Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Crooked & The Crooked : Scottish solicitors claim banks & financial services ‘are historically too crooked’ to own Scots law firms

slasBanks are too crooked to own law firms, FSA is rubbish at regulation, say Scottish Law Agents Society. BIZARRE CLAIMS that High Street Banks and other ‘Financial Service Providers’ are TOO CROOKED to hold majority ownership in equally crooked Scottish law firms have emerged today in a response from the Scottish Law Agents Society to a Scottish Government consultation on proposed changes to the ownership of law firms as laid down in the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010, passed last year by the Scottish Parliament only after a raft of changes & amendments had been ordered by the Law Society to water down the Scottish Government’s initial proposals to expand Scotland’s closed shop legal industry.

The Scottish Government consultation on which categories of regulated professionals other than solicitors should qualify to meet the 51% ownership requirement in the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 has caused fierce bickering within the Scottish legal profession over their decades old control of Scotland notorious closed shop solicitor dominated legal profession where members of the public who require access to justice or the courts are forced to go solicitors who are members of the Law Society of Scotland.

Today, amid the fears of lawyers the financial industry will come into Scotland’s legal profession and scoop up law firms, or even open their own and bring much needed competition into the legal services marketplace where solicitors have got used to charging sky high fees for doing very little work on behalf of their clients, the Scottish Law Agents Society issued a series of damning accusations against the financial services sector, essentially claiming financial services providers are historically too corrupt to own a majority stake in a Scottish law firm.

In a response to the Scottish Government consultation, the Scottish Law Agents Society claimed : “The financial services industry over the last 30 years does not inspire confidence in the professional standards in the industry. There have been widespread scandals with the mis-selling of endowment policies, personal pension plans, home income plans, precipice bonds and other structured investment products. Currently there is a further scandal with the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.”

The same is true of the legal profession in Scotland. Solicitors have spent decades mis-selling legal services to clients who end up paying extortionate fees for useless and often unsuccessful litigation.

The response from SLAS continued : “The key to each of these scandals is the selling of the products. Notwithstanding the veneer of professionalism the old adage that financial products are sold and not bought remains true. The whole culture of financial services remains one of sales rather than the provision of professional services where the professional puts the interests of the client ahead of his own interests. The regulatory scheme which has applied since the Financial Services Act 1986 has done little to curb this culture.”

While it is true regulation may well have done little to curb bad practice in the financial services sector, it is equally true regulation in the legal services sector, provided in Scotland by the Law Society of Scotland, Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal & last but not least, the Faculty of Advocates, has collectively done little or nothing to curb the incessant corruption, client rip offs, negligence, dishonesty and bad service which continues to plague Scotland’s legal services sector today.

The statement from SLAS also attacked the Financial Services Authority, claiming : “The present regulator of financial services is the FSA and, despite its wide ranging powers, the provisions of the Legal Services (S) Act 2010 with tests of fit to own and fit to manage are not sufficiently robust to allow us to have confidence that the public would be protected from a sales culture approach which could lead to the mis-selling of legal services.”

It should be noted the response from the Scottish Law Agents Society fail to contain any references to many Scots law firms who are themselves caught up in similar scandals of mis-selling of mortgages & financial products and even legal services to clients who are then forced to lodge complaints with the Law Society of Scotland and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. Unsurprisingly the Law Society & SLCC are reported to be ignoring such complaints.

While SLAS went onto cover themselves by stating : “It would degrade significantly the intended benefits of the Act and indeed the rationale for liberalising the provision of legal services if regulated professions were restricted only to those of Solicitor and Accountant”. Although it would require approved regulators to evolve and enforce robust “fitness for involvement” tests, it would be inconsistent with the purpose of the Act to deny the opportunity to participate in the provision of legal services to other regulated professionals.” the response indicated they would be happy to form “associations between solicitors and surveyors or indeed any regulated profession as defined in Article 3 of European Directive 2005/36 with one exception“, that exception being the Financial Services Industry.

I am not surprised solicitors are happy to form associations with the likes of surveyors.

Law firms forming associations with surveyors is something I’ve seen first hand in Edinburgh and particularly in the Scottish Borders, usually ending up in a very corrupt arrangement where surveyors dish out fraudulent valuations to house buyers or sellers or solicitors on behalf of executry estates of deceased clients, resulting in one particular case I remember where a single solicitor ended up owning twelve properties, some purchased through middle men after it took years to sell particular properties of deceased clients which ended up being sold in some cases for a quarter of their value during the property value boom between 2000 – 2008.

The response from the Scottish Law Agents Society also came down hard on will writers & confirmation agents, stating : “Will Writers and Confirmation Agents are not professionals. At present they require no proper education and training. The qualifications needed to do that work properly requires the same training that solicitors receive. A full training in and understanding of the law on all aspects of property law, succession, taxation etc, are required to offer proper advice. It is obvious that no one should offer services in Will writing and Confirmation without current practising solicitors trained in that area.”

SLAS continued : “Furthermore we note that there are no adequate mechanisms for consumer complaints to be made and investigated free of cost to the consumer and no evidence of adequate professional standards or disciplinary procedures. There is evidence of widespread consumer detriment in the quality of services provided and in the marketing practices of will writers.”

Clearly standards must be kept, but with the ever increasing amount of fraud by solicitors against executries & wills in Scotland, reaching into the tens of millions of pounds each year or by some estimates much more, I hardly think trusting regulation of the legal services market to the likes of the Law Society of Scotland and the remains of the current self-regulation of solicitors gang, including the SLCC, will do anything to improve regulation, increase public confidence or increase consumer protection in Scotland’s best-to-be-avoided legal services marketplace, even after terms of the much-watered-down Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 takes hold.

The Scottish Government were asked to comment on the SLAS response and their accusations against the Financial sector. A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "The Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 will modernise the Scottish legal profession, and will offer firms of every size the flexibility to adopt a business model that works for them and their clients. It will give Scottish firms greater opportunities, within a robust regulatory system, to expand and compete effectively, both within and outwith Scotland.”

"The consultation in question sought views on those who should be permitted to own a majority or controlling share in the new licensed legal services providers. All responses will be analysed and considered along with other evidence before a decision is taken. A report on the consultation will be prepared in due course, and will be available on the Scottish Government website.”

We are therefore left to ask ourselves as consumers of legal services, are banks & financial services providers too crooked to own outright a law firm, or is it just these law firms are themselves too crooked to want anyone else to own them or compete in their markets ?

Judge for yourselves on the evidence aplenty already reported on Diary of Injustice, although you may be forgiven for coming to the conclusion neither of the professions can really be trusted with our financial or our legal & justice needs.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

This would be like one drug running gang taking over another drug running gang right?

Anonymous said...

If I wrote what I think should happen to the sleazy scumbag lawyer who probably stole the 12 houses off dead people you wouldnt be able to publish my comment and anyone supporting some scumbag lawyer who steals houses is a scumbag themselves and well the same applies as I said before.

SELF REGULATORS ARE NUTTERS said...

Banks are too crooked to own law firms, FSA is rubbish at regulation, say Scottish Law Agents Society.
================================
Well this beggars belief, but the self regulators do lost touch with reality and are hypocrytes.

Where money, reputations and potential scandals are a possibility self regulation keeps everyone clean. A lawyer calling banks crooked is what I expect. I am convinced self regulation creates mental problems, not illness but deep seated attitude problems. I see the pattern again and again.

Look at Mr Douglas Mill who lied to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee dispite the fact the claimant against the Master Policy had a legitimate claim, Mill was determined to kill the complaint off. Justice Mr Mill is about fairness, and your idea of the latter is F**k the client.

A doctor who phoned the police and said a parent on the TV news had murdered their child. For Christ's sake only a nutter would do this, and if anyone watched the programme called "A Very Dangerous Doctor" the man never blamed himself. I am convinced these people are shaped by their training because when all goes wrong it is always the patient or client who needs the psychiatrist. In my opinion they are out and out loonies in powerful professions. Their power goes to their heads, so much they lose ballance if they ever had it.

All human beings including me make mistakes but accusing parents of murdering their kids is potentially dangerous. Kids need protection but so do parents from doctors who think they are gods, and infallable.

Self regulation creates mental health attitudes of denial.

Anonymous said...

Law firms forming associations with surveyors is something I’ve seen first hand in Edinburgh and particularly in the Scottish Borders, usually ending up in a very corrupt arrangement where surveyors dish out fraudulent valuations to house buyers or sellers or solicitors on behalf of executry estates of deceased clients, resulting in one particular case I remember where a single solicitor ended up owning twelve properties, some purchased through middle men after it took years to sell particular properties of deceased clients which ended up being sold in some cases for a quarter of their value during the property value boom between 2000 – 2008.

I understand what you say perfectly This is kind of experience you have is invaluable to your readers and stop it happening to anothers

Anonymous said...

For the avoidance of any doubt there is no outfit more crooked than the Law Society of Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Yet these same law firms SLAS are allegedly speaking for do a great deal of business with the financial sector and probably a few dirty deals as those you eluded to with the surveyors.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are just as crooked as the banks are no doubt about it probably in league with each other anyway except this time when it doesnt suit because of BUSINESS AND MORE MONEY GRABBING FROM POOR CLIENTS

Anonymous said...

Trust neither.
When Fred Goodwin was giving his evidence to the Treasury Committee he admitted he had no banking qualifications only an LLB so lets face it a lawyer ruined Scotlands biggest bank!

Anonymous said...

Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) The SLAS exists to promote the interests of lawyers and solicitors in Scotland so their website says.

This is just another protection racket for crooked lawyers and the legal profession.How many of these creepy protection clubs do lawyers have anyway? Also I see the Legal Defence Union are mentioned on their website the same people who made sure legal aid plundering lawyers got away with no criminal charges for abusing legal aid!

Anonymous said...

From one of your earlier postings : Richard Keen QC said in “The Firm” article which you can read here : Reasons to be cheerful : “Are there any prospects for growth in the present environment? I would predict that over the next 12 months we are almost certainly going to see a substantial increase in the identification of loan fraud related to buy to let projects. I would not be at all surprised if this came to dominate claims on the Master Policy and the Guarantee Fund.”

Who are the fraudsters now?

I trust my bank a lot more with my money than a lawyer!

Anonymous said...

Not much surprise to hear surveyors are crooked.I've seen dodgy valuations on properties many times and suddenly they are snapped up on the cheap by some local builder and then ends up in the hands of a lawyer.Your Borders lawyer who owns 12 properties is nothing to what goes on in Edinburgh or Glasgow.I know one who owns over 30 properties and strangely enough he's also being investigated for mortgage fraud by the Police.

Anonymous said...

Spot on about lawyers ripping off wills they are complete scum as the second comment says and anyone supporting house stealing should be sent to jail

Anonymous said...

No doubt the Law Society of Scotland will welcome their 'friends' in the financial sector (e.g. Marsh etc) with open arms.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure this is the kind of publicity SLAS intended for their announcement :D

Anonymous said...

Lawyers and banks which are the biggest thieves of the 2?
I say lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Who are the Scottish Law Agents Society and what do they do? Is this another Law Society operation?

Anonymous said...

A very interesting viewpoint Mr Cherbi and you are quite correct.There are some glaring omissions in the SLAS response which call into question their objections to ownership partners.

WHERE ARE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES said...

A profession calling anyone crooked when they can provide any level of legal service is beyond me.

Listen lawyers in a construction context a clerk of works prevents contractors using poor quality concrete for foundations, ans structural reinforces concrete columns. Samples are taken off every lorry and left to cure in steel cubes for 30 days. Then they are crushed to ascertain if the mix meets the design standards.

If there are faults in the building after the architect has issued the Certificate of Practical Completion, the defects liability period kicks in to protect the client. When lawyers are crooked who checks the quality of their work. Other lawyers like Douglas Mill. In a million years self regulation will never work. In construction design defects are patent remember the suspension bridge they collapsed but in law corruption is latent because if a client has a thousand letters against his lawyer a Douglas Mill will make sure he keeps working and the client remains ruined.

Lawyers are bastards, but give them credit, they are also wonderful educators. We the victims are driven to warn others, we who have been educated by a corrupt legal mafia.

Self regulation protects criminals who should be jailed. If Mr O'Donnell was an aircraft designer who got it wrong and killed a crew and passengers would he have designed another aircraft?

Imagine lawyers calling anyone crooked.

Anonymous said...

The Law Society and all things legal hate Peter Cherbi. He cuts through the self regulatory fog and reports on facts the lawyers want to keep secret.

I urge all members of the public to be careful and wary of lawyers, and their cesspit called the Law Society of Scotland. They have a nasty habit of thinking clients assets belong to lawyers and the Society and SLCC are worse, they have an equally nasty habit of protecting their thieving colleagues.

If Jane Irvine is reading this what would you do Jane if you were ruined by a lawyer? To be honest I am sure you do not care but of course you are on the wrong side on the line. It is some justice system that protects lawyers at the expense of clients. Non fit for purpose if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

This is a nonsense they are as bad as each other and the more you expose it the better

LAWYERS ARE DEVILS said...

A civil war between the wealthy so that our so honest Scottish lawyers can keep screwing clients. Dire Straits wrote a song the title of which applies to lawyers "money for nothin" and cover ups for free.

That is the Legal establishment all over. Lawyers need self regulation so that they can avoid working for a living. Poor legal service is the norm because there is always a Douglas Mill or Phillip Yelland somewhere to wipe the complaints slate clean and exonerate the lawyer.

Keep up the good work Peter, you and your colleagues report on the reality, on the diseased minds of the Law Society and SLCC who cannot investigate lawyers because of their intense prejudice against clients. No servant can serve two masters, and as long as self regulation continues no client should trust any lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Burke and Hare stole and made cadavers, lawyers steal cadavars assets.

Reminds me that Austin Lafferty said something about his ideal client was a wealthy old lady. Christ Austin at least wait until she is cold. What a stupid thing to say, but a least he was honest, a trait not there in most lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Law firms forming associations with surveyors is something I’ve seen first hand in Edinburgh and particularly in the Scottish Borders.

I was a surveyor and many of them are scumbags just like lawyers who like to make arrangements for robbing clients. Trust none of them.

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your comments so far on today's article.

Tonight I was contacted by [lets call them a Law Society insider] who said SLAS are doing the Law Society of Scotland's bidding in their response to the Scottish Government's consultation on law firm ownership.

The insider claimed the Law Society itself does not wish to be seen to criticise banks & financial service providers therefore the issue was left to others to put forward, and the Law Society will tacitly support the SLAS response now, and more strongly nearer the time when a decision is to be reached by the Scottish Government.

So it would appear politics is alive & well in the legal profession .. particularly when it wants to get its own way on ownership of law firms while also restricting new entrants into the Scottish legal services market which may endanger Law Society member's profits ...

Personally, I have to wonder why anyone or any company would want to go into a business partnership or even ownership arrangement with some of Scotland's law firms when the level of honesty & quality of legal services provided to clients is so low, and so untrustworthy ...

Anonymous said...

Well look on it this way Peter - Criminals are usually attracted to criminal enterprises so we will know not to do any financial business or any kind of business at all with companies who go into partnership with crooked law firms and there are plenty crooked law firms in Scotland.

Anonymous said...

My father said years ago there would be much suffering due to the sell off of houses. He said it was fine as long as a persons health and job were secure. No job or illness the insurers could get around and bye bye house.

He was also right about lawyers who would line their pockets due to conveyancing but if he survived physical death I wonder what he thinks now? He did not trust people in powerful occupations and as an adult I can see he was right. His attitude was the greater the level of power the greater the need for strick regulation.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers calling anyone else crooked after all they've done to people!
They are at the top of the crooked pile!

Anonymous said...

Correct.
SLAS are acting as a mouthpiece for the Law Society on the abs debate and I think you'll find this is not the first time what your "source" informed you of has ended up being played out with the Scottish Executive.

Anonymous said...

No doubt with legal aid payments downgraged - in Glasgow if not Edinburgh - and nationwide distrust of the Law Society of Scotland, solicitors everywhere will welcome the safety net offered by a financial sector 'sugar daddy'.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine a bank going into business with Robertson & Ross? hahaha

Anonymous said...

I noticed today a couple said the government was not doing enough to protect children when they left theirs in a flat alone.

I believe they do not think doing this is wrong, they blame everyone, police not doing enough, politicians not doing enough. Would the police launch an investigation after encouragement from the Prime Minister if the father was a drain layer and the mother a carer?

I do not think they are doing anything wrong trying to find their child but they should never have left them in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember in the Lockhart story one of his clients had been to his office 17 times no doubt all on legal aid and yet no movement on the client's case.

That has to be a case of mis-selling legal services to the taxpayer presuming it was paid for by legal aid yet now we have lawyers accusing the banks of mis-selling.

SLAS are nothing but a Law Society Mk2 and thank god we have Peter Cherbi to expose these twisted people and their little groups for what they are (crooks)

Anonymous said...

Something fishy going on here that's for sure because I have a complaint into the Law Society about my lawyer helping himself to my current account over a bill he said was due when it wasnt because he hadnt done any of the work he said he did and when I complained to the bank they tried to cover it up so if you want my opinion both are as crooked as each other.

BE GOOD TO YOURSELVES AND NEVER TRUST A LAWYER said...

Anyone who trusts a lawyer after reading this blog and others on the web must be a fool indeed.

These lawyers are just line bank robbers, they steal but complain about it and you will find a wall of resistance. They want to keep it that way, hence the accusation banks and financial services are crooked.

Lawyers you are corrupt evil vermin without values. Now banks and financial services are bastards too, but the most ruthless evil bastards are the legal profession. If civil engineers designed bridges the way lawyers fight for their clients, the bridges would fall apart.

Trust no scumbag lawyers, without exception every lawyer is the same.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work as usual Peter.
I imagine you hear lots of things you probably dont even write about but anyway I'm grateful you continue to debunk these ploys of the legal profession to keep justice for themselves.

Anonymous said...

More reasons to stay away from lawyers!

Anonymous said...

I like your title!

Nothing in the newspapers about it despite everyone including lawyers having a go at the banks.Very strange.

WHO CONTROLS THE PRESS IN SCOTLAND said...

Is Mr MacAaskill like Dr Goebbels? Oh I do not mean Mr MacAaskill is a murderer, or even capable of genocide, that would be very wrong. What I mean is that the press are being controlled. Who is silencing freedom of speech and expression Mr MacAskill about the Socttish Legal Establishment, any superinjunctions been granted by Lord Hamilton? No mention of Peter's latest article in the press.

All the more reason for the rise in dissident websites against a profession who seem to control the press. When vested interests control the public space for expression politics begins to be compromised because free speech and expression is what politics is about.

Anonymous said...

If you know anyone dealing with any law firm tell then to Google "Crooked Lawyers". A search of this sort will make clients think twice.

ALL LAWYERS ARE MR MILL'S said...

Look at Mr Douglas Mill who lied to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee dispite the fact the claimant against the Master Policy had a legitimate claim, Mill was determined to kill the complaint off. Justice Mr Mill is about fairness, and your idea of the latter is F**k the client.
==================================
What can I say, Mr Mill if you are an adult you will appreciate that if you were in the claimants shoes would you want trust lawyers? Of course not. You see I detest you and your profession. Mr Mill I am trying to reach you mentally because people are getting ruined and you and Scotland's lawyers do not care.

What self regulation does is protect criminals because they hold certain degrees. Don't talk to us about Contract, Delict, Agency law. Do not patronise the public. You are an educator Mr Mill, you and your band of criminals have educated thousands of clients and your education resulted in your resignation from the Law Society, and the creation of websites like Peters, he regulates.

It is fine for you Mr Mill, what you accrue over your working life will not be stolen by teflon criminals. Self regulation allows people like you to cover lawyer criminality in the private sphere, where the public face a trial in the public sphere of a Sheriff or other type of court.

Lawyers believe clients are cabbages, not true. When you receive a claim against the Master Policy you think save the lawyer and RSA. You are everything rotten about the Scottish Judiciary, a law unto yourselves.

Lawyers hate the people they make their living from, you clients should remember that because bedind the desk of every lawyer sits a Mr Mill, who will only represent you if your case does not affect another lawyer.

Anonymous said...

In my experience the people most likely to accuse others are corrupt themselves. Accuse away lawyers, if the shoe fits.