MSP Jayne Baxter secures relief for constituent in bitter fight over legal fees.THE CASE of a Perth client who has been through an horrific FOUR YEAR ordeal initiated by a Perth based law firm & Scotland’s Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB) over fees claimed to be owed for a personal injury case, has sensationally collapsed after it was revealed this week the client has been officially discharged by the AIB from any alleged debts and that no funds were repaid to either the AIB or the law firm who claimed to be owed the money.
Just days ago, Mr William Gordon, of Perth, was notified by the office of Jayne Baxter MSP, he had been discharged by the AIB in late November 2012 from any alleged debts due to Perth based law firm Kippen Campbell.
The discharge, which frees Mr Gordon from any further claim by his former solicitors, comes after a long running battle over disputed legal fees Kippen Campbell claimed were due to them even though they had withdrawn from acting for their client and left him on the steps of the Court of Session to face a judge, alone, in his personal injury claim.
Notification of the discharge was only provided to Jayne Baxter, Mr Gordon’s MSP, after several requests from Mrs Baxter and her staff to the AIB for copies of the documents and an update on her constituent, Mr Gordon’s position.
Copies of papers received by the MSP and handed to Diary of Injustice appear to show the AIB and it’s agents who acted in the case, Glasgow based accountants Wylie & Bisset, failed to provide Mr Gordon with any notification of his discharge in November of last year. The delay of seven long months in informing Mr Gordon of his discharge, raises serious questions as to why the AIB felt they could keep Mr Gordon in a state of flux for some seven months after the discharge took effect.
It has also been revealed the AIB are refusing to supply Mr Gordon and his MSP with a copy of the actual discharge certificate, citing a rule over fees, despite the fact the entire case has already cost the taxpayer a significant amount of money. Representatives of Mr Gordon who have been helping him through this long ordeal have today told Diary of Injustice they will continue to pursue the AIB for a copy of the actual discharge certificate, given Mr Gordon’s entitlement to a copy and to help establish more details surrounding the AIB’s conduct in this case.
Given the shocking treatment of Mr Gordon in this case, Diary of Injustice feels there must be a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the AIB's conduct towards Mr Gordon and the actions of its agents in the wake of claims no authentic court papers were ever served on Mr Gordon nor was he given the chance to challenge events, due to circumstances of poor health which have been verified by his own doctor to the court on each required occasion.
There are also serious questions over the activities of the AIB’s agents, who attempted to seize the rented house Mr Gordon lives in, and the house of another individual unrelated to Mr Gordon, with a view to scoop the proceeds of the sale of both properties in lieu of the less than three thousand pounds claimed to be owed to the law firm.
The AIB’s move to seize Mr Gordon’s home and a property belonging to someone else, was reported by Scottish Law Reporter and the Herald newspaper, here : Accountant in Bankruptcy agents try to seize wrong house in bankruptcy of disabled client ordered by Perth law firm over disputed legal fees
AIB threatened to seize two properties for a £2.7K debt to solicitors. In letters sent to Mr Gordon, AIB agents Wylie & Bisset demand a “required payment” of NINETY TWO THOUSAND & FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS, and went on to threaten “We require firm proposals for the realisation of the sum in question to your sequestrated estate as a matter of urgency. Should we not receive your proposals within 14 days of the date of this letter, then please be aware that we shall be forced to seek action for vacant possession of the property.”.The second property located in Rattray, Blairgowrie, and owned by a family unconnected to Mr Gordon was valued by AIB agents Wylie & Bisset, at £185,000. However, the debt allegedly owed to Kippen Campbell amounted to little more than £2,700.
Along with the freezing of Mr Gordon’s access to his state disability benefits for seven months – an act on its own which is reprehensible and not acceptable in terms of the law as it stands, nothing short of a full investigation into, and an accounting of the AIB’s activities in this case must take place and be published in the public interest.
How a law firm and bankruptcy regulations were used to hound a disabled client for dodgy fees :
Diary of Injustice initially reported on the long running case of Mr Gordon in December 2009, when it was revealed the then head of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission Jane Irvine was to be cited as a witness at Perth Sheriff Court after it was revealed Kippen Campbell had tried to charge their former client a fee for dealing with complaints.
During October 2010, the case came back into the media spotlight with Kippen Campbell took their case to Perth Sheriff Court in an attempt to pursue Mr Gordon for the fees they claimed to be owed, reported here : Personal injury client dropped by Perth based solicitors Kippen Campbell ‘being hounded’ by court attempts to recover disputed fees
Later in October 2010 it was also revealed by Diary of Injustice that Sally McCartney, a partner at Kippen Campbell and the solicitor at the heart of the case against Mr Gordon had lobbied the Scottish Parliament against independent regulation of solicitors Scottish Parliament documents reveal Perth law firm in complaint fees case campaigned against Holyrood clean-up of regulation of lawyers
In July of 2012, Diary of Injustice featured a further article on the case, revealing Mr Gordon’s now two years of hell could have been avoided if the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission had used their powers on fee nullification in the course of considering Mr Gordon’s complaints against his then solicitors Kippen Campbell.
Material also presented to Diary of Injustice at the time and featured in the report, revealed the private firm of accountants acting on behalf of the Accountant in Bankruptcy, had also frozen access to his disability benefits, here : Solicitors regulator blamed for failure to use powers on fees as accountants seize Disability benefits to pay Perth law firm for collapsed court case
As further enquiries continued into Mr Gordon’s case, an investigation by the media of the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s conduct revealed over £8 million pounds of taxpayers money was being handed on a plate to private firms of accountants by the AIB, reported by Diary of Injustice here : £8 MILLION of YOUR MONEY spent on ‘BULLY BOY’ agents as papers to MSP reveal Accountant in Bankruptcy secretly seize benefits of disabled, trashing lives of Scots on the brink