Saturday, August 26, 2006

250 lawyers to have their records wiped by the Law Society of Scotland in 'misuse' of regulatory powers

Around 250 lawyers are to have their records wiped clean by the Law Society of Scotland - because of challenges to the reprimands handed out relating to complaints - reports Peter Cherbi from his site "A Diary of Injustice in Scotland" at

Law Society of Scotland finds new ways to let 'reprimanded' lawyers off the hook.

Barring the odd malicious complaint against a solicitor, which has led to the Law Society of Scotland processing [what some may call] politically motivated complaints against high profile rights campaigning lawyers (there are very few of these, so I assume you know WHO I am referring to) ... the Law Society have come out today, announcing they are going to have to let around 250 solicitors off the hook from reprimands which were handed out by the Law Society in respect of complaints, either from clients, or from the Society itself.

Such a "regrettable decision", as the Law Society put's it ... would come easily for the likes of none other than Philip Yelland, the Director of Client Relations at the Law Society, who claims in an article in today's Scotsman newspaper, that "We took advice at the time and decided to go down this road in good faith. But the challenge came in and we took further advice.... The legal position has changed over the years, so we were advised that we had to do what we have done."

Regrettably myself, I have had numerous dealings with Philip Yelland over the years, regarding the many crooked lawyers and legal firms which have let my family down and plundered our lives of just about everything they could.

I can safely say, I would not believe Philip Yelland, if he said the sky was blue - I would have to check for myself first - owing to the lies he has told me, and the lies he has sanctioned against me in the likes of the investigation into the well known crooked Kelso lawyer, Andrew Penman from Stormonth Darling Solicitors .. where Philip Yelland went as far as to send a secret letter to my own lawyers, interfering in my case, ordering them not to take instructions from me in court cases against the Law Society of Scotland (involving Mr Yelland himself), and Andrew Penman.

I wonder what the legal advice was in my case then, Mr Yelland ?

Did you get legal advice to see what the implications were of interfering in a case against the very organisation you work for, against you, and your colleagues, and a crooked lawyer you covered up for ?

If you had tried that in a criminal case, Mr Yelland, it would be called tampering with evidence, and tampering with witnesses, or even perverting the course of justice.

How many other people have you done this to, Mr Yelland ? How many other clients of crooked lawyers have had their cases and attempts to claim back what was stolen by your colleagues, broken, because you meddled in their case to make sure they got nothing ?
Why are you in such a position you can get away with being little more than a criminal ? Mr Yelland ?

Given the reports today in the Scotsman on this matter, I would say this :

All those cases involving those 250 or so lawyers, should be at least, re-investigated, and of course, while that is being done, the identities of the lawyers concerned, along with the details of all the complaints - to satisfy the requirements of transparency, of course - and not forgetting to let all the clients who made the complaints in the first place, know about it, so they are aware of what has happened to any issues affecting their legal affairs as mis-managed by their solicitors.

This latest example of the Law Society's lack of ability to do anything with it's own members, should be taken, I feel, as a situation where now, as the Society will doubtless face calls for scrutiny of it's past actions, they simply have resigned from the position of professional regulator, which they always argue towards clients, is their obligation according to the law of the land.

I for one, having appeared many times in the Scotsman newspaper regarding difficulties with the legal profession and my critisisms of it, will welcome a root & branch review of all matters relating to the legal profession, not to mention a review of the past sins of the Law Society of Scotland - something important for all those clients who have had their lives and livelihoods ruined by their legal representatives over the years without any recompense.

I would, however, sound this warning - criminals don't stop robbing banks, just because we have the Police - therefore don't expect some lawyers to refrain from ripping off their clients, just because there will be a new independent regulator and if anything, even greater scrutiny of the legal profession will be needed to ensure those in the legal profession adhere to transparency, honesty, the law, and, most of all, the rights of the client.

Read on for the article, from The Scotsman newspaper, at :

Reprimanded lawyers to have records wiped clean after 'muddle'

ABOUT 250 solicitors reprimanded by the Law Society of Scotland are to have their records wiped clean after the regulator was told its disciplinary sanction was illegal.

The society yesterday said it had taken the "regrettable" decision to clean the slate for hundreds of lawyers found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct in the past three years.

The body took the decision to withdraw the "unsatisfactory conduct" charge after a disciplined lawyer launched a bid to overturn the ruling.

Opposition MSPs last night branded the situation a "disaster" and said it made the case for a root-and-branch review of the way lawyers are policed vital.

The Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman, meanwhile, said the regulation of solicitors was "a muddle" and urgently called for fresh legislation.

The origins of the controversy go back to January 2003, when the society decided to mark an "unsatisfactory conduct" finding on lawyers'

records as a disciplinary halfway house between professional misconduct - which is already founded in law - and taking no action.

The move came after the Legal Services Ombudsman said such sanctions were worthless unless they were formally held against the guilty solicitor.

But the society has admitted it was aware new legislation was needed to uphold the charge, and says it previously called on the Scottish Executive to bring in the necessary powers.

Since early 2003, around 300 unsatisfactory conduct findings have been made against 200-250 lawyers. It is understood some were unhappy at the way the sanction was imposed and, earlier this year, one of those was granted a judicial review into the reprimand.

This led the Law Society to seek advice on the validity of the sanction, and officials were told it could not be upheld.

Among the lawyers who disputed the sanction was Aamer Anwar, who threatened to take the Law Society to court after he was disciplined for branding a caller on a radio phone-in programme a "bigot".

Philip Yelland, director of client relations at the society, said: "We took advice at the time and decided to go down this road in good faith. But the challenge came in and we took further advice.

"The legal position has changed over the years, so we were advised that we had to do what we have done."

Ironically, the society will be given powers in relation to unsatisfactory professional conduct under the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill, expected to become law next year.

The bill also proposed a legal complaints commission, which will controversially strip the society of part of its regulatory function.

And in a further blow to the Society it emerged earlier this month that lawyers across the country were plotting to create a new national association, after the society agreed to accept a legal aid pay deal many of them were unhappy with.

Margaret Mitchell MSP, the Scottish Tories' justice spokeswoman, said: "This latest disaster has strengthened the case for reviewing the whole set-up."

No comments: