Friday, November 25, 2011

New brooms or new stooges ? MacAskill appoints 4 more board members at £212 a day each for 5 years to anti-client Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

slcc openingJustice Secretary Kenny MacAskill swells the anti-client law quango SLCC’s board. KENNY MACASKILL, Scotland’s Justice Secretary has today appointed two lawyers George Clark and Ian Leitch & two non-lawyers Ian Gibson and Samantha Jones to positions giving a daily remuneration of £212 each plus expenses & other benefits lasting FIVE YEARS to swell the already burgeoning board of the anti-consumer Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), the scandal ridden law complaints quango created in 2007 as an ‘independent’ offshoot to the Law Society of Scotland whose pitiful, often corrupt performance as the self regulator of Scotland’s legal profession saw case after case where lawyers covered up for each other after solicitors financially ruined their clients by virtue of fraud, theft or negligence, or in other cases, had been accused of stealing MILLIONS OF POUNDS of taxpayer funded legal aid and escaped any criminal prosecution.

Margaret Scanlan - Called to the Bars - Sunday Mail  15 March 2009 emailRevelations in Called to the Bars saw more consumer hate at the SLCC than consumer protection. Since the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission took over as the ‘single gateway’ for complaints against Scotland’s growing numbers of crooked lawyers, it has spent more time insulting clients than chasing after crooked lawyers. In last year’s annual report by the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal (SSDT), itself a lawyer organised quango with little oversight, the SSDT’s Chairman revealed there have been no recommendations made under the legislation which created the SLCC to prosecute ANY crooked lawyer as a result of complaints made by clients, a story reported by Diary of Injustice in an earlier article here : Law complaints quango Scottish Legal Complaints Commission 'a failure' as Discipline Tribunal reveals no prosecutions of crooked lawyers in two years

The SLCC’s poor record on recommending prosecutions is amazingly even worse than the rare prosecutions of crooked lawyers before the SSDT which are carefully stage managed by the Law Society of Scotland’s own complaints regime to give an appearance of effective regulation when in fact there is none.

It was also revealed in last year’s annual report the SLCC had, again, as it has done in each year since 2008, sent most complaints back to the Law Society of Scotland for investigation, and had only ever upheld one single complaint against an unnamed crooked lawyer, reported by Diary of Injustice in January of this year, here : ‘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 third round of appointments to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in 2011, where in the first case, the Justice Secretary was forced to give a lawyer only job to one of the Scottish Government's own lawyers because no one else wanted it, reported in an earlier article by Diary of Injustice here : Poisoned Chalice : MacAskill forced to parachute Government’s own lawyer onto Scottish Legal Complaints Commission after Advocates shun job offer

Later in March of 2011, a second round of appointments were made to the SLCC by Kenny MacAskill, reported in an article here : One more ex-cop for anti-client Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as Justice Secretary hands out five year quango jobs at £212 per day

The new intake of board members to the lavish expenses claiming domain of the SLCC’s Board will join its ranks already populated by quangocrats with several job each, lawyers & former senior Police officers who between them already soak up mammoth personal expenses of over £150K a year in remuneration claims. The SLCC is funded by a levy on all Scottish solicitors which is ultimately recouped from client fees which, excluding the usual fraud, overcharging & false accounting have rocketed in recent years to support failed projects such as the SLCC.

All four appointments made today by Kenny MacAskill will be for five years and will run from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2016. All four of appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £212 for a time commitment of up to six days per month, announced in a Scottish Government Press Release : Appointments to Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Mr Clark is a property and private lawyer. A practising solicitor since 1974 and a partner in Morton Fraser LLP for 31 years. He was also chairman of Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre Ltd for 13 years and a non-executive director of the Scottish Rugby Union. He is currently working as a consultant with Morton Fraser and is the Senior Independent Director of Scottish Building Society and is also chairman of its Nomination and Remuneration Committee. Mr Clark brings professional standing and strategic development skills to the Board along with a broad range of experience in conveyancing and working in the public and private sector.

Mr Clark is a member and chair of Private Rented Housing Panel with a remuneration of £315 a day.

Mr Leitch has a local government and parliamentary legal background. He recently took early retirement from his post as Assistant Clerk/Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament. Previously he was Director of Resources and Governance at the Parliament. In local government he served as a Depute Chief Executive and council solicitor to a unitary authority. Mr Leitch also served as a Justice of the Peace for a number of years. Mr Leitch brings strong performance management skills as well as a background in public law and civic engagement experience.

Mr Leitch does not hold any other ministerial public appointment.

Mr Gibson has wide experience in public, private and voluntary sectors. He was Regional Director of the Scottish Ambulance Service for four years and the Director of Macmillan Cancer Relief Scotland and Northern Ireland for nine years. As a board member of the Care Commission he sat on the Complaints Review Committee. He is currently a consultant for Lloyds TSB Foundation of Scotland, the independent chair of the Highland Adult Protection Committee and a board member and vice chair of NHS Highland. Mr Gibson brings strategic and performance development skills to the Board along with extensive experience from the public, voluntary and private sector.

Mr Gibson is a member and vice chair of NHS Highland with a remuneration of £10,785 per annum.

Dr Jones has a degree in Law from the London School of Economics and a Doctorate in Social-Legal Studies from the University of Oxford. Between 1992 and 2000, she worked at the Ministry of Defence and Northern Ireland Office. From 2000 until 2010, she worked at the Scottish Parliament, initially as Clerk to the Standards Committee and latterly as Programme Manager of the Parliament's HR Change Programme and Corporate Change Programme. She is now currently a self employed Landscape Photographer who has her own business on the Isle of Mull. Dr Jones is also a consultant and her most recent project was the Aros Hall Feasibility project which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government, the BIG Lottery and LEADER. Dr Jones is also Chair of Mull Theatre Ltd and a Volunteer Crew Member on the Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat. Dr Jones brings good customer focus skills to the board along with experience of strategic and organisational improvement.

Dr Jones does not hold any other ministerial public appointment.

The SLCC was established by virtue of the Legal Profession and Legal aid (Scotland) Act 2007. Its main functions are to resolve complaints alleging inadequate professional service or negligence by legal practitioners, to refer complaints which allege professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct to the relevant professional body and to promote good practice in complaints handling. It has achieved none of these aims and has left consumers of legal services in Scotland in an even worse position than they were before in dealing with complaints against ‘crooked lawyers’.

A legal insider commenting on the latest appointments to the SLCC said he “did not expect the law quango to improve from its traditionally mediocre performance on complaints”, and branded the SLCC “.. an expensive white elephant with plush offices its work level does not justify”.

Speaking to Diary of Injustice this afternoon, a client with a complaint which has been bounced back & forth between the SLCC & Law Society of Scotland several times simply described the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as “thoroughly prejudiced against clients” and “a rubber stamp for crooked lawyers”.

No comment has been issued by anyone from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission at time of publication.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

In court this would be called rigging the jury.

Anonymous said...

Stooges!

Anonymous said...

Speaking to Diary of Injustice this afternoon, a client with a complaint which has been bounced back & forth between the SLCC & Law Society of Scotland several times simply described the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as “thoroughly prejudiced against clients” and “a rubber stamp for crooked lawyers”.
=================================
A group of criminals with all of the power to lie, steal ruin people and be exonerated to go for more innocent victims.

How can these people have anything to do with right and justice? I detest lawyers for the vermin they are.

Anonymous said...

4 more board members at £212 a day each for 5 years

Nice job.

When exactly did the SNP resolve the f*** financial crisis we are in to be handing these kinds of jobs out and why is there no pictures of these high earners in the Press Release?

Anonymous said...

The SNP, Scotland's greatest error of judgement in years.

Anonymous said...

This why we need A Diary of Injustice and Solicitors from Hell.

Bureaucracy is always protective of itself where criminals of a like mind distort fact to serve their own ends.

Anonymous said...

Speaking to Diary of Injustice this afternoon, a client with a complaint which has been bounced back & forth between the SLCC & Law Society of Scotland several times simply described the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as “thoroughly prejudiced against clients” and “a rubber stamp for crooked lawyers”.

A client could send a million letters of complaint and get nowhere. People are dealing with intense hatred when they complain to the SLCC.

Reforming Complaints Handling Cathy Jamieson, you had no intention to protect clients, that is why you tried to close Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers. That asshole MacAskill is the same.

Anonymous said...

Set up Solicitors from Hell type web sites all over the net, to bypass these scumbags.

Anonymous said...

Mr Clark is a member and chair of Private Rented Housing Panel with a remuneration of £315 a day.
Mr Gibson is a member and vice chair of NHS Highland with a remuneration of £10,785 per annum.

Why do this pair need another job to add to the collection?

Also how come someone with a degree in law,background in the MOD and Standards Committee at the Scottish Parliament (HAHA I LAUGHED SO HARD AT THIS) can be a NON-LAWYER presumably a LAY member of a law complaints regulator?

Anonymous said...

And despite all the bs this bunch are supposedly bringing to the SLCC in five years time it will be the same fuck up as it is today and has been since October 2008.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
In court this would be called rigging the jury.

25 November 2011 15:57

Yes it is rigging a jury!

Anonymous said...

Well pointed out Peter.
I called up the SLCC about their public funding which they denied receiving however Scottish Gov confirmed your version of the two million poured into the SLCC.
This idiot on the other end told me lawyers now pay for it and not the public so when I asked 'and how do the lawyers get their money to pay for it' the phone went dead.

Clearly its clients who are having to pay for these excesses because lawyers are not going to fund it out of their own back pockets are they.

Anonymous said...

a daily remuneration of £212 each plus expenses & other benefits lasting FIVE YEARS

BLOODY DISGUSTING THERE IS A RECESSION GOING ON NURSES AND TEACHERS LOSING THEIR JOBS NO PENSIONS LEFT AND HERE WE HAVE MACASKILL DISHING OUT MORE CUSHY JOBS TO FRIENDS AND LAWYERS AGAIN

Anonymous said...

Another MacAskill joke but don't worry Peter no one in the real world has any regard for the SLCC after your marvellous write ups and exposes of their corruption.

What I am surprised about this time around is MacAskill didn't find another retiring cop to stick on the SLCC!

Anonymous said...

17:03

and also Scotland's first dictatorship

Anonymous said...

So with all these astounding qualities why are these people now at the piddling last chance Scottish Legal Complaints Commission?

I too find it very odd someone with a legal background can be called a lay member although after reading the SLCC's website I see another of their supposedly lay members is a qualified barrister!

Anonymous said...

More jobs for the boys & girls and to those who are saying there's no pictures on the SLCC website of them well its obvious they want to hide their faces in case someone goes up to them and asks why they are doing sod all about crooked lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Walter Semple should take them to court again to stop us poor clients and his poor solicitor colleagues from being ripped off by the SLCC expenses spongers?

Anonymous said...

I agree this salaries are disgusting at a time of public service cuts all over the country.

Do these people have no shame? Why cant they go and do something else instead of feeding off clients who cant even meet their doctored up legal bills?

Anonymous said...

I like how MacAskill's Press Release says one of them gets £315 a day for being chair of a Private Rented Housing Panel while another gets £10,785 a year from the NHS

So is the Private Rent getting a lot more than the other one and it was just too much to mention or what?

Why is all this going on anyway? Clearly the SLCC is just a piece of bollocks if all its done has upheld a single complaint and spends most of its time in court or feeding its board members via their expenses sheets.

May as well shut it down and put the money to better use rather than lining the pockets of more lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Who is MacAskill chatting to in the piccie?He looks pleased with himself.Also any clues about who the old duffers & hangers-on are in the background?

Anonymous said...

If MacAskill started looking at me like that I'd run the other way,anyway these salaries are utterly disgusting as is the person who allows it.MacAskill doesnt give a toss of course which is why he stuffs it in a misleading press release just like all the other rubbish coming out of the Scottish Exec.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think these 4 new recruits will solve the SLCC's credibility problem?

Not a chance.Peter sunk the SLCC Pirate ship before it left harbour to sink all of us (well done Peter)

Its ironic the man who most people probably trust to be on the SLCC isn't. I've already read Peter's comments why (because it is a Law Society fit-up) and fully support him.

Anonymous said...

So more of the same client hating SLCC'ers just waiting to lick the arses of lawyers coming through their doors right?

Anonymous said...

May as well shut it down and put the money to better use rather than lining the pockets of more lawyers.

25 November 2011 21:43

Yes.Of course this gives a demonstration where the SNP's real priorities lie.Giving our money to lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I thought the SLCC Board was to have a MAJORITY of lay Board members who had no attachment past or present to the legal profession, something that appears to have been conveniently
'forgotten'....along with very many client complaints.

Anonymous said...

Revelations in Called to the Bars saw more consumer hate at the SLCC than consumer protection

Yes and what a disgusting set of comments from someone supposed to be on an "independent" regulator of bent lawyers.

Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

They upheld one single complaint and shipped the rest back to the Law Society?
What is this SLCC is it like some ned on the street that sells drugs for the kingpin behind the curtains?

Where did the £1,8m come from?
What a crooked set up no wonder its never in the headlines for kicking out crooked lawyers!

Anonymous said...

The SLCC sounds like its just another club for lawyers to pat themselves on the back - at least people know by reading this blog not to trust any of its rubbish investigations when it only manages to find one bent lawyer guilty

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
17:03

and also Scotland's first dictatorship

Yes exactly and Lord Hamilton and his cohort of criminals stuff the man in the street because the SNP are the Scottish Nazi Party with a dangerous majority and the Scots like sheep following their shepherd Salmond. He is in bed with those running the country, The Law Society of Scotland.

The tyranny of the minority, politicians and lawyers abusing ordinary Scots who for money and power.

Anonymous said...

Correct Peter it is the clients who are being ripped off to fund these jollies at the SLCC

Anonymous said...

I dont want to say the name of the paper however I called up to speak to a journalist about my complaint to the slcc and the mess they made of it deliberately so they could avoid doing anything about the lawyer and he told me there was no way it would get past his editor because he is quids in with the Law Society and he told me to read your blog What do you think of this?

Anonymous said...

The public sector strikers should picket the offices of the SLCC and all these other quangos getting these kinds of jobs well they would if they were honest about striking wouldn't they?

Anonymous said...

They will be expected to show their loyalty to MacAskill in return

Anonymous said...

Well the best way to avoid the crooked SLCC is to find some other way of dealing with crooked lawyers isn't it and the best way to avoid being ripped off by a crooked lawyer is to stay the hell away from them !

Anonymous said...

Apparently the Law Society of Scotland is doing wonders for the restaurant trade in Edinburgh, with notable Edinburgh eateries showing a marked rise in trade over the past few years despite the recession.

Not only do they operate the Edinburgh Lunch Club (SSDT), who regularly choose to meet in Edinburgh but they have recently branched out with a new entity called the Edinburgh Supper Club (SLCC), which I believe have a few new members who presumeably are looking forward to enjoying their time of membership of five years feeding off the public's misery.

These fat-cats have gorged themselves on the big fat lies told by their Scottish lawyer friends, have no problem in swallowing the deceitful untruths, given to excuse the conduct of their Scottish lawyer friends.

The things is that you would think that these gluttons for leniency would suffer from an indegestion and sickness of conscience for becoming so consumed full of bile and hatred.

Instead they just belch in our direction and say to us, 'pick up the bill pleb(ian)'

Anonymous said...

Surely the SLCC is an act of FRAUD?

Anonymous said...

What justification does MacAskill have for adding 4 new SLCC board members?

Does this mean that 4 board members are about to resign in mysterious circumstances/be sacked?

Anonymous said...

The SLCC have not failed as an organisation.

This implies that they are run according to the standards, policies and procedures, which the SLCC clearly is not.

The way it is being managed is literally criminal and is designed to defeat the ends of justice.

It puts a thin veneer face on a pernicious and all out attack by the Law Society of Scotland against Clients for having the timerity to want to have human rights observed.

The Law Society of Scotland viciously despise all clients, look down on them and believe that an ideal Scottish Client for a Scottish lawyer should be to put-up, shut-up, speak-to only when spoken-to, not-to question, not-to expect speed, not-to expect politeness, not-to expect any money & not-to expect to win your case, even if you have absolutely incontravertible evidence

Anonymous said...

In view of your apparent fame and work on complaints I'm bound to ask why you are not on the SLCC?

Anonymous said...

I had a look at the SLCCs website tonight and they are listing 16 board members!Must be a huge expenses bill there..

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your comments & emails on this article.

Additionally, thanks to those who sent in comments regarding their complaints with the SLCC which relate to specific law firms ... these comments have not been published however they will be investigated in due course.

# Anonymous @ 27 November 2011 18:33

The name of that newspaper & journalist please ...

# Anonymous @ 28 November 2011 17:44

The SLCC is controlled by the Law Society of Scotland and funded by a great deal of fraudulently obtained money from clients .. now why would I be at such an organisation which has no credibility and simply exists to rubber stamp the Law Society of Scotland's grip on regulation of the legal profession ...

# Anonymous @ 28 November 2011 20:02

The current board (8 members) will demit office at the end of December, having taken around four years worth of expenses claims for the SLCC's achievement of very little ...

# Anonymous @ 25 November 2011 18:35

Jobs for the boys & girls ...

# Anonymous @ 28 November 2011 00:51

I'm sure they already have ...

The clear message coming out of the SLCC since its creation in 2008 is that it cannot be trusted to protect consumers from crooked lawyers.

For those of you asking advice on how to approach the SLCC regarding your complaints against solicitors, you would be well advised to assume the SLCC is hostile to you from the outset.The evidence of their own board members hostility towards the public is a clear enough indication of how anti-client the SLCC really is.

Anonymous said...

The clear message coming out of the SLCC since its creation in 2008 is that it cannot be trusted to protect consumers from crooked lawyers.

For those of you asking advice on how to approach the SLCC regarding your complaints against solicitors, you would be well advised to assume the SLCC is hostile to you from the outset.The evidence of their own board members hostility towards the public is a clear enough indication of how anti-client the SLCC really is.

If I may Peter?....

I would go straight to the police with your report and ask them to investigate, stating your reason that the SLCC is a criminal organisation, totally against the rights of the Client, with the complete confidence of being able to prove this statistically (due to the impossibility for the SLCC to justify, under law, the massive reduction in Scottish Lawyer Prosecutions/Findings from the old system to the new system), also that the SLCC is stuffed full of ex-Law Society of Scotland employees. (Independent?, Impartial?, Transparent?.)

Anonymous said...

If you 'submit' a complaint form to the SLCC, you are saying that you are completely happy for them to handle your complaint.

Before you do this, you may wish to ask yourself:

a) Why statistically have there been almost zero decisions in favour of the Client?

b) Are they independent?

c) Are they impartial?

d) Are they fair?

e) Do they employ ex-Law Society of Scotland staff members?

f) Have the Law Society of Scotland cynically bought off the Government, to put into place a fake public body (SLCC), in an attempt to change the perception of the clients of crooked Scottish lawyers (those who are left alive) to complain, when in reality the Law Society get to continue to practise their dark-arts as per usual (but with the sting in the tail - that they do it even more pernitiously with intent to cause harm under this new guise, as they now can claim plausible deniability. i.e That was nothing to do with us your honour, that was the SLCC that done-it...Is that not so Mr Walter Semple?)