Friday, February 24, 2012

The £80K job no-one wants : Lawyers lobby seek FIFTH time unlucky Chief Executive for Scottish Legal Complaints Commission role

Fifth Chief Executive sought for lawyer complaints quango mess. CONTINUITY appears to be a bad word at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), who are now faced with conducting a recruitment process to find a FIFTH replacement for the role of SLCC Chief Executive, after losing its FOURTH CEO, Rosemary Agnew to the post of Scottish Information Commissioner. The job of SLCC Chief Executive, which no one seems to want, or can stand for more than a year, attracts a salary of around EIGHTY THOUSAND POUNDS A YEAR plus expenses, hospitality, and other perks from the law complaints quango which has so far cost clients of solicitors and taxpayers a stunning FOURTEEN MILLION POUNDS plus since 2008 yet has apparently not seen one single crooked lawyer prosecuted or struck off as a result of SLCC investigations into consumer complaints against the legal profession.

Continuing the lack of continuation in the role of SLCC Chief Executive, Mrs Agnew has occupied the SLCC’s Chief Executive job for a little more than a year after taking on the ill fated position from the SLCC’s first Chief Executive, Eileen Masterman, who resigned on ill health grounds, coincidentally also after being able to stand little more than a year in the job based at the Stamp Office in Edinburgh.

Reports of difficulties during Ms Masterman’s time as Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission saw a string of controversial decisions involving the Law Society of Scotland’s Master Insurance Policy, secret meetings with insurers Royal Sun Alliance & Marsh, who were convicted of illegal activities in the United States.

John SwinneyCabinet Finance Chief John Swinney revealed he felt Ms Masterman had mislead him over accounts of meetings. It later emerged the Scottish Government’s Finance Chief, John Swinney personally intervened on behalf of a constituent over the murky goings on at the SLCC and accused Ms Masterman of being less than honest in correspondence. It is thought this spat between Masterman and Mr Swinney eventually led to the first Chief Executive’s demise over ‘ill health’. Diary of Injustice reported more on Ms Masterman’s resignation in an earlier article here : SLCC’s Eileen Masterman resigns, questions remain on attempt to mislead Cabinet Finance Chief John Swinney over secret meetings with insurers Marsh

While Ms Masterman may have resigned on ill health grounds, she was quick to engage lawyers to negotiate a large figure payoff from the SLCC, a payoff which was personally signed off by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and has never been disclosed to either the public or legal profession who fund the SLCC. The saga was reported by Scottish Law Reporter in an earlier article HUSH & MONEY : Former SLCC law complaints Chief Executive Eileen Masterman received secret Scottish Government approved payoff in deal with lawyers

Prior to Eileen Masterman’s appointment as CEO in 2008, Richard Smith, who was appointed by the Scottish Government as the interim’ Chief Executive in the formation year of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, resigned in early 2008 after only a few months in the job. Mr Smith, a a consultant in the Scottish government's justice directorate, was officially reported to have stood down to focus on other projects. However legal insiders have since informed Diary of Injustice the resignation was as a result of views expressed that the SLCC was not going to live up to expectations promised by the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Smith was the replaced by John Murphy, another Scottish Government consultant who took over the role until Eileen Masterman was eventually appointed as Chief Executive later in 2008. As reported by Diary of Injustice, Ms Masterman resigned over ill health grounds, even though questions remain over her actions while in the role, and Mrs Agnew, the latest Chief Executive has ditched her post to be the new Scottish Information Commissioner

Jane Irvine, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s Chair issued the following statement seeking a new recruit for the post of Chief Executive : On behalf of The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) I want to thank you for your interest in becoming our new Chief Executive. As an organisation we have been operational since 1 October 2008 with our main functions as follows:

  • Handling all complaints about members of the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates
  • Overseeing the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates conduct and insurance arrangements
  • Dealing with complaints about cases that have been through conduct systems
The establishment of the SLCC represented a change in the way complaints against the legal profession were handled by introducing a novel form of funding for a public body in Scotland. We focus on the early resolution of disputes and encourage improvement whilst remaining independent, accessible and impartial.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our departing Chief Executive, Rosemary Agnew, who has established a core team which is working well with established governance and financial polices, allowing operational matters to run smoothly. From this sound platform we are searching for a CEO who will lead us into the next phase of evolution for SLCC.

We are looking for a leader who can inspire the operational team as well as influence change. Naturally, our new CEO should continue to drive operational efficiency upwards internally as well as influencing externally to help improve service standards within the legal profession. We are looking for someone with the appropriate level of gravitas to work in partnership with key stakeholders and develop the way the SLCC evolves over the next 5 years.

The Chief Executive will be responsible for enhancing operational efficiency by reducing the time we take to deal with cases and the costs, ensuring that we are 100% user focussed. We already have a LEAN review underway and this will form a bridge into this new phase. A new CEO will also have to start to use the evidence we hold about practise trends and complaint handling to encourage higher service standards within the Scottish legal professions.

As well as the typical leadership qualities, the SLCC requires a CEO who is familiar with using evidence gathered to ensure policy within the professional bodies matches the best in regulatory practice. The successful candidate will need to be capable of negotiating with a very broad range of stakeholders from small interest groups to the Scottish Parliament. Naturally, you will have the credibility to influence and persuade as well as the capability to resolve complicated arguments, often formulated by emotive parties and / or historic practices. In return the CEO will work with an excellent small team and enjoy the support of an active Board while fronting an intellectually stimulating role meeting the demands of both the public and private sectors.

Those interested in filling the shoes of Eileen Masterman, or Rosemary Agnew can find send their up to date CV and covering letter/supporting statement to Munro Consulting who are handing the recruitment : Amy Dalgleish by e-mail to amy.dalgleish@munroconsulting.com or by post to Munro Consulting Ltd, Monteith House, 11 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1DY quoting reference G640.

  • Job Description
  • Person Specification
  • Application's Close - Monday 12th March 2012
  • Longlist interviews – Thursday 5th April 2012
  • Meeting to select shortlist candidates – Wednesday 11th April 2012
  • Shortlist interviews – Monday 16th April 2012
It should be noted that while the SLCC, Law Society of Scotland & Faculty of Advocates are keen to stress it is their member solicitors & advocates who stump up the £2.8 MILLION a year to pay for the SLCC’s budget, expenses claims & operating costs, the cold fact is that clients & consumers are being made to pay the complaints levies, via large hikes in legal fees or spurious additions of large sums to client’s legal bills for non existent or “forgotten work”. Taxpayers have also had a significant input into the SLCC, which has received around TWO MILLION POUNDS of taxpayers money since 2008 in the guise of “start up costs” despite the huge public sector cuts being forced through by Governments in London & Edinburgh. More on this year’s SLCC budget & complaints levy can be read here : Lawyers told to pay £338 for continuing ‘old pals act regulation’ as Scottish Legal Complaints Commission calls for 60% complaints levy rise

Some cases recently brought to the attention of Diary of Injustice where clients have been or are being pursued for unexplained or non existent legal work, have seen figures of tens of thousands of pounds demanded from clients for fees which law firms had supposedly “forgot to charge for”. Any consumer in a fee dispute with their solicitor where such a situation has arisen would be well advised to publicise their plight by contacting Diary of Injustice via scottishlawreporters@gmail.com

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

£80K a year for telling everyone who complains about their lawyer to f*ck off

Dont worry there will be plenty takers for this easy meal ticket

Anonymous said...

While Ms Masterman may have resigned on ill health grounds, she was quick to engage lawyers to negotiate a large figure payoff from the SLCC, a payoff which was personally signed off by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and has never been disclosed to either the public or legal profession who fund the SLCC.
===============================
Rats get lawyers when ruined clients are left that way. MacAskill is the enemy of every client just like all of the scum he loves so much.

Anonymous said...

The job description is simple, lie cheat and cover lawyer criminality up. Anything else is just B******t.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Mill, anyone like him, the lying tongue as he is known on Bentjudges.com.

Oh yes whoever gets the job, nothing will change but they will work with Agnew to keep things hidden. But they have a formidable opponent, Mr Cherbi and they know it.

Another great report Peter.

Anonymous said...

Swinney should be demanding the return of all the public money spent on these crooks

Anonymous said...

Where is Masterman now anyway?
After getting that 80K or whatever it is she got (haha) is she still too ill to work or back at a desk somewhere?

Legitimate question to ask methinks..

Anonymous said...

Irvine stated The Chief Executive will be responsible for enhancing operational efficiency by reducing the time we take to deal with cases (BEGGARS BELIEF) and the costs, ensuring that we are 100% user focussed. We already have a LEAN review underway and this will form a bridge into this new phase. A new CEO will also have to start to use the evidence we hold about practise trends and complaint handling to encourage higher service standards within the Scottish legal professions. (SERVICE STANDARDS, WHAT STANDARDS IF IT IS PROTECTING LAWYERS YOU DESERVE 1000% FOR EFFICIENCY. THIS WOMAN IS KIDDING NONE OF US).

Anonymous said...

Nice picture Peter, reminds me of Shakespeare's MacBeth. No doubt the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission will have a nice cupboard for the next CEO to keep her broom.

Anonymous said...

MacAskill in a wig will apply..

Anonymous said...

4 Chief Execs must have cost them a fortune - you dont get rid of someone that rank for less than £100,000

Dont forget to check up on how much Agnew gets as a send-off payment although I'm sure you have thought of it already!

Anonymous said...

Comment 1 - yes I bet there will be but dont worry we always suspect the motives of these people who take these kinds of jobs so not expecting much improvement over what Peter has already exposed.The SLCC is just a haven for corrupt lawyers.

Anonymous said...

So these scumbags are now charging people for stuff they forgot to charge for in the first place?Oh really this has got to stop this gravy train for the lawyers its thoroughly evil.

Anonymous said...

They are sitting on Calton Hill in Edinburgh but if they tried that at night in the dark they will probably bump into some of their colleagues from the legal fraternity or better still the occasional judge who go up there to rape the rent boys.Its been going on for years so much a Police car was told to give a lift home to one of the Court of Session judges one night after doing the business with a 14 year old boy so the story goes from a reliable Lothian & Borders Police Sergeant (Retired)

The judge is still a judge and still likes the young boys.What do you think Jane and her private army of the slcc would do if faced with this going on in the background of their photo taking?!

Now,its back to the Scotsman comments.Do keep up the good work!!!I'm sure these miserable people must be wondering when the next scandal is going to hit!!!

Anonymous said...

The word on the legal grapevine is that Richard Smith didn't apply to be the first Chief Exec because he disagreed with Jane Irvine about many things, especially the Commission's powers over ongoing complaints and the referral of conduct issues to the Law Society and the Faculty.

Anonymous said...

Clearly something very wrong with the slcc if they cant hang onto their key people.

Why did MacAskill have to sign the cheque for Masterman if lawyers are supposed to be funding the slcc? I think some lawyers have been telling fibs and it also sounds to me like Irvine's bunch are still receiving public money..

What a scam!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
MacAskill in a wig will apply..

24 February 2012 18:42

Thought this already happened..

Anonymous said...

Well what a lot of rotten bastards these lawyers are forgetting to charge fees then going after people?

Its about time we took this up with them face to face instead of all this bloody arguing about complaints with the SLCC put there to stop anyone from getting any justice.

Anonymous said...

£80K a year and what has she actually done for anyone who was ruined by their lawyer?

Anonymous said...

MacAskill and the Law Society will select the person they want so no one gets a chance as usual.Dont worry Peter we all know what the SLCC are all about now thanks to your brilliant reporting and exposes of it.Best take down of a pack of pretenders ever!

Anonymous said...

FIY a backdated Press Release
http://www.scottishlegalcomplaints.com/news/slcc-chief-executive-resigns.aspx

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE SCOTTISH LEGAL COMPLAINTS COMMISSION RESIGNS TO TAKE UP APPOINTMENT AS THE NEXT SCOTTISH INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
14/02/2012
The SLCC wishes to congratulate Rosemary Agnew, its Chief Executive, on her recent appointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Jane Irvine, the Chair of the SLCC stated

"We are delighted for Rosemary but sorry that we will be losing her as Chief Executive. Rosemary has been with the SLCC from just before we opened for business in October 2008, and has been Chief Executive for just over two years. She has made a huge contribution to the setting-up and running of the organisation, and will be missed by the Board and staff alike.

"We wish Rosemary every success in her new role, one for which I think she is ideally suited."

Ms Agnew's last day of service with the SLCC is 30 April 2012.

The SLCC is shortly to launch its recruitment campaign for a replacement, details of which can be found on our website under Jobs at the SLCC.

Anonymous said...

MacAskill and the Law Society will select the person they want so no one gets a chance as usual.Dont worry Peter we all know what the SLCC are all about now thanks to your brilliant reporting and exposes of it.Best take down of a pack of pretenders ever!
================================
Yes I agree and Desmond Hudson of the Law Society of England and Wales and the SLCC Law Society of Scotland think we have no right to expose crooked lawyers. We know MacAskill will put one of his cronies in charge that is why web sites such as Peter's are critical in this campaign.

Those who base their power in secret bureaucracies of like minded individuals are the most dangerous. This SLCC should be closed once and for all. Only clients and the internet can expose crooked lawyers.

Anonymous said...

With the poor success rate of the SLCC there should be a full independent inquiry into it and where all the money has gone because the results are simply not there to see.Complaints are rising and the profession is as crooked as ever.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll apply just to see how they treat me.I have no experience in protecting crooked lawyers whatsoever!

Also it took three tries to get this comment sent because of that stupid word verification.Can you do something about it please?

Anonymous said...

Is it not incredible to believe that someone from this horrific creation to protect lawyers gets the job of 'protecting' Freedom of Information in Scotland?

The whole country is in the grip of vested interests and everyone is sleepwalking into a vote on independent which will create a state Hitler would have been proud of.It is deplorable and what is even more deplorable is those who fight to expose injustice become the targets of the Government and their buddies.No I'm not talking about Syria or anywhere else I'm talking about SCOTLAND.

Anonymous said...

We will no doubt get another Crooked Lawyer or some other person that is
sympathetic to the Corrupt Law Society of Scotland, and Corrupt Solicitors in Scotland getting this position, no doubt the Corrupt Law Society of Scotland is dining and wining the Recruitment Consultants and even offering them numerous other lucrative work and contracts, AS LONG AS THEY APPOINT A LAW SOCIETY SYMPATHETIC CROOK TO THE POSITION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE CORRUPT SLCC
SLCC is just an extension of the Corrupt Law Society of Scotland, it is an IRRELAVANCE TO VICTIMS OF THE CORRUPT LEGAL PROFESSION IN SCOTLAND, IT IS JUST A PROTECTION ORGANISATION FOR CORRUPT SOLICITORS. The new Chief Executive of SLCC should be a VICTIM OF THE CORRUPT LEGAL SYSTEM IN SCOTLAND, Someone who has an insight into how they defraud you of money deliberately, any Legal Action or Court case you wish to take against any corrupt Company, Organisation or Solicitor in Scotland, how the Legal profession will not take on your case if you are exposing, corruption, criminality, money laundering, and anything to do with the Proceeds of Crime, as we know the Police will not act against these crooks who are involved in this, to protect these Crooks Solicitors will not take on your case, even if you can pay for it or qualify for Civil Legal Aid. The Scottish Legal Profession protect the corrupt in Scotland, it is effectively the Scottish Mafia, working with the Masonic Lodge Members to defraud you of money, property and assets, even steal your Children by criminal deception along with the help of Corrupt Social Workers, Sheriffs and Judges. The Corrupt SNP turns a blind eye to all this, as the SNP is riddled with Corrupt Solicitors that are Members of the Corrupt Law Society of Scotland.

Anonymous said...

The whole country is in the grip of vested interests and everyone is sleepwalking into a vote on independent which will create a state Hitler would have been proud of.It is deplorable and what is even more deplorable is those who fight to expose injustice become the targets of the Government and their buddies.No I'm not talking about Syria or anywhere else I'm talking about SCOTLAND.
==============================
Salmond Scotland's despot who protects vested interests by bending over for the Law Society of Scotland, an unelected corrupt professional union with no accountability to the people of this country.

Democracy wan intenede to create accountability in that people could vote politicians out, but powerful professions like lawyers, just like the House of Lords, unelected with power over us. Democracy does not necessarily mean freedom.

In all matters legal The Law Society of Scotland dominate policy at the Scottish Parliament, a house of traitors.

Anonymous said...

How can there be any continuity at an organisation which has gone through four CEOs in 4 years?

This is ridiculous.It is even more ridiculous Parliament just keeps passing their budgets when there are no results to show for the money being spent.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed 80K a year.I have several letters from Rosemary Agnew telling me my complaint is not being investigated and the last one says the SLCC will not enter into any more correspondence with me.

Is this how she will be as the FOI Commissioner?God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the SNP are not fit for purpose.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they didn't beg you to take on the job yourself Peter.After all you have single handedly killed off any credibility this bunch of tossers could ever hope to have!

Anonymous said...

Did you know Jeremy Bentham a political theorist was training as a lawyer. His parents had a servant who stole two broked silver spoons because he claimed they dismissed him without paying him the money he was due.

The servant was found guilty of stealing the spoons and hanged. This was one case that drove Bentham to seek a more egalitarian society.

Jeremy Bentham is on display at University College London. He believed the law should be fair and not favour the privilidged.

Anonymous said...

This word verification thing has me stumped!I keep typing in what it says and it doesnt let my comment through!
No worries I am now treating it as a bit of a challenge!

What I wanted to say is this - No matter who the new Chief Executive is at the SLCC this quango will never recover from the belting you have given it over the years.It is a dead duck and people should not trust it.In fact as Peter says anyone with a complaint against a lawyer is better coming here to air it all or go to a newspaper or both just to make sure it is all published and out there for everyone to see.

Anonymous said...

Bypass the Law Societies of the UK, the SLCC, the SRA and the Ministery of Justice. Only cyberspace reveals the truth that lawyers can never be trusted.

Anonymous said...

You want independence? I am Scottish and you are going to vote for a man and his party that let lawyers control Scotland.

He is the front for the Scottish Law Society. If he achieves independence he will create a dictatorship. Mr Salmond is a facade a man who protects the legal structures of domination. An independent Scotland will crush its citizens.

Anonymous said...

They have achieved what they set out to do and that is to put people off requesting F.O.I's.

Dont let this lot put you off. Hound Agnew as if she was still at the slcc.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the child catcher from chitty chitty bang bang has applied?

Maybe he is not evil and tricky enough to be awarded such a post?

Anonymous said...

£80,000.00 of the Queens pounds for repeatedly saying no and weilding a thick red marker pen to strike through valid complaints.

I could do that!