Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AVOID THE BIG R.I.P-OFF : Make sure you choose someone capable & honest as your Executors instead of a THIEF or a CROOKED LAWYER

Avoiding crooks after death : Law Society of Scotland solicitors make the worst Executors possible. NOVEMBER, the month of writing wills according to the Law Society of Scotland, whose members are engaged in their annual campaign to persuade their clients and the vast uninformed swathes of the general public to write a will, and, name a lawyer as their executor to ensure a ‘perfect execution of your last wishes’.

However, the ‘perfect execution of your last wishes’ when a client takes the idiotic decision to make their solicitor as their Executor, is very far from perfect for those you leave behind, as the normal pattern which follows is the solicitor acting as your Executor empties your bank accounts & sells your possessions to line their own pockets.

Choose someone better qualified to be your Executor is a claim often bandied about by the legal profession, who, lets face it are there to sell themselves and their services, not do you a favour just for the hell of ensuring what you leave after death is passed onto those you want to leave it to. The list of reasons why you should appoint a professional will be long, incredulous, corrosive, divisive, and in some respects, just plain full of lies to get you to sign up to a dodgy will written in a lawyer’s office, witnessed & signed by one of their own colleagues or secretaries, naming themselves as your Executor. Don't do it. Whatever you do, do NOT choose a solicitor as your Executor.

I am not going to sit here and give you examples of how some dead rich celebrity who thought they were being clever by appointing people close to them along with a ‘professional’ as executors will help you avoid a rip off, because well, it doesn't help. In fact, appointing one of your intended beneficiaries or say, a loved one, along with a solicitor or other professional to act as two Executors of your will, can do even more harm when both begin to battle with each other when, for instance, it is discovered the lawyer decides to help themselves to your money instead of passing it on to your family, The result of such a dual appointment often ends in a negative value of your remaining estate after your oh-so-trustworthy solicitor turns into a shark, intentionally burning up all your remaining assets to fight the other Executor for control of your remaining estate.

Speaking not just as a journalist but also as a victim of the sheer greed of the legal profession & the Law Society of Scotland, simply put, don't appoint a lawyer as your executor. Those you leave behind as beneficiaries will regret it, and I can assure you they will be treated to the horrific Andrew Penman & Norman Howitt experience which happened to my family. You can read all about this here : The Andrew Penman Crooked Lawyer Experience & The Norman Howitt Crooked Accountant Experience

Some basic tips about who to appoint as your Executor and what to say in your will to limit anything which you do not want to happen.

For an Executor, choose someone you feel your family and beneficiaries will trust, or at least they like. In most cases a will is divided up between partners & children or relatives, so choose your remaining partner and one of the children as Executors. If you choose two Executors, at least there are checks & balances on both. Choose someone who will not side with one against the other, or use their position for their own ends to generate huge fees (as a lawyer usually does) for their own work as your Executor.

Now the question of fees.

Within your will, you can easily set financial limits on who should be paid how much to wind up your estate or carry out work as your Executor. This is a good idea to put it down in writing how much, if anything your Executors should be paid. If for instance, your Executors are also beneficiaries, it may well be they do not require payment because they are going to receive the bequest you made them in your will.

At some point, unfortunately, your Executors may require the services of a solicitor or a bank for certain documents regarding your finances but these services should not be strung out for months & years just because a lawyer wants to fatten up his wallet.

To avoid a rip-off if your Executors need to use a solicitor or bank, a good idea is to set strict limits on how much should be paid out of your estate for any legal fees, so you limit how much a lawyer can plunder from your finances. After all, you don't want to leave your money to your solicitor do you, you want to leave it to y our family, right ?

Now, where to store your will.

Obviously you should make several copies of your will. Your Executors should be given copies, or at least told where they can obtain a copy of your will, if, for instance you choose to store it in a safe deposit box at a Bank or with someone who can be trusted.

Often another ruse of the legal profession is to claim they will store your will for free. However, this is simply, a lie. Your solicitor will charge you on a yearly basis for storing your will, property titles and other documents. If they don't you can be sure they will charge for all those years of ‘free storage’ when they come to administer your will, by inflating their fees exponentially.

A case last year which was drawn to my attention of a will, stored for free for ten years, turned out to be not so free when the solicitor charged the estate a whopping TEN THOUSAND POUNDS for ten years of storage. As there was nothing written into the will to say it had been stored for free by the solicitor, the family fought the fee demand but were forced to pay, after an expensive court action. As you see therefore, lawyers have an answer to everything when it comes to money.

Being an Executor is too difficult, it must be done by a lawyer – says the lawyer !

Don't listen to the legal profession about the winding up of an estate being incredibly complicated and the position of an Executor being so frightening it can only be performed by a solicitor. This is all nonsense. There are many people out there each year who manage to navigate the maze of winding up an estate without the need to use a lawyer. Its much cheaper, it usually ends up settled more amicably, honestly and without the five, ten or fifteen years of fuss a lawyer may make of it, just to keep sending in bills for work he never did.

Earlier this year I reported on how the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) had exponged the myth that writing a will meant it was required to appoint a solicitor as an Executor, in an article here : Where There’s A Will There’s A Crook : OFT say choose your will writing service wisely, consider costs, avoid making a solicitor your executor

Here’s what the OFT had to say back in February 2011 :

  • Consumers making a will should not be led to believe that appointing a professional executor is essential or the norm.

  • Consumers should not be encouraged to appoint a professional executor unless it is clearly in their best interests.

  • Providers should be satisfied, before the will is drafted, that the consumer has the information necessary to make an informed choice. The consumer should understand the options around executor appointments and be aware of the likely basis of charging for the professional executor service.

The OFT reminded consumers there is no requirement in law to appoint a professional executor, although, according to a survey published by the OFT last year, some 43 per cent chose to appoint (usually through ignorance) the same professional will-writer or solicitor who wrote their will.

While the costs for preparing a will can be relatively modest, the costs for a professional executor to administer an estate can be high and vary considerably. For an average estate, consumers can pay between £3,000 and £9,000. Failing to shop around for executor services could be costing UK consumers around £40 million a year, according to OFT estimates.

You can read my earlier coverage about wills here : You and Your Will

An article I wrote in 2009 covered extensive examples of fraud committed by lawyers & Executors against wills : Consumer warning on wills : Don't make your lawyer your executor as soaring cases of 'will fraud' show Law Society closes ranks on complaints

Over the six years of this blog, some readers have come to me asking me to be their Executor. I have refused. It is simply not feasible for me to be an Executor to a hundred wills.

However, in one case recently, the two Executors of a will of a friend came to me for help, as they could not reach an agreement on a particular transaction. I was happy to talk to both, at no cost. There is no cost because I have already been through this experience. After our talk, the two Executors resolved their differences and the property involved in the transaction was sold for a higher value than the suspiciously lower value presented to them by a solicitor. The family received what had been left to them without further worry.

Lets call it, free mediation, backed up by the possibility if the two Executors had not resolved their difficulties, headlines would have ensured they did, as my primary concern was of course for the remaining family as beneficiaries who had been put in the unenviable position where one Executor had been poisoned by a crooked lawyer out to buy up what he hoped would be a cheap house. It felt good to protect another family from a lawyer led rip-off and it doesn't cost anything to prevent a fraud, really. It was a service, and a duty, to a friend. I would encourage others to do the same.

Incidentally, some people might wonder why the not-so-merry month of November is designated as a good month by the legal profession to run will writing campaigns. Well simply, as one solicitor told me, its because old people tend to die off in the winter, or there are more fatal accidents during the winter. Lovely people aren’t they .. the legal profession who come up with all this kind of stuff. If you take my advice you will steer clear of them when writing up your will. They are not in it for you, they are in it for themselves, and when it all goes wrong, the Law Society of Scotland and the equally prejudiced complainer-hating Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) will be of no use to you at all.

Where there's a will there's a crook - Sunday Mail November 28 2010One of the most important things you need to remember is, where there is a will, there is a crooked lawyer from the Law Society of Scotland. So, when you come to write your will, don't appoint a THIEF or a CROOKED LAWYER (or as someone recently asked me A BANK) as your sole Executor. Those who you leave behind don't need to live through yet another horror story after having to get through your death. A free guide from Citizens Advice Scotland on Will writing is HERE although I must admit there is a lot of rubbish in the guide such as naming solicitors & banks as executors which is just a complete no-no in the 21st Century. Just make sure you miss out any of the parts which suggest you need to appoint a solicitor to do this or that, at horrendous cost to your estate and your remaining family.

If you want to discuss with others, issues about wills and problems in writing wills or problems with Executors, I would encourage you to visit the Consumer Action Group forums and participate. If there is an issue or a problem with a will in Scotland involving crooked Executors or crooked lawyers which you feel should be published, please contact me via scottishlawreporters@gmail.com

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

A timely reminder, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sound advice Peter.
After what I've read of your own case I will never allow a lawyer anywhere near what is left of my own money.
They are proper robbers all of them!

Anonymous said...

Good advice you wont see on BBC Watchdog who have been on air since 1980 according to Wikipedia yet I cannot once recall ever seeing bent lawyers stealing from their dead clients wills!

Actually I cant recall ever seeing a crooked lawyer on Watchdog in all the programmes I ever saw of it!Odd or what!

Anonymous said...

What you said here "Within your will, you can easily set financial limits on who should be paid how much to wind up your estate or carry out work as your Executor. This is a good idea to put it down in writing how much, if anything your Executors should be paid. If for instance, your Executors are also beneficiaries, it may well be they do not require payment because they are going to receive the bequest you made them in your will." is probably the best advice I have EVER heard for writing a will.Its probably worth millions to people just to realise they can write this and what a simple excellent idea.Very good of you to make us all aware of these tricks Mr Cherbi.

Anonymous said...

Well its nice to know you are out there Peter and can bang heads together to get a settlement for a family even with the rat lawyer trying to steal it from under them.

Good on you is what I say!I might come to you when its my turn to turn my toes up!

Anonymous said...

I bet lawyers are thieving even more from their dead clients now they are short of money the filthy scroungers that they are - its about time we all stood up to this kind of rip off

Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned the Law Society of Scotland or England can f*ck off they are not getting my money I'd rather my wife burned it than hand it over to any lawyer.

Good work exposing it.

Anonymous said...

How much do you reckon these hoods steal from their dead clients each year?

Anonymous said...

If anyone has any sense after reading this they will go round to their lawyers and rip up their will to avoid the impending rip off.

Anonymous said...

Those who you leave behind don't need to live through yet another horror story after having to get through your death.

Yes Peter, they will end on the Law Society Misery go round like we all have.

What we have in this country is a group of people called lawyers who through self regulation blurr the like of legality and illegality.

By the way, Solicitors for Hell being removed from the internet is an assault on freedom of expression so that lawyers can keep their Burke and Hare ways, but they do not dig up bodies, only the money.

Never trust lawyers.

Never trust the Law Society mafia said...

The Law Society removing Solicitors from Hell means one thing, lawyers are more dangerous to clients than they were.

The judge who is behind this is antidemocratic. The site was working for clients, losing law firms money.

Solicitors from Hell will manifest itself again, and stuff Hudson's cohort of self regulators.

If anyone believes the Law Society will treat them without prejudice, the way this site has been closed, they need a shrink.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you all if any bastard lawyer robs my family after I am dead I will come back to hound them forever!

Anonymous said...

Who controls access to the courts.

Who protect each others backs.

Who can steal with impunity.

Who murders clients for profit.

Who is trying to control the internet.

Lawyers, do not want your feedback, only money from your suffering.

The Law Societies will argue they are God like honest. Why then are they so terrified of feedback, they cannot stomach it on line.

These bastards only protect their own. There are black holes in astronomy and black holes of despair for people who trust lawyers. They are a ruthless calculating evil profession and you are a fool if you trust one of them.

End of Sermon.

Peter Cherbi said...

@ Anonymous @ 22 November 2011 22:05

In Scotland alone, I'd say anything between £30 & £60 million a year ...

# Anonymous @ 22 November 2011 18:39

Spread the word please !

Anonymous said...

I feared the website was directing people in real need of help away from professionals best placed to assist them.”

Is the quote from Hudson? The website was directing people away from legal criminals who know they can rob, steal, cover up injuries, because there is always a Douglas Mill at the Law Societies to start the misery go round where lawyers are cleared and clients ruined.

Solicitors from Hell rise and fight the tyranny you were exposing, Rick Kordowski failed to sue Hudson, Judge closed SFH, Not enough admissible evidence to prosecute lawyers involved in legal aid fraud, Douglas Mill lies to Justice Committee. Does anything ever go in the clients favour?

They are crushing freedom of expression so they can carry on their criminal ways. Hudson is fooling one person, himself.

WHAT THE LAW SOCIETY WILL NOT TELL YOU said...

Law Society of Scotland Master Policy an arrangement to make sure lawyers can steal your loved ones money and get away with it.

Making a claim and proving negligence can be complicated (WRONG IT IS IMPOSSIBLE ALL LAWYERS SHARE THE SAME INSURERS AS THE LAW SOCIETY) and you may need to ask a solicitor for assistance. (JESUS CHRIST THE LAWYER HELPING YOU WILL BE INSURED BY ROYAL SUN ALLIANCE JUST LIKE THE LAWYER WHO RUINED YOU). Many claims are resolved by negotiation. (WE BELIEVE YOU LAW SOCIETY) Where negotiations fail, you may need to raise court proceedings, (THE SHERIFF IS ALSO INSURED BY ROYAL SUN ALLIANCE) in which case the court will decide the outcome of your claim. (THE COURT IS A BENT AS THE LAW SOCIETY .THEY WILL DESTROY YOUR CLAIM BECAUSE ALL OF THE LAWYERS PAY INSURANCE PREMIUMS TO THE COMPANY YOU ARE CLAIMING DAMAGES FROM). There are time limits that apply to claims for negligence. (THREE YEARS TO SCREW LEGAL AID AND COVER EVERYTHING UP). After the expiry of those time limits, you may be unable to make a claim.

YOU CANNOT CLAIM, OH THEY WILL TELL YOU YOU CAN SO THEY CAN MAKE MONEY BUT YOU WILL GET £0.00, A LIFELONG PRESCRIPTION FOR PROZAC.

THE LAW SOCIETY WEBSITE NEVER TELLS THE PUBLIC THE INSURANCE ARRANGEMENTS FAVOUR LAWYERS AND ARE AGAINST CLIENTS.

YOUR KIDS INHERITANCE IS STOLEN THE THEM TO SAY BYE BYE, THEY WILL GET £0.00 GUARENTEED.

Anonymous said...

A VERY BAD DAY FOR THE INTERNET

After battling the legal crooks who have utterly controlled every other form of media the 'Solicitors from Hell' website run by Rick Kordowski has been sabotaged and forcibly removed from the internet. If there is ANY doubt as to who is trying to now control the free flow of information across the net it is as we have warned for so many years the legal mafia trying to shut down any site that dares challenge their complicity to commit crimes that have remained undetected because of a complaint media that is censored by media lawyers and controlled by the law society's and ultimately the Inns of court and UGLE in London.

The internet is being squeezed of its ability to warn the public that it is the legal mafia NOT as the 'OCCUPY' movement suggests the bankers who are destroying the world's economy as it is THEM and THEM alone that devise the dodgy contracts that have seen millions of people and trillions of dollars wiped off the face of the earth and into THEIR coffers.

Anonymous said...

The Law Society of Scotland are a criminal organisation.

They protect crooked Scottish lawyers

They do nothing to protect the victims of crooked Scottish lawyers, in fact they do the opposite.

You do not need to use a Scottish lawyer.

Why would you do something so inherently risky that could damage your health and wealth with no perceived benefit over using a safer alternative?

Ask for your Will back from your lawyer (see if they send it back - they won't, because that is money already spent 'in their mind')

If you get into a dispute (divorce/business/etc) then negotiate with the other side and be prepared to be generous in the settlement in the knowledge that any settlement you do arrive at will be loose change as compared with paying Scottish lawyers fees on top of any settlement.

If you approach a lawyers office in the high street - cross the road to the other side.

Do not risk purchasing property through or selling through a solicitor, there are alternatives.

Do not invest money through a solicitor, there are alternatives.

Do not comply/cooperate/acknowledge any Scottish court.

It is a self serving cartel, operated and run by people who are unmonitored, untrained, unnaccountable and exist to cause you damage.

They cannot claim to serve the public anymore. They exist as a self serving entity to keep the legal industry in employment.

Anonymous said...

Peter's advice about limiting fees & expenses is spot on - The OFT should adopt it as they seem to have done with the rest of what you have been saying for years

Law Societies and SLCC manifestations on Legal Hell said...

I can assure you all if any bastard lawyer robs my family after I am dead I will come back to hound them forever!
===================================
With web sites like Solicitors from Hell being targeted the Law Societies and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission are more dangerous. The courts will not close the SLCC because they have taken no action against one single lawyer since October 2008 when it opened.

What we have here are complaints bodies hell bent on protecting lawyers, all they care about. It is no accident that injustice is endemic in these bodies but they see client web sites as dishonest.

Lawyers are a disturbingly out of tune profession who can sleep well knowing the Law Societies and SLCC are there to protect clients. If I was a lawyer stealing people's life savings I would be looking backwards all of the time.

Hand your money over to your family as far as possible, do not leave them to suffer legal hell dealing with Nazi's in suits.

Anonymous said...

In Scotland alone, I'd say anything between £30 & £60 million a year ...

A massive fraud no wonder its being overlooked - I bet a lot of people in high places are benefiting from this personally!

Anonymous said...

Dead clients are easy meat for lawyers due to the fact there's no one left to complaint oh yes the family or beneficiaries can complain the lawyer stole everything but we all know what happens to these complaints the Law Society boot them into the long grass the lawyers gets away with stealing millions and the families of the dead get sod all and even turfed out of their own houses and its all given legal backing by the courts so no one can touch them

Honestly you are better off spending everything or giving it to your family before death because once these scum lawyers get their hands on it you've had it folks

Anonymous said...

It is a self serving cartel, operated and run by people who are unmonitored, untrained, unnaccountable and exist to cause you damage.

LAWYERS ACTIVITIES IN CIVIL LAW AT LEAST ARE OUTSIDE THE PUBLIC SPACE WHERE A LAWYER FROM HAMILTON GOT PROSECUTED FOR DRINK DRIVING. I HAVE MET THE MAN AND HE SEEMED TO BE MORE FRIENDLY TOWARDS CLIENTS THAN OTHERS I HAVE TALKED TO. BUT
WOULD I TRUST HIM? NEVER.

THEIR UNACCOUNTABILITY UNDERPINS THEIR CRIMINALITY.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers should not be allowed anywhere near a will in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Pleased to report the following to you Peter

I took my laptop round to a friend today and showed him your site and this advice about wills.He called up his lawyer while I was there and told him he wanted to cancel his will and then a furious argument broke out when the lawyer started shouting down the phone at him saying "it is illegal to cancel a will"

My friend realised right away the lawyer would have done the same to his will as you said in your blog so we both went round at 4pm to the lawyer's office and told the secretary we were not leaving until my friend was given his will back.She came out of his lawyer's office with the will and a few papers and threw them at our feet we picked them up and walked out it was a spectacle I wish I could have photographed for you.

If you dont mind I am going to print out your advice and hand it around some friends in the hope they take care the same and my friend today says to tell you thank you very much for now setting his mind at rest.

Best regards from an admirer

LAWYERS HATE PUBLIC FEEDBACK said...

Law Society of Scotland Master Policy an arrangement to make sure lawyers can steal your loved ones money and get away with it.
===================================
Law Society drive clients to suicide, the farmer who shot himself with a shotgun when Philip Yelland told him to go to lawyers to sue his original lawyer. But Yelland did not tell the farmer the new law firm representing him was a member of the legal defence union there to protect lawyers.

Imagine these people calling any member of the public a criminal. It beggars belief how mentally warped they are. They are evil incarnate, and I think they enjoy all the suffering they cause because not one of them stands up and says it is wrong.

Would you trust a drug dealer to handle your will if you could? Drug dealers get prosecuted in Scotland, corrupt lawyers get protected.

Your life savings get entrusted to an individual who is a member of a profession YOU CANNOT SUE IN COURT so what protection do you have? Make no mistake the lawyers will empty your bank account faster than the gravediggers dig your final resting place. Do not leave a battle for your family over your assets they will not win. Lawyers are legalised theifs £30, to £60 million in Scotland. You want an example

See

http://www.bentjudges.com/

also see http://www.intmensorg.info/rogues.htm

A VERY BAD DAY FOR THE INTERNET

After battling the legal crooks who have utterly controlled every other form of media the 'Solicitors from Hell' website run by Rick Kordowski has been sabotaged and forcibly removed from the internet. If there is ANY doubt as to who is trying to now control the free flow of information across the net it is as we have warned for so many years the legal mafia trying to shut down any site that dares challenge their complicity to commit crimes that have remained undetected because of a complaint media that is censored by media lawyers and controlled by the law society's and ultimately the Inns of court and UGLE in London.

THEY CLOSED SOLICITORS FROM HELL BECAUSE THEY WANT TO STEAL YOUR KIDS INHERITANCE AND DRIVE THEM TO SUICIDE IF THEY TRY AND CLAIM A PENNY IN DAMAGES.

Anonymous said...

Hudson from the Law Society of England and Wales said about Solicitors From Hell web site

"I feared the website was directing people in real need of help away from professionals best placed to assist them.”

Well Hudson here is how I interpret your statement,

I know the website was driving law firms out of business and your legal mafia closed it because the Law Society protects lawyers at all costs. GET REAL FOLKS, HUDSON DOES NOT WANT ANY PUBLIC FORUM SO HE WANTS TO KEEP COMPLAINTS WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE LAW SOCIETY SO THAT LAWYERS WHO PAY FOR THEIR PRACTICING CERTIFICATES
CAN KEEP FUNDING THE LAW SOCIETY WHEN THEY SHOULD BE IN JAIL.

MOST OTHER BUSINESS WANT PUBLIC FEEDBACK. WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IS THE SAME AS E BAY BEING RUN WITHOUT THE FEEDBACK FACILITY. SELLERS COULD SELL JUNK UNTIL SOMEONE SET UP A FORUM TO EXPOSE THEM. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE, THE LAW SOCIETY WANT NO PUBLIC FORUMS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO COVER UP FOR CROOKED LAWYERS. HUDSON HAS SHOT HIMSELF IN THE FOOT AS OTHER SITES WILL RISE WITH SOLICITORS FROM HELL.

GOOD MAN RICK KORDOWSKI, GOD BLESS YOU.

Anonymous said...

A suitable antidote to some bs written by a lawyer I read in one of the rags a couple of weeks ago

If you want to pass something on do it when alive instead of letting some scumbag lawyer take it for themselves

Hudson hates public dissent said...

Hudson shut the Solicitors from Hell so lawyers can ruin clients. They want to stop clients meeting up to share their experiences.

They dont want public feedback about lawyers. So we now have to assume every law firm in Britain are Solicitors from Hell. The bad are now mixed with the good.

They are all bastards, if you trust them you deserve all that you get.

Anonymous said...

Your advice is very interesting Mr Cherbi

If everyone decided to limit the fees to a lawyer or executor this will save everyone all over the UK a lot of money and at the same time limit the ability of lawyers to rip off wills.

I congratulate you on your persistence hope one day you get some reward for it and for keeping all of us warned against crooked lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Howitt and Penman should be in jail for what they did and they would be if they werent lawyers and accountants

Anonymous said...

Dead clients are easy meat for lawyers due to the fact there's no one left to complaint'

Please note there is nowhere to complain to other than the Law Society and SLCC safe houses. Complaints systems against lawyers are as dead as the client.

Anonymous said...

Dead clients are easy meat for lawyers due to the fact there's no one left to complaint'

Please note there is nowhere to complain to other than the Law Society and SLCC safe houses. Complaints systems against lawyers are as dead as the client.

Anonymous said...

If ever a profession deserved the title of "human filth" lawyers are it.

Anonymous said...

Having read the comment at 17:39 I can assure you it is not illegal to cancel a will (assuming it is your own will)

I like your advice Mr Cherbi.It should hit the legal profession where it hurts most - in their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Here's one who was supposed to be jailed for 11 years however I doubt he served much if anything of it!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2885617.stm

Jail term for crooked lawyer

A lawyer who embezzled money from his clients to fund his extravagant lifestyle has been jailed for 11 years.

Alastair Hall, from Perthshire, stole about £500,000 worth of cash and shares, often from elderly clients and used the money to pay for shooting and fishing weekends.

The former Territorial Army major also stole a valuable Robert Burns book which ended up being sold to the National Library of Scotland.

Sentencing Hall, 46, at the High Court in Edinburgh, trial judge Lord Wheatley said he regarded the catalogue of offences as being the "worst of its kind".

The court heard that Hall, a father of five, spent about £2,000 on a weekend's shooting or fishing and had an expensive taste in antiques.

He also alleged that his father was a rear-admiral in the Navy when in fact he was a petty officer during his National Service.

Lord Wheatley said: "It is very clear that you have over a period of many years profoundly abused the position of confidence and trust which you held as a solicitor."

"There is no question but that you systemically looted the accounts of a number of your clients, some of whom were elderly clients, who had clearly given you their complete confidence.

"The essence of what you did was to steal this money to maintain a standard of living you would not otherwise be able to afford," said the judge.

Hall, formerly of Kingseat, Bridge of Cally, in Perthshire, and Stafford Street, Helensburgh, in Dunbartonshire, had admitted five charges of embezzlement, two of fraud, a theft, a bankruptcy offence and failing to appear for his trial last year.

Anonymous said...

Imagine these people calling any member of the public a criminal. It beggars belief how mentally warped they are. They are evil incarnate, and I think they enjoy all the suffering they cause because not one of them stands up and says it is wrong.

Would you trust a drug dealer to handle your will if you could? Drug dealers get prosecuted in Scotland, corrupt lawyers get protected.

Your life savings get entrusted to an individual who is a member of a profession YOU CANNOT SUE IN COURT so what protection do you have?

23 November 2011 18:55
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Scottish lawyers and the Law Society of Scotland despise the Scottish public.

We are beneath them, nothing but common people, who's only role in life is to service them.

The rules of society are for us, the taxes - for us, the hard work - for us, the sacrifice - for us, the inequity - for us.

All of our hard earned - for them

Anonymous said...

I am constantly asked about Wills, right I'm going to be quick...

This is important so listen up.

The most important thing about Will or about anything else financial is go to somebody you trust.

Number 1.

So you are wasting your time going to a Scottish Lawyer right, because we are talking about trust, right.

So only use a Scottish lawyer if you don't mind gambling all your money away.

Martyn Lewis

Anonymous said...

There is no way of you knowing anything about your Scottish Lawyer.

There is no way of you comparing one Scottish Lawyer against another Scottish Lawyer.

It is considered insolent for prospective clients to enquire along these lines about a Scottish Solicitor.

We are treated as dumb fools and expected to pay 1st class fees for a 2nd class service.

As far as I see it, the Law Society of Scotland is not complying with its statutory role and is forcing an ill-disciplined, poorly trained, inconsistant of standard, over-charging and unnaccountable Scottish solicitor on us the public and the time is coming for a moratorium, where we are all going to completely avoid Scottish lawyers

Scottish lawyers, bad for health and wealth