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WARNING

 

September 2004

Updated: August, 2007

 

Other warnings about cons and scams feature in the Alerts section

 

 

Contributors

 
     

 

Lloyds Bank Small Business Guide   Department of Trade & Industry booklet

 

When choosing a solicitor, or if trying to choose a solicitor, many institutions suggest that recommendation is the best route. This is highly questionable for the referrer could so easily be a criminal with a hidden agenda, and the recommended solicitor could be a knowing component in fraudulent or criminal schemes. You MUST take all possible precautions to establish the credentials of the solicitor you are thinking of using, and those of the referrer.

 

Solicitors and criminals rely upon your ignorance or your failure to ask the right questions in order to implement their schemes against you. They will especially rely upon your faith in and respect for them as members of an honourable profession. The unfortunate reality in Britain is that most of its serious criminals wear suits, and that lawyers comprise a very large number of them.

 

Which? issues 2001 Press Release

Which? issues 2004 Press Release

Which? issues 2005 Press Release

Which? issues 2006 Press Release

 

This is NOT the web site of the Law Society in England and Wales. If you were hoping to find its LFYB site, click Here

 

Roundup of solicitors and other lawyers making the bad news to date: News Roundup

 

If you have come here because you searched for Lawyers For Your Business, business lawyers in the UK, or because you want to engage a solicitor in England or Wales for your existing or new business, consider carefully the statements between the lines, then consider what follows after that.


What the Law Society in England and Wales said about its Lawyers For Your Business scheme:

"Lawyers For Your Business (LFYB) represents some 1,400 firms of solicitors in England and Wales, which have come together to help ensure that all businesses, and especially the smaller owner-managed ones, get access to sound legal advice whenever they need it.

LFYB is administered by the Law Society, and backed by Business in the Community, the Federation of Small Business and the Forum of Private Business.

LFYB recognises that, for fear of running up large legal bills, firms will often not consult a solicitor until they have a serious problem. By then, of course, any remedy may be at its most expensive, if indeed one is still available.

In most cases businesses can save themselves money by seeing a solicitor for advice early on, especially where there is legislation to be complied with, or important legal documents such as contracts to be prepared. To remove the risk of incurring unexpectedly high legal costs, all LFYB members offer a free consultation, lasting at least half an hour, to diagnose the problem and any need for action, with full information, in advance, on the likely costs of proceeding.

Your LFYB adviser will be able to provide advice on the structure of your business as you start up or expand. Should you trade in your own name or through a company? They will be able to explain the merits of the different types of business organisation and help you decide upon the best for you."


So you have a business idea, or a business investment opportunity has been promoted to you. You want a solicitor to safeguard your interests and point you in the right direction. You have confidence that because all solicitors are regulated by the Law Society you may automatically and naturally expect certain standards of performance and integrity, and that they will act solely in your interests.

WRONG!

This is not the rant of a disturbed individual with a misplaced and misguided tirade against ill-defined targets. I built this site to expose a very, very serious case of conspiracy to defraud and actual fraud conducted from within the solicitors profession itself. Sadly, and still unknown to the public at large, it is by no means unique. Many people around the world have contacted me with their sad and disturbing stories about doing business with solicitors in England. For just two developing examples, go to the Cases Pending section, or read the News. If you have been defrauded by UK solicitors you will face appalling difficulties when trying to seek redress.

 

You should observe the guidance notes below before using solicitors in England or Wales:

  Guidance note Precautions

1.

Don't assume or presume anything about the expertise of the solicitor you are thinking of using.

Find out about their special practice areas and if they are suited to your requirements. You cannot know all the questions you should be asking, which is why you employ or retain professional advisors in the first place. They are supposed to bear your interests and needs in mind, so they should be asking questions, too. Your last question of them should be: "Is there anything else I need to know at this time?" Always ask this question - it should never be implied or left hanging. It might save your life. If you fail to ask the right questions, they will rely upon that fact later to mask or evade their own responsibilities. Your safest assumption is that all lawyers intend to betray your reliance on their honesty, professionalism and integrity.

1.(a)

Their Professional Indemnity Insurance

The Solicitors' Indemnity Fund is now the subject of debate as to how its 54m(+/-) GBP surplus should be either handed back to contributing solicitors, or used to plug the Law Society's pensions hole. You should also ask the solicitor or solicitors you are thinking of using who are their insurers and whether there any exceptions or exemptions that might affect the business in hand.

2.

Don't assume that because they are a solicitor they are above reproach..

Telephone the Law Society on:

0870 606 6575 or 0845 608 6565. and ask whether that solicitor has any conditions imposed on their practicing certificate. You should also check that they are a legitimate solicitor here:

Law Society's Find a Solicitor but the database is not comprehensive. If you need to be absolutely sure, use the above telephone number. The Law Society has recently introduced a new telephone number: To find out whether a solicitor has conditions imposed on their practising certificate, call 01527 519144.

3. Don't imagine that if you subsequently have any complaints about your solicitor, they and the Law Society or the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors will act in your interests or do the "honourable thing" befitting an "Honourable Profession". If your complaint is serious the solicitors, the Law Society, the Office for the Supervision of solicitors and the legal system will rally round to protect their members first. Your interests and "justice" come in at a very poor second place. They will do their utmost to fob you off. They will lie and lie, conjuring with the truth, and mutilating the facts beyond recognition. They will try to wear you down with twisted logic and indifference. In many cases they succeed, and they will not care about your misery.  If a solicitor's dishonesty or negligence has left you without funds, you will have no hope at all of winning redress. The Legal Services Commission's Specialist Fraud Panel might not be able to help you, either. Solicitors treat serious complaints as threats of litigation, responding with specious, twisted logic or even lies, sometimes threatening claimants with actions for defamation!!
4. Don't presume that your solicitor will at all times be acting solely in your interests. Be as sure as you can that the solicitor or solicitors you retain do not to gain from the business in hand in any way other than the professional charges they will levy on you. Be sure, also, that they are not acting or do not act for any other party that might also have an interest in your venture or investment. Many solicitors are as crooked as their clients, and many criminals work with crooked solicitors! (With some possible exceptions) If you catch even the faintest whiff of potential conflict of interest, DITCH THEM.
5. Caution: your proposed business or investment might include another person as a director or shareholder. In England, private individuals are not allowed to discover if that person has a criminal record, which might seriously affect your decisions about the business or investment if their record concerns financial crime. Neither will a crooked solicitor tell you their own history, or that of their client. You will be seriously compromised from the outset by being denied crucial information. To discover why you are not allowed to know someone's criminal past, visit the Criminal Records Bureau. Check out the Disclosure statements. The same precautions as in 4, above, apply. You might be confident that you have "made all the right moves", done your diligence, but you will in fact be in business with criminals and crooked solicitors without knowing it. You will be fleeced.
6. Don't assume that solicitors' charges are reasonable and that they will keep you informed of their progress and activities on the matter for which you have retained them. Make regular checks on progress and always ask for an unambiguous breakdown of charges and disbursements. I will soon be publishing on this site the story of the widow and the greedy solicitor...
Salutary Examples of Solicitors' dishonesty and betrayal of trust
Struck off - lying, theft, conspiracy to defraud
Further reading
A. Search the archive of the Law Society Gazette for the words "struck off" or "disciplined" or "disciplinary" or "SDT" or variants.

Gazette

The online archive only goes back to 1998, but there are hundreds and hundreds...

B. The Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) published its annual reports 2002 and 2003. I have copied the 2002 report it and put it on this site. The 2003 report will follow. (Fewer cases, but more complex ones). "2004 and 2005 annual reports are now available.

Download PDF reports from SDT

Read the 2002 report on this site as HTML

Read the 2003 report on this site as HTML

C. Check out the News, News Roundup and Alerts, left. News Roundup, News

D.

Consider the sentiments and contents of the Similar Sites section

see: Similar Sites

E. The Consumers' Association conducted a survey: (2001) Which?
F. Solicitors complaints line doesn't always tell the whole truth: (2001) Which?
G. Which? condemns Law Society helpline for misinforming callers: (2003) Which?
H. Delays, negligence and mistakes…solicitors aren’t improving, says Which? Which? Press Release 2004
H.(a) Watchdogs call for regulation shake up of legal profession Which? Press Release 2005
I. Legal Services Ombudsman publishes "Unprecedented" interim report. OLSO
J. Expertise and Ethics in the Legal Profession. Richard Tur
K. Crooked lawyers who keep working. Struck off
L. The Law Society has a sense of humour. Joke. Temporarily removed as the LS has lost it
M. More views about the Law Society and solicitors Montage
N. Browse the National Criminal Intelligence Service NCIS
O. Browse the Serious Fraud Office SFO
P. This person is really upset: "For your own peace of mind... Do NOT use this Firm..." Legalbullies

 

Be so very, very careful when using solicitors in England or Wales - the few good ones are good, but the bad ones will deliberately destroy you! The Law Society and the courts - in fact, the entire legal system - will not care because the law now more closely resembles a self-serving racket than a fair and just means of regulating society. England, where the Law Society is a Company incorporated by Royal Charter, is a very dangerous place in which to trust in its lawyers, or to do business at all.

 

I DID retain a solicitor - a lawyer for my business - but how could I possibly have known or even guessed that Steven Daultrey had in fact been struck off for lying to clients and stealing their money? Solicitor Francis Read knew; solicitor Richard Donnellan knew; Steven Daultrey knew; their fraudster client, Michael Turner knew; the Law Society knew. They all knew, except for ME, and they relied on my ignorance of the reality to rob me and everyone else who came along. Had Francis Read made clear to me the true status and credentials of the struck off Steven Daultrey, I would have been alerted to the risks contained in having any business dealings with Turner.

What chances do any of us have when the system is so tilted in favour of the corrupt? You might be better advised to invest in Antarctic vineyard schemes than to use a "Lawyer For Your Business" in England or Wales. The Department of Trade and Industry, however, continues to recommend solicitors as a good starting point for proposed business start-ups. Ha!

If you are trusting, honest, honourable and prefer to seek the best in others you are a sitting duck for fraudsters. Always inform yourself before parting with any of your hard-earned money, and don't fall for any sob stories.

You have been warned.

 

Read this as a case study Legal Robbery

To find out why striking solicitors off The Roll is meaningless, read Struck off solicitors

Solicitors' Lie Detector

 

September 2004

 

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