Glasgow University’s Friday the 13th ? Former Law Society Chief Douglas Mill, who made himself famous as the most senior Law Society official who publicly & personally intervened in complaints & claims against crooked lawyers, he himself described as 'valid', has been appointed "Director of Professional Legal Practice of the University of Glasgow's School of Law". The post was announced on Friday 13th February 2009, and pays around £80,000.
More on the scandal which brought down Douglas Mill from his 11 year stint as the Law Society’s Chief Executive, can be read here : Breaking News : Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill who lied to Parliament, pursued 'personal vendetta' against critics - to resign
The University of Glasgow has issued a Press Release, but no one was apparently available, or willing to expand on it. However, a source at the University joked yesterday : “We got to hear about it last week on Friday the 13th. I wonder if its going to be anything like the movie ?”. “I heard he will be giving a cradle to Granny’s grave course!”
A former Council member of the Law Society, who spoke on other issues earlier this week, said “The consultation business isn’t doing too good these days, like the rest of us, but I’m sure Douglas will pick up a good salary at Glasgow for doing what he’s best at, and we all know what that is.”
A quick recap on who Douglas Mill actually is :
Douglas Mill used his dead granny to protect crooked lawyers. Mill, known for his 'pugnacious style' famously swore on his "Granny's Grave" during a session of Holyrood's Justice Committee in their consideration of complaints reforming legislation, boasted he had never intervened in claims & complaints against crooked solicitors & legal firms, but ended up being exposed as a liar before Holyrood by Cabinet Secretary John Swinney during a bitter debate which saw the contents of Mill's own memos & efforts to interdict members of the public from access to justice against a series of corrupt legal firms across Scotland.
Holyrood confrontation between Douglas Mill & John Swinney over 'crooked lawyer' memos ended Law Chief’s stint as Chief Exec
Memos of a downfall. Douglas Mill, in his post as the Law Society’s Chief Executive, found himself obsessed with hounding hundreds of members of the public who dared register complaints against crooked legal firms. Mill could not resist the opportunity to personally intervene in client complaints and financial claims made against crooked solicitors and their legal firms and his efforts depicted a concerted policy to ensure members of the public were constantly denied access to justice & legal representation solely to derail cases against legal firms reaching Scotland’s courts.
Mill became so desperate to protect self regulation, he made newspaper suicide jibe. However, Douglas Mill became the legal profession's own worst enemy, as his policies and those of his Law Society colleagues became clearly out of touch with civilised thinking, and in his tenacious battle with consumers & the Scottish Parliament over regulation of the legal profession reforms, became so desperate he famously drafted in an English QC to argue it was a breach of a lawyer's human rights to have someone else other than a lawyer investigate complaints against lawyers, an issue I reported in an earlier article here : Law Society of Scotland & Lord Lester QC challenge new legislation to protect Scottish public against crooked lawyers
Douglas Mill threatened legal action over lawyer's right to regulate themselves. When the 'rights for lawyers to investigate themselves' argument didn't work, Mill then turned his anger towards the Parliament & Government, threatening court action over the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill - legislation designed to usher in a new era of independent regulation of Scotland's solicitors. Mill's threats of courtroom attacks on the Government & Parliament brought new lows in public opinion of the Law Society of Scotland, viewed by many clients these days as little more than an organisation bent on protecting the criminal element of Scotland's legal profession.
Douglas Mill hounded victims by blocking their legal aid. Douglas Mill went on to be featured in many more scandal busting media reports, which depicted an operational policy of protection for crooked lawyers at the Law Society of Scotland. Subjects ranged from fiddling client’s legal aid applications to take on the Law Society, to even telling the Financial Services Authority to "take a hike" over scrutiny of the Law Society's Master Policy & Guarantee fund.
Douglas Mill demanded press censorship after attack on Leslie Cumming. Never one to miss an opportunity, Douglas Mill even used the attack against former Law Society Chief Accountant Leslie Cumming, as a chance to blame those who criticised the legal profession for whipping up a feeling of hate, Mill going on to demand the media, critics and clients all be silenced on ‘crooked lawyer’ stories …. however, Mill’s plan backfired when it turned out the mafia style hit against Cumming, which is yet to be resolved after three long years, was organised by some of the crooked lawyers within the profession Mill’s policies had shielded from complaints & investigations.
However, Mill’s time at the top of Scotland’s legal profession came to a bitter end after the video coverage of his confrontation with Cabinet Secretary John Swinney was posted to You Tube, and it became clear to everyone he, the Law Society of Scotland and the Scots legal profession as a whole had no credibility left with the public.
Douglas Mill’s best known gift to the legal profession has been that of crooked Borders lawyer, Andrew Penman, who ended up costing every Scottish solicitor hundreds of pounds a year in complaints levies, and levels of public disrespect which have put lawyers on a par with rapists or sex perverts.
Here’s the announcement from Glasgow University. Judge for yourselves if Scotland might get better law students under Mr Mill’s tuition …
From the University of Glasgow's news release :
Former Chief Executive of the Law Society and Glasgow graduate, Douglas Mill has been appointed as the Director of Professional Legal Practice of the University of Glasgow’s School of Law. He will take up his post on 1 March 2009. Douglas, who currently runs his own business consultancy after 11 years at the helm of the Law Society of Scotland and 18 years experience of private practice, will take up the newly created post on 1 March 2009.
Douglas will lead the team that will develop and teach the Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow for September 2010. Assuming that the Law Society's proposals for reform of solicitor's education and training are accepted by the members at the May AGM, this will coincide with the start of the new framework for professional legal education under which the new Diploma will be significantly different from the current Diploma. Glasgow will also be offering post-diploma education for trainees in terms of the new framework from September 2011 and CPD. In recent years, Glasgow has run the Diploma jointly with the University of Strathclyde through the medium of Glasgow Graduate School of Law (GGSL). From September 2010, Glasgow will be offering the Diploma independently.
Douglas Mill said: “I am delighted to return to my alma mater to take up the challenge of delivering the University’s ambitious strategic plans for the School of Law. I enjoy working with students and have always been very involved in Legal education. With the Law Society poised to outline a new style of diploma, Glasgow has the opportunity to develop full ‘cradle to grave’ law training which will link into lifetime learning for solicitors in Scotland. Glasgow has always been unimpeachably good as a legal university but it has been ten years since they have run the diploma independently. With the 300th anniversary of the Regius Chair in School of Law coming up in 2013, we aim to establish a centre of excellence for professional legal studies at Glasgow.
Professor Tom Mullen, Head of the Law School said: “We aim to make the University of Glasgow’s School of Law one of the top 7 law schools in the UK, and expanding professional legal education is a key part of our strategy for achieving that aim. With his background and experience, Douglas is ideally placed to lead the team that will enhance our provision of professional legal education, and the timing of the appointment is perfect given the Law Society of Scotland’s plans for new quality-based continuous professional development.”.