Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CENSORED : Scottish Legal Complaints Commission's secret new Master Policy & Guarantee Fund research 'shuts out' real victims of crooked lawyers

SLCCAnti-client law complaints quango SLCC attempts to keep new Master Policy research secret. SECRET new research being carried out by the anti-client Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) into the notoriously corrupt Master Policy & Guarantee Fund client compensation schemes operated by the Law Society of Scotland is so secret the public and media are being shut out of scrutinising the long running ‘half-hearted’ attempt by Scotland’s hapless regulator of complaints against the legal profession to fulfil a pledge in laws created at the Scottish Parliament in 2007 to investigate & oversee growing numbers of claims lodged by ripped-off clients for damages against hundreds of negligent, dishonest & ‘crooked lawyers’ in Scotland’s legal profession.

Master Policy research secrets withheld by ‘independent’ law quango SLCC. Requests made to the SLCC under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for more details on the nearly three year ‘ongoing’ research being carried out by the SLCC have resulted in scant release of information to the public, who are supposed to be the target of secret questionnaires, the wording of which has been the subject of heated arguments & debate within the SLCC & the Law Society of Scotland for well over a year. The SLCC have even refused to reveal how the questionnaires are to be released and what criteria is being used to select subjects from the many members of the public who have attempted to lodge claims against the Law Society of Scotland’s Guarantee Fund & Master Policy.

Something to Hide ? Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s new Master Policy Research targets 657 claimants but the forms will be handed out by Marsh ! Little has been revealed of the new research in the releases of documents from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission although one snippet of detail reveals the “SLCC to arrange for hard copies of the 657 questionnaires to be given to Marsh to send out to claimants.” with all other details from the key documents REMOVED. One of the few things to be revealed by the SLCC is this latest piece of research into the Master Policy is being carried out by Professor Frank Stephen of Manchester University’s School of Law, who co-authored the 2009 report on the Master Policy which documented client suicides and refusals by the Law Society of Scotland & US insurers Marsh to cooperate with the investigation.

One MSP who studied the SLCC’s highly censored release of information queried why there was apparently only one member of the University of Manchester law team mentioned in the new survey where in the earlier 2009 report, there were two.

He said : “While I know Professor Frank Stephen very well, given his duties as advisor to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee on particular pieces of legislation including the Legal Services Bill, I would have thought given the controversial nature of the subject matter under investigation, there should be additional academics brought in from outside the legal sector to ensure that impartiality and credibility is maintained if the results of this secret research are to be believed.”

Secret briefings between the Law Society & SLCC over the Master Policy will remain secret for now. Even briefings between the SLCC & Law Society of Scotland were deemed so sensitive & so secret due to the intense corruption already revealed within the operation of the Master Insurance Policy that details of lengthy SLCC-Law Society meetings were also censored for fear of revealing bitter arguments & heated debates over demands from the legal profession and the insurers the research should not touch on key areas or cover some of the worst examples of claims already revealed in the 2009 report which documented clients who had committed suicide after being harangued by the legal profession over their claims against the Master Policy.

The SLCC’s intention to research claims made against the Guarantee Fund, a fund operated by the Law Society of Scotland which ‘requires’ all solicitors to pay into each year to cover the cost of ‘dishonesty’ in the legal profession where clients funds are fleeced or embezzled by their solicitors has also hit trouble, with the legal profession utterly resistant to any outside scrutiny of the large amounts of claims being made to the Fund, many of which date back over years, resulting in even more financial hardship to clients who have been financially ruined by their lawyers.

Again, the SLCC heavily censored the information regarding their attempt to investigate the Law Society’s Guarantee Fund, and most documents disclosed under Freedom of Information laws suffered severe censorship as can be seen below.

Something more to hide : Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s Guarantee Fund Research is so secret clients of crooked lawyers should not be told about it.


A senior official from one of Scotland’s consumer organisations branded the SLCC’s investigations into the Master Policy & Guarantee Fund as “appalling” and claimed the law quango was trying to avoid its responsibilities to monitor claims to the Master Policy & Guarantee Fund, duties assigned to the SLCC by the Scottish Parliament in sections of the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007.

She said : “This is now the second piece of research commissioned by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission into the Master Policy yet they have not even acted on many of the key findings of the first report in 2009. I do not believe the SLCC is genuinely motivated to make enquiries of either the Master Policy or the Guarantee Fund and they are simply trying to prolong the issue to the point no action will be taken with regard to its monitoring role.”

One client told how he ended up falling victim to what he called “a six year nightmare which tore his family apart” after he tried to claim compensation for the loss of over £120,000 & property titles to a crooked lawyer who still works and has connections to several Council members of the Law Society itself.

After being told of the secret new research being carried out by the SLCC into the Master Policy, he said : “The SLCC haven't asked me to participate in this survey and I know why. Its because I will tell the truth about what the Law Society and their insurers did to my family to stop me getting back what my solictor stole from me. The whole Master Policy thing is a scam from start to finish and no one gets back what has been taken from them as far as I can see.”

While the SLCC were not available for comment over the Easter period, a source close to the commission claimed its board were hoping the results of the new research could be used to discredit the earlier 2009 report and gloss over the most controversial findings & comments of that report, carried out by a two member University of Manchester team, Professor Frank Stephen & Dr Angela Melville, more of which can be read here : 'Ground-breaking' investigation into Law Society's Master Policy insurance reveals realities of corrupt claims process against crooked lawyers and here : Suicides, illness, broken families and ruined clients reveal true cost of Law Society's Master Policy which 'allows solicitors to sleep at night'

Page 8 - Consumer Focus Scotland refused cooperation from Law SocietySuicides, illness, family breakdown, loss of homes, loss of livelihood were all identified by interviewees as being directly associated with members of the public’s dealings with the Law Society & Master Policy. During the research team's investigation of claims against the Master Policy, team members were told of suicides which had occurred due to the way in which clients of crooked lawyers had been treated by the Law Society of Scotland and the insurers who operate the Master Policy protection scheme for solicitors against negligence claims. Quoting the report : "Several claimants said that they had been diagnosed with depression; that they had high blood pressure; and several had their marriages fail due to their claim. Some had lost a lot of money, their homes, and we were told that one party litigant had committed suicide."

Law Society of ScotlandLaw Society officials linked to suicide of client who claimed against the Master Policy. The suicide of one client who had dealings with the Master Policy, is apparently linked to senior officials at the Law Society of Scotland itself, who, when approached by the client to handle a complaint against his solicitor who had made major errors in handling legal business, recommended to the now deceased client he approach a well known firm of solicitors to sue his original solicitor and pursue a claim against the Master Policy for negligence. However, what the client did not know was the law firm which the now promoted Director of a department at the Law Society had recommended he approach, actually represented the Legal Defence Union, which exists to defend solicitors against both claims & complaints from clients, and who are involved in defending solicitors against over two thirds of the thousands of complaints made annually against lawyers by members of the public in Scotland.

The client, a farmer and co owner of a business, went onto unknowingly engage the law firm recommended to him by the still serving senior Law Society official, however, unsurprisingly, little or no progress was made over a lengthy period of time on the client's claim against the Master Policy, which in itself, caused severe stress and depression to the client and his family.

Matters reached the stage where the law firm, recommended to the client by the Law Society itself had done little on the case, and offered no hope of a just & fair resolution to the huge losses caused by the client's original solicitor, one evening, not long after yet another unsuccessful meeting with his solicitors, the client in question had reached a point of such depression, he committed suicide at home using a shotgun, leaving his widow & children. Several days after the client’s suicide, the same Law Society official who has been in charge of regulation for almost twenty years and who had recommended the law firm which had done nothing to proceed the deceased client's claim and take the original 'crooked lawyer' to court, wrote to the widow of the victim and callously informed her she had two weeks to make a complaint to the Law Society or she would be time barred.

The case itself, was investigated by the then Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman Linda Costello Baker, in 2001, who found the Law Society of Scotland had failed the deceased client and ordered they re-investigate the complaint. The Law Society then proceeded to investigate the complaints again, however reaching the same conclusions, which prompted the widow of the deceased client to return to the SLSO, Ms Costello Baker, who again investigated in 2003 and judged the Law Society had failed once more.

At least two other suicides directly associated with clients dealings with the Master Policy are known, where in both cases, clients appeared to have been put under intolerable pressure, delay, deceit and intimidation by lawyers, the Law Society itself, and the insurers to the Master Policy, that the result of the entire process was to cause the claimants to end their lives after breaking under the strain of dealings with the apparently deadly Master Policy insurance scheme.

Further excerpts from the Manchester University report into the Law Society's Master Policy & Guarantee Fund show the intolerable strain clients who attempt to claim against their 'crooked' solicitor have to endure : Claimants "described being intimidated, being forced to settle rather than try to run a hearing without legal support, and all felt that their claims’ outcomes were not fair. Some claimants felt that they should have received more support, and that this lack was further evidence of actors within the legal system being “against” Master Policy claimants. Judges were described as being “former solicitors”, members of the Law Society – and thus, against claimants. Some described judges and other judicial officers as being very hostile to party litigants."

Jane IrvineSLCC Chair Jane Irvine ‘well aware of long running problems & corruption at the Law Society, Master Policy & Insurers’. Insiders at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission claim Jane Irvine, the current SLCC Chair “is well aware” of the suicide case and many other difficulties encountered by clients attempting to register claims against the Master Policy & Guarantee Funds, many of which were brought to the attention of Ms Irvine and also her predecessor at the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman, Linda Costello Baker, yet the SLCC has chosen to do nothing on its monitoring role after three years of operation and several of the SLCC’s board members now appear to exhibit intense personal prejudice against clients who dare attempt to claim back financial damages inflicted on them by their legal representatives.

One source close to the commission said over the weekend : “This is the Scottish do nothing Complaints Commission and they definitely do not want to hear about crooked lawyers. Jane Irvine and the rest of them know the score on the Master Policy but all the indications are they don't want to do anything about it just in case they reveal the truth we all know which is the Law Society and its insurers are rotten to the core. All the top brass seem to be concerned about these days is keeping money in the bank and holding onto their salary packages.”

The source continued : “Get Irvine to publish the reports on the Master Policy suicide case in Oban and you will see just how rotten the Law Society & Marsh really are.”

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like Jane & Co love the "Censorship" stamp!

Anonymous said...

It seems a bit stupid to allow Marsh to hand out the forms considering its them who are under investigation.

I suppose it proves your friendly msp's "Front company for the Law Society" quote yet again.

Good work keep it up etc

Anonymous said...

Hmm nice one Pete although I think Frau Irvine will have the daggers out for you later on!

Anonymous said...

It doesnt take much genius to realise they are trying to rewrite the 2009 findings about this suicide and the dodgy Master Policy claims in the Douglas Mill story you featured awhile back.
Where does John Swinney stand in all this?
He said plenty about the Master Policy and the Law Society.Why the big hush now he's in Government?

Anonymous said...

Well Peter you can surely understand why they dont want to advertise the fact they are doing another report on the sacred MP/GF because if they advertise it they might just get too many testimonials as to how rotten both policies actually are.
Its a pity the LPLA Act didn't include taking the MP/GF completely away from the Law Society/Marsh/RSA squad.Only if this happens will solicitors or clients see an improvement in claims disposals.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me as if Irvine and Co may have more to worry about than stress and mental health issues over the release of expenses if this farce is allowed to continue.

Anonymous said...

SLCC’s board members now appear to exhibit intense personal prejudice against clients who dare attempt to claim back financial damages inflicted on them by their legal representatives.

Evil incarnate that is the SLCC board. As long as their is no redress lawyers can keep ruining clients.

Anonymous said...

How typical.The regulator turns out to be even more crooked than those it is tasked to investigate!

Anonymous said...

CENSORSHIP = CORRUPTION

Anonymous said...

just as dirty as the law society

Anonymous said...

If this is all Jane Irvine has done over the past 3 years at the SLCC the mind boggles what little she must have achieved in previous positions.

Anonymous said...

Very good expose of crooked lawyers and their equally ombudsmen.

Just as the FSA failed to regulate our crooked bankers this SLCC purposely fails to regulate crooked lawyers and meanwhile its board and staff soak up high salaries and expenses for sweeping the dirt under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

At least two other suicides directly associated with clients dealings with the Master Policy are known, where in both cases, clients appeared to have been put under intolerable pressure, delay, deceit and intimidation by lawyers, the Law Society itself, and the insurers to the Master Policy, that the result of the entire process was to cause the claimants to end their lives after breaking under the strain of dealings with the apparently deadly Master Policy insurance scheme.
-------------------------------
I know of one person who was near suicidal Peter and that person did not try to claim against her lawyer. Lawyers can do anything to clients, you are taking on the Scottish mafia, they torture people to make money.

I can only say they are bad bastards, no conscience like John Wayne Gacy, pure sadists and I think they enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why they called it such a long name "The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission" yet it does nothing to help anyone but lawyers.

Whoever the jerk is who named it must have been taking the piss!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine in the office regularly has his ear chewed off by the SLCC about your write-ups.
He describes the bad mouthers at the SLCC as 'thugs' and your blog as a 'godsend' yet he is a solicitor!

Anonymous said...

“Get Irvine to publish the reports on the Master Policy suicide case in Oban and you will see just how rotten the Law Society & Marsh really are.”

It would be great if you can chase this one up Peter.

Do you sleep at night Jane?

Anonymous said...

They probably made the whole thing worse by not releasing the info.Silly Jane!

Anonymous said...

People who have comitted suicide have done so for one reason Jane, No way out. I have been there it is the individual V the state and big business.


I wrote to the court, Law Society, Ombudsman, went to other lawyers, spoke to my MP at the time, Bill Tynan the ex Labour politician. No one would help me, your SLCC did not exist at the time although you would have repudiated me like those mentioned above.

I was lucky with my strong family. Many people just do not realise lawyers are extremely dangerous people, because when it goes wrong there is NO WAY OUT.

Avoid lawyers at all costs, they are evil.

Anonymous said...

I always find the ones who black out FOIs are as crooked as hell and since this is lawyer complaints stuff I expect nothing less than what you've revealed here today.How anyone trusts the slcc is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

From what I heard its mostly solicitors who were selected to receive the questionnaires!

Anonymous said...

“SLCC to arrange for hard copies of the 657 questionnaires to be given to Marsh to send out to claimants.”

What a joke.

Marsh & the LSS will have them all filled out in a day.

Anonymous said...

We have a crop of gutless MSP's who are (in all matters legal) against the people who elect them, the latter just do not realise that yet.

Anonymous said...

You may be interested to know I have been treated very badly by this SLCC and their staff over a complaint I made about my solicitor.They took 8 months to get back to me and the report is pure rubbish.Maybe I could send it to you and you can publish it please?

Anonymous said...

Hmm a survey of the Master Policy conducted by an advisor to the Justice Committee who refused to investigate Douglas Mill's memos on the Master Policy.
Isnt that a little too close for comfort?

Anonymous said...

I agree all the censored stuff looks like there's something to hide.Of course you can always ask the FOI Commissioner to investigate and get to the truth!

Anonymous said...

SO YOU WANT TO SUE A SO CALLED PROFESSIONAL?

JANE IRVINE WILL NOT TELL YOU THIS.

Although the same applies if you go up against many other professionals - who are insured by the same insurers, Marsh, Royal Sun Alliance, let us say you want to sue your lawyer.

If you try and sue a lawyer, you will find your lawyers are insured by Marsh & RSA, your crooked lawyer and their lawyers will be insured both by Marsh & RSA, the Sheriff or Judge in your case is a subscribing member of the Law Society of Scotland and this is also be insured by Marsh & RSA, and several of the Scottish Courts Service staff, as well as the Auditor of the Court, have similar insurance arrangements.

I think anyone would agree there is a problem in that - a client is fighting a system where everyone except the client, pays into the same insurance arrangement the client is trying to claim against.

There is certainly a conflict of interest, which time & again, prevents negligence claims against crooked lawyers from ever getting a fair hearing.

How can a member of the public go into court when everyone except themselves is insured by the same insurers and ALL except themselves will benefit if their claim & case are dismissed !!

Most people would call that a fit-up.

Lawyers will take cases on because they make money from Legal Aid but you will NEVER GET TO COURT.

Try complaining to the Law Society, a waste of time.

I know I have been there.

I would not complain to Jane's Commission either.

Anonymous said...

If I may suggest :

All of your readers and anyone with a bit of experience trying to claim from either the Master Policy or Guarantee Fund should now contact the SLCC at the Stamp Office in Edinburgh and ask how they can participate in this super secret survey just to make sure there are genuine cases to be looked at instead of hand picked by Marsh/Law Society.

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 27 April 2011 16:09

Certainly, please send it to me via scottishlawreporters@gmail.com and I will look into publishing it.

# Anonymous @ 27 April 2011 21:30

I agree ...

# Anonymous @ 27 April 2011 21:33

An excellent idea ... remember to let them know where you read about it ...

Anonymous said...

What a good idea calling up Jane to ask if we can all be part of her closed shop little survey where bad news is most definitely NOT welcome!

I'll ring in tomorrow!

Frederic said...

In case you have not noticed Jane all the dissident websites are there because your idea of regulation does not work.

The only time you lot break sweat is to cover up what lawyer scum do to the public. I went everywhere, Law Society, the court, other lawyers, MP's, MSP's and Ross Harper solicitors were not even questioned how they handled my case.

Do you get a bonus from Royal Sun Alliance for protecting lawyers because by doing so RSA will never pay out.

Imagine a court system where the public were always found guilty and lawyers exonerated no matter how damming the evidence against them.

By protecting lawyers, none can be trusted. Where none are guilty of corruption all are, and in my opinion that also means you.

Calling suicide victims frequent fliers shown how much prejudice emanates from the perpetrator. This compassionless bastard is the legal profession throughout. I know what I would do to him but Peter could not publish it.

Anonymous said...

The Law Society and SLCC are the ultimate in consumer persecution, these scumbags would gas clients who complain.

Anonymous said...

Do we have a Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee? It seems to me the parliament always end up kissing lawyers asses.

Anonymous said...

I have no faith in the legal system or the professionals who work there.

I know there is difference in the way clients and lawyers are treated. This Commission and the Law Society are safe houses for lawyers so that they can abuse clients as they want with no reprecussions.

The loyalty these people have mean they can do anything and get away with it. It is a sad and dangerous situation for any client to deal with these criminals.

Anonymous said...

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information laws have revealed that in the 2009-2010 financial year, remuneration & expenses claims dished out to board members alone amounted to a staggering £158,329.04p yet after three years of existence, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has yet to contribute to a single prosecution of any solicitor.

These legal people are not fit to be involved with law. Fucking criminals is what they are, a mafia indeed.

The politicians need shot, they codone this corruption.

Anonymous said...

‘One complaint upheld’, 928 more sent back to Law Society & £1.8million spare cash : Scottish Legal Complaints Commission's 2010 annual report.
--------------------------------
This is the self regulatory justice from the gansters that spill out of our universities to steal from clients. A law student seeing this must rub their hands with glee.

Anonymous said...

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS FROM THE E BAY

Thank you for leaving Feedback for 1 transaction. Your Feedback helps keep the eBay Community informed and safe.

A LITTLE ALTERATION FOR LAWYERS CLIENTS


Thank you for leaving Feedback on your lawyers conduct.

Your Feedback helps keep the client Community informed and safe.
---------------------------------
Thank you for leaving Feedback on your dealings with The Law Society (Master Policy) and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

Your Feedback helps keep the client Community informed and safe.


Screw the Law Society and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

Anonymous said...

What is happening here is the same as when I reported a corrupt GP in South Lanarkshire.

As you said Peter they all sit on each others committees to keep matters secret from the public. The NHS manager I dealt with was more corrupt than the GP I reported.

Foolishly I once thought these people were honest (well doctors are meant to be honest) but I can assure you there are circumstances when patient confidentiality is a myth because in my case no lawyer would take my GP to court, no NHS manager would help me, they are a law unto themselves.

Here are the facts for all NHS patients out there. I still have the documents. I was sane on the forms sent to the benefits agency, and had been seeing a consultant psychiatrist in the medical records sent to the court.

This was the work of my GP of 30 odd years. He covered up my injuries and lied to the benefits agency about me mental health. He could not produce the psychiatrist I was meant to be seeing because he or she did not exist.

Fortunately you are exposing these scoundrels for the corrupt circle of deviants they are.

You know what shocked me the most, not only what my GP did to me but that he expected me "to put this corruption behind me". He expected me to trust him again.

Who has the mental health problems here? The guy is a medically qualified freak.

Anonymous said...

This SLCC, their mendacity knows no bounds.

I think the Scottish Legal mafia could engineer any outcome they want, even murder if they control forensic science. It is all about control.

Do they control the police, scientists, if they leave clients ruined to protect lawyers, would they send an innocent member of the public to prison and let the real murderer if it was a lawyer go free?

Juries act on evidence presented to them by lawyers, if lawyers, expert witnesses are a team they can get a conviction against the innocent. In other words they can engineer the result any way they want.

I do not think it is far fetched, they do not care about client suicides.

No values mean they are evil and they are. We do not only have a court service, we have a secret service surrounding anyone in the establishment.

Anonymous said...

And all the while Alex Salmond, Kenny McAskill and John Swinney 'fiddle' while Scotland burns.

Anonymous said...

I watched the MSP party leaders tonight and switched the TV off.

Not much point in voting for any of them.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the lesson learned is this SLCC are as much a protection racket for bent lawyers as is the Law Society.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr Cherbi my solicitor told me to read your blog and I am not disappointed.I've learned more about the legal profession in one sitting than I could listening to some of the rubbish coming out of the tv these days!

Anonymous said...

Well Mr Cherbi my solicitor told me to read your blog and I am not disappointed.I've learned more about the legal profession in one sitting than I could listening to some of the rubbish coming out of the tv these days!
===============================
Yes and Messrs MacAskill, Salmond and the rest never speak about lawyer corruption on television. I can sympathise with lawyers who try and do well for their claints but I would burn the rest.

MacAskill never has sympathy even for clients who commit suicide, if he did his actions would end self regulation.

Anonymous said...

Peter did you see the programme last night on BBC One about defamation cases in the English legal system. A friend told me it was about scientists being subjected to legal action for publishing their opinions.

It seems the delays in the English judicial system mirror the Scottish system in some ways, but if the powerful can silence people with little resources it is not good for freedom of speech, expression and democracy.

Chiropracters (spelling does not look right) apparently 25% of them provide false information on the effectiveness of their treatments a fact one of the scientists pointed out.

Anonymous said...

I will not vote for any MSP's this time round as I am at a loss regarding trust in politicians.

When I read your blog, and notice how selective they are on justice related matters, I may as well be voting for Douglas Mill for First Minister, I am sure he would get the job before any MSP's would repeal the Solicitors Scotland Act 1980.

Are the Justice Committee about justice for everyone or selective access to justice?

Anonymous said...

If I was a solicitor I would be furious especially if I did the best I could for my clients, but got tarred by the Penman's, Pritchards, Yellands, Millar's and Mills of the profession.

I must say one thing Peter, you certainly cut through all the Law Society and SLCC spin, and that is what the public need, good honest journalism. Good on you and your Diary of Injustice team.

Anonymous said...

I have been done also by three law firms still not one thing done by the so called Slcc through motgage scam my x is a lawyer not one lawyer to help me I even went to my MP turns out he is on the childrens panel as with my x