legal action under copyright legislation if publication took place : “Breach of copyright law is an actionable offence and the University expressly reserves its rights and remedies available to it pursuant to the CDPA and common law.”

Fred GoodwinSir Fred Goodwin, brought the RBS & UK Treasury to near collapse, was defended by Douglas Mill. It is also worth noting while Douglas Mill’s expenses on dinners put First Minister’s Alex Salmond’s food allowance claims to shame, the cuts which are affecting every facet of public life in the UK, from health to employment, from life to death, are principally caused by the massive multi billion pound taxpayer bailouts of banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, whose former Chief Executive Sir Fred Goodwin was personally defended by Mr Mill several times despite Goodwin leading the RBS and the entire country to near financial collapse.

You can read more of my report on Douglas Mill’s defence of Sir Fred Goodwin, here : Royal Bank failure blamed on lack of regulation by ex Law Society Boss who campaigned against stronger regulation of solicitors

For those who may wish to refresh their memories over Douglas Mill’s confrontation with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, read this : Law Society boss Mill lied to Swinney, Parliament as secret memos reveal policy of intervention & obstruction on claims, complaints.

Holyrood 2006 : John Swinney MSP exposed corruption at the very heart of the Law Society with a secret memo from Douglas Mill (click image below to watch video)

Douglas Mill Memo to Martin MacAllister 5 July 2001 - stop the MacKenzies from appearing at the Justice CommitteeDouglas Mill’s own memo depicted interference in claims against crooked lawyers. While Douglas Mill famously said “I will go on oath and on record, and I will swear on my granny's grave, that never once have I, any member of my staff or any office-bearer dabbled in a claim”, a claim Mr Mill came to regret after Mr Swinney presented the Justice 2 Committee with a copy of one of Mr Mill’s own memos showing Mill & the Law Society clearly did dabble in claims, it turns out that not only could granny not swear by the Law Society, everyone’s taxes and their grannies are now helping to pay for Mr Mill’s lunches with judges … tough times indeed, and little wonder that Glasgow University who themselves are having to make cuts, don't want the details of Mr Mill’s expenses claims leaking out to the public.

Glasgow University’s refusal to disclose Douglas Mill’s publicly funded salary, and the terms of their legal threat against publication of their disclosure of Mr Mill’s expenses claims has been passed to Kevin Dunion, Scotland’s Information Commissioner for further investigation.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Life on the taxpayer is good for Mr Mill

How about all the victims of his crooked lawyer colleagues ?

Can they claim for lunches with judges too ?

I fear not !

Anonymous said...

This was a disgraceful appointment by the former Principal and Edinburgh Civil servant Russell Muir, and has done nothing but diminish the University's reputation at home and abroad.

The bullying tactics of the present administration reflects very badly on the new Principal, a specialist in Econoics, who apparently believes in one law for those and such as those, and another for the rest of us.

This is Public money, what are you hiding?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Mill wont give a damn how much comes out about him.
In fact he will probably celebrate this piece of news by charging us all for yet another lunch!

Anonymous said...

Be interesting to know who the Sheriffs and Judges are who dined with Mr Mill on our account.

Anonymous said...

Well if Glasgow University take legal action against A Diary of Injustice they are attempting to use the legal system like the Gagging Acts to protect a themselves and a controversial figure. Thousands of clients that are solicitor barred by Mr Mill's profession have no legal rights in civil law.

There is a culture in this country of people living on benefits and a similar culture where the MP's MSP's lawyers want to help themselves to the public purse.

I certainly will not become a student at Glasgow University.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers can take legal action against members of the public but the latter cannot take lawyers to court. Good old corrupt Scottish Injustice.

They want to silence you Peter, and that will use every dirty trick in the book. The public have zero faith in lawyers, politicians, bankers, they can never get enough money and power.

Anonymous said...

While Mr Mill’s luxurious expenses claims figures make stark reading in recession hit Scotland, Glasgow University refused to disclose details of Mr Mill’s salary (thought to be £80,000 or more), and even threatened “Diary of Injustice” with legal action if any of the disclosures of Mr Mill’s expenses claims released by the University were published.

THIS WOULD BE SOME COURT CASE, LAWYERS BEING WINED AND DINED AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE BY A MAN WHO HAS NOT A VICTIM OF THE RECESSION, HE STILL HAS INCOME.

SO THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW ARE GOING TO SUE A DIARY OF INJUSTICE FOR REPORTING ON THE SPENDING OF PUBLIC MONEY. REMINDS ME OF WESTMINSTER THE REDACTION SPECIALISTS AND THE SLCC AND LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND.

I THINK CASH STRAPPED GLASGOW UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WILL TAKE A DIM VIEW OF MR MILL'S COHORTS BEING FED AT THE TAXPAYERS EXPENSE.

ANY LEGAL ACTION WILL BE SEEN AS AN ATTEMPT TO SILENCE GENUINE DISSENT, AGAINST A SELF REGULATING CORRUPT PROFESSION.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Mill is nothing special and since he is now being paid by us he must disclose his salary and all the perks not previously admitted to

Anonymous said...

and to think SOME PEOPLE made a big deal about Alex Salmond's measly £800 food claims !

What good did this guy Mill ever do for people ?

Anonymous said...

The University ended its terse response to the FOI request threatening legal action under copyright legislation if publication took place : “Breach of copyright law is an actionable offence and the University expressly reserves its rights and remedies available to it pursuant to the CDPA and common law.”
==================================
While students, the unemployed, and many others struggle in the current economic climate Glasgow University boffins want to stop publication of Mr Mill's expenses. The use of public money is always in the public interest and this is a misuse of administrative instruments to crush free speech and expression.

There is always a law firm there to protect lawyers interests, a one sided justice system.

Anonymous said...

Some idiot at Glasgow Uni just made this a huge story with the legal action threat!

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree the names of the judges should be released also so we can see whats been going on here maybe more sinister than just dinners out

Anonymous said...

@22:06
Good point.
The hootsmon and the rest of the unionist press ranted on about Eck's £800 for food for weeks as you can see here http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/latestnews/-Expenses-row-engulfs-Salmond.5251842.jp

but as Douglas Mill has written in the newspapers who think they are fooling us with their rubbish dont expect much more publicity to this wee scandal otherwise their advertising will be terminated !

Anonymous said...

What kind of messed up world are Glasgow University living in when they threaten foi reports with copyright law ?

These people need to be investigated what else they are hiding.

Anonymous said...

Might it be 'lunches for judges'or 'judges for lunches' ?

I think you know what I mean so get digging !

Anonymous said...

Personally I have to like or at least have some similarities with people before I eat a meal with them so the mind boggles what these judges,sheriffs & magazine/press editors are like.
If you get the names of these judges & sheriffs you might just uncover a collection of like minded people which may prove a useful indicator as to the outcome of any cases they decide in their respective courts!

Anonymous said...

It beggars belief, Glasgow university threatening legal action when public money is being spent of lawyers. Perhaps some of the upset staff at the university should go and work for the Law Society of Scotland. They are doing what Mill did prior to his Law Society resignation.

To put it bluntly, lawyers are making too many enemies, not because of websites, it is because the people running the websites are fighting back the only way they can. Go to court Glasgow uni, you may just shoot yourselves and Mr Mill in the foot.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Some idiot at Glasgow Uni just made this a huge story with the legal action threat!
===================================
I agree a threat, they will do nothing, what is the saying, when in a hole stop digging. Glasgow Uni are threating a dissident who is polite, sticks to the facts and has gained respect from his enemies.

Glasgow Uni are full of shit.

Great blog Peter, all the best.

Anonymous said...

Mill was crooked at the Law Society, that is why he resigned. Now Glasgow University after giving Mill a job, are threating legal action to protect him.

Hmmm--have any staff at the university apart from Mill worked for the Law Society of Scotland? Court will be good, A Diary of Injustice being sued for telling the public Mill and his lawyer buddies are the same as the MP's.

Perhaps the Sunday Mail should have a go at this story. How can any trial be fair if some of the profession being wined and dined by the taxpayer are overseeing proceedings.

I think they are threatening legal action but THAT IS ALL THEY CAN DO. It will never go to court.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they should have called it the freedom of selected information act.

What are they hiding?

Anonymous said...

So the Judge sitting on the bench overseeing court proceedings against A Diary of Injustice may well have been fed by Mill using taxpayers money.

Legal action against publication of information which will embarrass Judges and lawyers, and Glasgow University. How stupid are these people? Mr Cherbi will prove yet again that the legal profession block cases not in their own interest and protect each other, by taking legal action against their critics. I think Glasgow University will be mad to persue this in court.

Anonymous said...

We need a students revolt. Mill and his legal cronies can well affort to stuff their own faces without the taxpayer funding it.

Anonymous said...

A law unto themselves.

Anonymous said...

The figures, released under Freedom of Information legislation by Glasgow University show Mr Mill eating out at taxpayers expense with the ranks of Scotland’s legal profession, (GREEDY BASTARD) even charging his Law Society fee to hard up public funds. (WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR SALARY DOUGLAS?) However the University’s disclosure of Mr Mill’s soaring dining bill & other claims paid for by taxpayers apparently contained a legal threat against anyone seeking to public their content, which is odd, considering Mr Mill’s position at Glasgow University (LEGAL ACTION AGAINST A FOI) is paid for by public funds, and the public most certainly have a right to know who earns what from their taxes.

EATING OUR TAXES MR MILL, LAWYERS SCREWING THE LEGAL AID POT, NO RIGHTS FOR VICTIMS OF CROOKED LAWYERS, IT IS A JUSTICE SYSTEM ALL RIGHT. WE NEED A STUDENTS REVOLT.

Anonymous said...

To those reading Mr Cherbi's blog consider this.

I worked at one of your wonderful Scots newspapers until some of Mr Mill's thuggish former colleagues from the Law Society intervened to end my career.

Dont expect any coverage of Mill's expenses or any 'bad publicity' issues connected to him.It just wont happen and I should know as I once wrote about him in report Peter frequently refers to.

Good luck Pete.If the Uni sues you will be able to write about it too and who knows we might just pick up on it down here.

Anonymous said...

BBC NEWS

More than 9,000 public sector employees are earning a higher wage than the prime minister, who has previously questioned pay levels in top jobs.

New research conducted for BBC Panorama found that there were more than 38,000 public employees earning above £100,000 and 1,000 people on more than £200,000.

David Cameron took a 5% pay cut when he took office and earns £142,500.

David the hatchet man cutting everything. 5% you will not miss David especially when your worth or will be worth £30 million.

Of course you inherited this mess, but do the cuts need to be so savage?

Perhaps the cuts would be less severe if your family suffered the resulting economic hardship David. As long as perpetrators do not suffer the consequences of their actions the world will never change. I agree cuts are required David, but there must be a balance to ensure economic recovery.

As Michael Moore said "why is it always the poor who suffer, not the rich guy".

Anonymous said...

"Glasgow University’s refusal to disclose Douglas Mill’s publicly funded salary, and the terms of their legal threat against publication of their disclosure of Mr Mill’s expenses claims has been passed to Kevin Dunion, Scotland’s Information Commissioner for further investigation."

What good will this do ?
What if he buys him lunch too ?

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your comments & emails on this article.

Thanks also for the offers of support should the University of Glasgow follow through on its legal threat regarding the publication of Douglas Mill's expenses claims ...

Perhaps if the University of Glasgow take legal action Mr Mill can have his colleagues at the Law Society interfere with my solicitors once again ... or even find some tame newspaper to try the same as he did over the Leslie Cumming affair ...

I certainly agree with comments regarding public sector salaries & expenses claims ... all should be made public as the public pay for it.

# Anonymous @ 19 September 2010 21:17

You are ... ?

Anonymous said...

Yes Mr Mill because we taxpayers pay your wages we should know how much you get AND for expenses!

How about finding out who all these judges and sheriffs are too?

Anonymous said...

No matter what Mill does he will always be remembered for that memo and how Swinney exposed him as a liar.
Also didnt Mill once say he felt like committing suicide in a story in the hootsmon ?
What a laugh !

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if the University of Glasgow take legal action Mr Mill can have his colleagues at the Law Society interfere with my solicitors once again ... or even find some tame newspaper to try the same as he did over the Leslie Cumming affair ...
===================================
It is a warped corrupt system Peter,
all lawyers on the same side, and they call it a justice system. Mill will be on the phone to Yelland.

Anonymous said...

How about this - Muscatelli says there should be a graduate tax! is this to pay for Mill's lunches ???

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11378389

Glasgow University principal says consider graduate tax

The principal of a leading Scottish university has said that a graduate tax could be one way of helping to fund the country's higher education sector.

Professor Anton Muscatelli believes the current fiscal crisis has emphasised the need for a fresh revenue.

He said up-front tuition fees were incompatible with Scotland's philosophy of higher education.

But Prof Muscatelli has instead argued that those who earn more after graduating should contribute more.

He denied that the suggestion for a graduate tax or a graduate contribution was tuition fees by the back door.

The academic, who is on the executive of the umbrella body Universities UK, suggested that allowing the public purse to continue to pay the full costs of higher education was not sustainable unless the sector became a higher priority for funds.

In general, Scottish universities are concerned that cash problems may lead to them falling behind their counterparts around the world, notably in England where tuition fees are expected to rise.

Scottish students pay no charges at all for tuition.

Prof Muscatelli believes the time is right to consider whether students should make a contribution.

However, he insisted that if it happened it should be payable once students have graduated and are earning salaries.

Top priority

Scottish ministers have ruled out fees before graduation but they appear open to ideas regarding changes to university funding.

Prof Muscatelli said: "There is no reason to go down the route of tuition fees, up-front. It's certainly incompatible with Scotland's philosophy of higher education."

He added: "Unless the public sector wants to make higher education a top priority then we have to look to other solutions and this could be either a graduate contribution or it could be a graduate tax. But we have to look at all of these alternatives.

"Graduate taxation would be a tax that applied only to graduates after they graduate and based on the ability to pay - and a graduate contribution would be very similar in some respects."

Prof Muscatelli said some of the money from the graduate contribution might help provide bursaries for students who need extra help.

He went on to say that the debate was not for his university alone but for the country as a whole and "how it invests in higher education".

The principal said Scotland currently had a level of funding which matched England but his plea for change was focused on the next five to 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Where's a good fish bone when you need one ?