Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Solicitors From Hell removed from internet as UK High Court grants injunction to Law Society of England & Wales to censor client reviews of lawyers

solicitors-from-hellUK High Court grants injunction to Law Society to remove Solicitors from Hell website from internet. SOLICITORS FROM HELL, the well known website which allowed clients to post online reviews in their own words of experiences with their legal representatives has been REMOVED from the internet after the Hon. Mr Justice Michael Tugendhat, sitting in the High Court in London granted an injunction to law firm Brett Wilson LLP on behalf of the Law Society of England & Wales, a so far unidentified law firm and a solicitor. The injunction, secured by Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori of Matrix Chambers as announced on Brett Wilson LLP’s blog, followed a successful application for judgment in default against Mr Rick Kordowski, the owner of the SfH website.

Speaking to Diary of Injustice earlier today, Rick Kordowski said : “The Law Society issued an application for 'default' judgment. Justice Tugendhat, after perusing many avenues with Hugh Tomlinson QC as to the most appropriate course of action to stop me publishing, including at one stage the Public Disorder Act, decided to issue the default judgment along with two injunction with immediate effect.”

Mr Kordowski continued : “"Of all the 'Acknowledgement of Service' forms I have sent to the court in the past, I find it 'strange' that the one relating to The Law Society's class action, had not been lodged”.

The Law Society of England & Wales have now issued a press release on the decision, however a source already commented : “.. some of its members were happy the website had disappeared from existence”

Lawyers & their grudges ? Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson Des Hudson the £400K-A-YEAR Chief Executive of the Law Society of England & Wales who pursued the SfH website through the courts at huge cost to members, commented in a Press Release : “This website has served simply as a vehicle for pursuing personal grudges and vendettas against conscientious and reputable firms and legal professionals. Far from being of any help to consumers, it has been a danger. Some excellent firms have been listed on the website, and exclusion from the site has more often than not been a matter of whether a firm has been prepared to pay a fee to have the listing removed. I feared the website was directing people in real need of help away from professionals best placed to assist them.”

While noting Mr Hudson’s comments, consumers have themselves, witnessed first hand the power of lawyers pursuing personal grudges & vendettas against clients who raise complaints with the Law Society of England & Wales & Legal Ombudsman (LeO), or in Scotland via the Law Society of Scotland & Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC).

Cases brought to the attention of Diary of Injustice over the years where lawyers have pursued personal vendettas & grudges against clients reveal instances of people being denied legal representation, being denied access to courts, being hounded by Police and other public agencies, coincidentally all occurring after a client had lodged a complaint against their solicitor. The grudges & vendettas all apparently helped along by equally prejudiced & vindictive officials at the Law Society of Scotland.

In on example, one elderly client who raised a complaint against their solicitor with the Law Society of Scotland, was threatened with having his pension taken away from him and being made homeless after his solicitor provided a false statement to Police & Benefits officials and the pensioner’s Housing Association, where a relative of the solicitor worked. No action was taken against the pensioner when all three agencies investigated the allegations and found them to be false. However, for some reason, the authorities took no action against the solicitor who provided the false information in order to intimidate his former client, and this same solicitor is known to have been the subject of many complaints to the Law Society including frauds against deceased client’s estates.

On a personal note, if Mr Hudson is looking for examples of lawyers pursuing personal grudges & vendettas against clients, there are many, usually involving the fabrication of evidence against former clients, or a more extreme example, where in one case a still-working solicitor asked one of his criminal clients to pour petrol through the letterbox of a client who raised a complaint about a £300K will fraud.

The Solicitors from Hell website has operated for a number of years, enabling clients of solicitors to write their own reviews of their lawyers work in their own words, something the Law Society of England & Wales have found difficult to accept, culminating in the Law Society’s use of the courts to silence the right of consumers to write about their own experiences and thus alert others as to the potential dangers of dealing with a solicitor or law firm which had already failed their clients.

A long campaign by the Law Society of England & Wales against the Solicitors from Hell website ensued, which at times drew highly personalised & bitter attacks on its owner, Mr Kordowski. In one now widely reported instance Des Hudson the £400K-A-YEAR Chief Executive of the Law Society of England & Wales was alleged to have branded Mr Kordowski “a criminal” after a BBC Radio debate with Law Professor John Flood, Additional coverage on the Law Society v Solicitors from Hell battle over naming & shaming 'crooked lawyers' has been reported by Diary of Injustice in earlier articles,, HERE.

A legal observer commenting on the decision branded lawyers use of the courts against consumers of legal services as“vile” & “degrading to free speech”. He said : “There is clearly a problem with the legal system when lawyers and their lobby groups can use the courts to prevent clients talking freely about the level of service they receive from their legal representatives.”

He continued : “The removal of Solicitors from Hell from the internet simply because a profession feared it was losing business because its clientele were able to write the gory details of how badly their solicitors handled their legal affairs is an attack on free speech and will rightly leave people even more suspicious about dealing with solicitors.”

An official from a well known consumer group, speaking to Diary of Injustice on the matter commented : “Whatever the rights & wrongs of the website, censorship is never to be welcomed in a democracy. With cases such as this, the perception of our legal system is that the courts are giving more rights to convicted criminals & terrorists than consumers who want to write about their own experiences in the legal world or alert others about the poor treatment they have suffered at the hands of the legal profession.”

While the Law Society of England & Wales, its members, and apparently the Law Society of Scotland are happy today over the demise of the Solicitors from Hell website, the legal action to delete SFH from public view, legal action which both Law Societies were planning to use in a similar way to deter the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) from naming & shaming ‘crooked lawyers’, reported by Diary of Injustice here : English, Scots Law Societies ‘team up’ in legal moves against “Solicitors from Hell” in bid to stop Legal Ombudsman ‘Naming & Shaming’ crooked lawyers.

Legal OmbudsmanLegal Ombudsman was to be subject of desperate personal attacks from lawyers in attempt to thwart official naming & shaming by LeO. Some within the legal profession of England & Wales have branded the Legal Ombudsman’s decision to name & shame lawyers & law firms who fail their clients as a witch hunt however, details of just how solicitors hoped to ‘persuade’ the Legal Ombudsman not to go ahead with a naming & shaming policy are nothing short of a witch hunt on their own, where material disclosed to Diary of Injustice indicated key officials from both the Scottish & English legal professions discussed angles of attack against the LeO which clearly inferred members of the Legal Ombudsman’s staff were to be subject to the same types of personal & public criticism by the legal profession against others who reported on ‘solicitors wrongdoings’ if the LeO went ahead with naming & shaming.

Attempts by the legal profession throughout the UK to persuade the Legal Ombudsman against naming & shaming ultimately did not succeed, with the Legal Ombudsman announcing last week it will be naming & shaming solicitors in certain circumstances, beginning next year in 2012, reported in more detail here : Scots to be ‘kept in dark’ on details of crooked lawyers while Legal Ombudsman’s ‘naming & shaming’ policy ‘will protect’ consumers in England & Wales.

A final message from Rick Kordowski on the Solicitors from Hell website, before it was ordered removed by the High Court stated : Your right to ‘Freedom of Speech’ - Preserved!

I would like to thank the dozens of authors who have taken the trouble to write and send in a Witness Statement confirming that what is posted on this website is true. I would also like to thank the lawyers and barristers who have contacted me offering their pro-bono help and expressing their concerns about the Law Society’s High Court action to have this website shut down.

However, past experience has taught me that regardless of how much evidence I present in the High Court to support my defence or claim, the judicial system will always side with the law firm, solicitor, or in this case The Law Society.

In order to secure the future of this website and your right to freedom of speech, I have decided to give the website away. The new experienced owners, who operate overseas, will be taking this site to the next level in terms of world wide promotion and ease of access by the public.

All current reviews will need to be re-entered and they will be posted automatically on a new style website (similar to TripAdvisor). Authors will be able to edit and update their listings at any time. Others can make further reviews and solicitors can post a response. Full rating system and the ability to upload evidence, to name just a few advantages. All totally free of charge and out of the reach of The Law Society of England and Wales.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for their previous support and kind words. Godspeed.

This article has been updated to include the Press Release from the Law Society of England Wales and additional material. It is very clear to this journalist from this situation, and all clients who have fell by the wayside before it, that a lawyer harbouring a grudge and pursuing a personal vendetta against clients who are forced to complain about the quality of their legal services, is most certainly a greater threat to society at large than any consumer advocate.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not allow clients to write their own views of their solicitors?Dont we live in a democratic society?

Where are all these so called Freedom of Speech organisations who leech donations from all & sundry and why are they not protesting about judgements like this?

Anonymous said...

Trafigura style legal gags ride again I see.Its a good thing the Law Society aren't dumping Nuclear Waste otherwise we would all end up bathed in radiation and not able to talk about it!

Anonymous said...

Just make sure the same doesn't happen to you Peter.

You are now THE only credible resource for legal stories in Scotland on a pro-consumer perspective and I do not say this lightly.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

#1
no we don't live in a democracy when it comes to lawyers as you can clearly see from this stupid injunction forbidding anyone saying something bad about a lawyer!

Anonymous said...

The Law Society in this instance and the Law Society of Scotland are stupid beyond comprehension to believe that they can continue to oppress the public with impunity.

This example is further overt proof (that may be reverted to in future court cases) that the Judiciary is not independent and impartial.

The legal fraternity's nefarious ways and the corrupt court system is a very badly kept secret.

We all know that the majority of you are crooks and that the silent minority either have long since given up fighting the system from the inside or have been intimidated into silence.

We had a tiny MP expenses correction.

We are commencing a minor newsmedia correction.

We are just beginning to enter into a major worldwide financial correction.

The biggest correction though will be to Lawyers and the Legal System which is the most insidious, evil and self serving industry ever known.

That rumble in the distance getting louder and louder, that wakes you up at night in a cold sweat....is not thunder. It is the sound of the feet of the charging masses, of the sons of all of those you have tricked and deceived out of their health and wealth....and they are centering in on YOU.

They will show you the true meaning of justice.

Anonymous said...

"where material disclosed to Diary of Injustice indicated key officials from both the Scottish & English legal professions discussed angles of attack against the LeO which clearly inferred members of the Legal Ombudsman’s staff were to be subject to the same types of personal & public criticism by the legal profession against others who reported on ‘solicitors wrongdoings’ if the LeO went ahead with naming & shaming."

I wonder how Adam Sampson feels about this knowing his own staff were going to be attacked by lawyers with a grudge against them?

Anonymous said...

Chin up everyone I'm sure the new website as Rick states will be taken to another level and remember there is more than one way to skin a cat united we stand divided we fall. One of my earlier comments where I advised my partner and I have two businesses in Dubai and have first hand experience of scottish law firms including the law society of scotland. Today in Dubai my partner was approached by one of our clients who owns 18 different outlets in the country who is desperately in need of local legal services and now will not be using any scottish lawyers. We must spread the word to stop their evil plans from taking off because if scotland doesn't want you neither does Dubai.

Anonymous said...

Bring on the new website.

Be brilliant for Scottish lawyers?

We want high definition Crooked Lawyer TV.

Current Crooked Lawyer photos, so that we know what they look like.

Crooked Lawyer Hi Def video apologies to their clients, where they have caused damage to them.

The site should also show-up these solicitors by publicising just how badly they damage their clients, whereby any client on reading the story can text in (nominal charge to run the website ploughed back into constant site updates) to vote on categories.

eg. There could be worst Scottish lawyer of the day award.

Worst Scottish lawyer of the week, month, year, decade & ever awards

Most reviled Scottish lawyer

Most morally bereft Scottish lawyer

Most deliberately obtuse Scottish lawyer

Most corrupt Scottish lawyer

Most sticky fingered Scottish lawyer

Most Scottish lawyer likely to have his granny spinning in her grave (like a V8 powered donner meat stack)

You get the picture?.....

Anonymous said...

Hooray for the Law Society! Another great win in order to silence the libellous masses. What a great day for british Justice

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 14:12

Too busy protecting their donations & hospitality functions I would imagine ...

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 14:25

Indeed yes ...

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 14:49

Thanks ... and in fairness there are some newspapers willing to report on such scandals ... you know which ones, and which to avoid (as some of you have already pointed out, the papers without circulation ...)

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 15:42

I'm sure they were well warned by the legal establishment what to expect so I doubt it will come as any surprise ...

A typical attack from disgruntled lawyers usually involves personal attacks against individuals and a long vendetta interdicting people's lives, jobs & finances ...

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 15:49

On the subject of Dubai, I've had quite a bit of intel on that IBA Conference the Law Society of Scotland attended ... it seems these people cant do anything without being watched, deservedly so, by the details provided !

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 16:03

I agree with all your points & ideas !

# Anonymous @ 16 November 2011 16:19

... and don't forget all the money they make from the libellous masses !

Anonymous said...

The Law Society of England & Wales legal pursuit of Solicitors From Hell has given it more credibility than ever.

How much did the whole thing cost?I think we have a right to know.

Anonymous said...

Your update

It is very clear to this journalist from this situation, and all clients who have fell by the wayside before it, that a lawyer harbouring a grudge and pursuing a personal vendetta against clients who are forced to complain about the quality of their legal services, is most certainly a greater threat to society at large than any consumer advocate

IS SPOT ON !

Anonymous said...

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

Really?

Well if we take your view as the norm the BBC website will have to be shut down because their coverage of the banking crisis will definitely put people off going anywhere near a British Bank and the Guardian will have to be shut down because of their video of Ian Tomlinson being unlawfully killed by a Policeman will most certainly put people off going anywhere near a Policeman.

Lawyers don't get very sensible quotes for £400K a year do they.

Anonymous said...

and these same people accuse countries like China of censoring the internet!No need to go that far we do it in Britain just as you all see here!

Anonymous said...

Nice to know SFH is coming back online and SOON I hope.
What will they do next time?Issue orders to disconnect the entire internet or blockade whichever country its coming from?

Anonymous said...

Tell me Peter does our idiot Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill support and admire (like he says he does with the legal profession) the still-working solicitor who asked one of his criminal clients to pour petrol through the letterbox of a client who raised a complaint about a £300K will fraud??

Whoever the scum is should feel the full force of justice and then some more of what cannot be mentioned.

Fancy a lawyer sending someone to petrol bomb a client and getting away with it.Where the hell are the bloody Police?Are they too busy crawling up the backsides of the lawyer for a freebie?

Anonymous said...

Has Mr Hudson never heard of the phrase "own goal"?

This is probably the biggest one in the history of the Law Society,ever.

Anonymous said...

A lawyer with a grudge or vendetta is more dangerous to society at large than any consumer advocate - Very true Peter very true these people are armed to the teeth with contacts in and out of the criminal underworld to go after anyone they feel like.

Deadly people to be avoided at all costs I hope everyone is paying attention to this because this is the kind of treatment you can all expect from your lawyers.

Anonymous said...

So much for England's claim to be 'the cradle of democracy' - what a sick joke.

Let's hope the site abroad is up and running soon and dozens more join it here and elsewhere - solicitors are obviously terrified of Public opinion.

Anonymous said...

Silly move really because all its done is legitimise everything which was on the website.Cant we get ourselves a new Chief Executive and a cheaper one at that?

Anonymous said...

“The removal of Solicitors from Hell from the internet simply because a profession feared it was losing business because its clientele were able to write the gory details of how badly their solicitors handled their legal affairs is an attack on free speech and will rightly leave people even more suspicious about dealing with solicitors.”
==================================
ONLY NAZI'S WANT TO CRUSH FREE SPEECH.

Anonymous said...

So much for freedom of speech!

Anonymous said...

Its hardly a victory if they won the injunction by default.
Who is next on the Law Society's hit list?

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your comments & emails on this article ... suffice to say it has been rather odd watching some of the UK's legal celebrities gloating all over the internet regarding the enforced closure of a critical website by their own professional lobby group, while the same supposedly respectable celebrities of the legal world go out of their way to criticise other countries for doing the same, and pop up all over the media seeking fees for writing about such scurrilous censorship ...

The phrase "Two faced" doesn't even come close ...

Anonymous said...

Lawyers have so many faces but it all comes back to one - MONEY for themselves at any cost even life.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many International news story's around the world are beginning with, and news just in from the self proclaimed higher moral model of a judicial system, where England's Law Society has won the right at court to discriminate against a pro-consumer website...This comes soon after England's Law Society chief won the right to call another individual a criminal, as long as other's called the individual a criminal too....

Anonymous said...

Oh well I look forward to seeing the new version of Solicitors from Hell and hope it upsets the Law Society as much as before!

Good luck everyone!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of grudges & vendettas I knew someone who complained to the Law Society of Scotland who then proceeded to ruin this man's life completely.Even saw to it his family split up.
I dare say this is a common occurrence and probably a lesson to be learned not to go anywhere near a lawyer or Law Society thugs again!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really believe that the Law society is any less prejudiced
to wards clients who complain than they are against Rick Kordowski.

This is crushing freedom of speech so that lawyers can keep ruining members of the public.

Solicitors from Hell will rise link a Pheonix from the ashes. Thanks Rick.

Anonymous said...

UK High Court is a legal dictatorship. These people are a legal Mafia, who are simply terrified of dissent. Kill Rick Kordowski's claim against Hudson and then kill the web site.

These mendacious bastards should form their own Nazi Party. Your house, your kids future, all the assets you work for are entrusted to a profession that crush speech against them. Peter you let me and many others know about the Master Policy scandal, suicides, these bastards are evil and I beg, repeat beg new readers of your blog never to trust them.

Peter you and Rick well done for all your efforts. Closing web sites tells the public they HAVE MUCH TO HIDE. SOL, WILL RISE OUT OF BRITISH JURISDICTION.

Anonymous said...

Yes count me in too hope to see SfH back asap we need it not some lawyer run fiddled review website full of guff or the LeO's halfhouse attempt!

Anonymous said...

It just goes to show how corrupt our country has become.

The Chinese will be phoning David Cameron mocking him to get his own house in order!

There's still chaos on the streets in Libya but at least they do not have a corrupt legal system that smashes the right to free speech.

More evidence, if it were ever needed, that lawyers are above the law.

Anonymous said...

I took my complaint to the Solicitors Regulation authority concerning a solicitor forging my signature in a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors. The SRA just closed my file.

I then complained to the Legal Services Ombudsmam. Who said my complaint needed a hand writing expert to state that my signature had in fact been attached to the Evidences submission document by cellotape and was a matter for the police.

Next I reported the forging of my signature to the police. This Friday I was called by PC Moore from Croydon police to attend the police station next Friday. Who will tell me that on the advice of a letter from the Law Society my complaint will not be investigated.

I am told the letter is confidential and between the Law Society and the police.

If I have no black and white chance about reporting a solicitor forging my signature, by the simple matter of cutting my signature from a document I sent my soicitor. What chance has any one else got of making a complaint.

Anonymous said...

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

TRUST NO LAWYER