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2004 - 1st Quarter


This page features news and news items relating to UnjustIS matters.  Follow the hyperlinks to the external source (opens in a new window) or an UnjustIS news sheet.  Most recently posted items top the list.  To report broken or outdated links please visit the Contacts section.

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2004 - 1st Quarter

Title and description of item

Links - the full story

Date posted on UnjustIS


Ministers on rack over migrant row

"..the Home Office yesterday expanded its inquiry into the alleged immigration scam to include the activities of three UK legal firms, named in the memo as Collinsons, Solomons and Gersens."

Guardian 31 Mar 2004

Commando war hero turned solicitor dies

A solicitor who took part in one of the most heroic military operations of the Second World War, has died aged 85.

This is Hertfordshire 31 Mar 2004

Helicopter Crash - Foul Play Ruled Out

Air accident investigators looking into the helicopter crash that killed a Russian oil firm boss ruled out foul play today.

The Scotsman 31 Mar 2004

Solicitor Settles Sex Discrimination Claim

A high-flying solicitor who was allegedly sacked hours after revealing she was pregnant reached a settlement with her former employers today.

The Scotsman 31 Mar 2004

Fraudsters prey on apathetic Brits

A survey out today suggests that more than eight million Britons would willingly disclose vital personal information to a cold caller. Men (22 per cent) are far more likely to give out information needed to commit identity fraud than women (14.5 per cent).

The Register 27 Mar 2004

Law Society to answer back to Clementi reforms

The wide-sweeping review has put the Law Society’s dual role as trade union and regulator of the legal profession under threat.

The Lawyer 26 Mar 2004

Lawyer 'told to go after revealing pregnancy'

A leading City lawyer is claiming million of pounds in compensation after she was made redundant within hours of telling her bosses she was pregnant, a tribunal has heard.

Evening Standard 26 Mar 2004

New home has nasty surprise for family.

Lisa and Kevin Stewart say a succession of solicitors missed the 'ransom strip' which runs across the front of the newly-built house in Ashley Road.

IC Berkshire 26 Mar 2004

Warning over fraudster bank e-mails

The mails generally tell people the bank has updated its anti-fraud systems and needs them to re-activate their account by clicking on a link.

ITV News 25 Mar 2004

Probe into law firm.

"A report into the circumstances surrounding the forced closure of Gidley and Company, of Stainland Road, should go before the Law Society next month."

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 23 Mar 2004

Profit built on lies.

A crooked Birmingham solicitor involved in a series of fraudulent mortgage deals which made a fortune for his client has been kicked out of the profession.
City lawyer Colin Barr, 47, failed to disclose vital information to building societies as they lent money for a series of dubious property purchases.

IC Birmingham 18 Mar 2004

Conman lawyer jailed for fraud

A lawyer who admitted defrauding clients out of nearly £700,000 has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

BBC 18 Mar 2004

Solicitors cash in on fight for pupil places.

Desperate parents are hiring lawyers to help get their children into popular schools after being turned down for places.

The (Staffordshire) Sentinel 17 Mar 2004

Solicitor cleared over immigration scam.

A NORWICH solicitor has been cleared of involvement in a multi-million pound illegal immigration scam. Tim Cary, 50, of Cargate Lane, Saxlington, and a partner with a Norwich-based solicitor Leathes Prior, was acquitted of two charges of helping illegal immigrants into the UK.

Norwich Evening News 17 Mar2004

The home snatchers

Homeowners in their 50s and 60s are being swindled out of hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of equity in their homes by a cruel type of fraud that leaves them facing a penniless retirement.

Telegraph 17 Mar 2004

Solicitor in court for theft of clients' cash.

"Tim Farrant, 52, a former partner in Scarborough law firm Grunwells, yesterday appeared at York Crown Court to plead guilty to nine charges of theft."

Yorkshire post 16 March

FSA will confirm market-timing in UK

The Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, will this week reveal the extent to which British investors have been exploited by hedge funds using a practice known as market-timing.

Telegraph 14 Mar 2004

Solicitor in fraud probe.

Mystery surrounds the identity of a Teifi Valley solicitor under investigation over an alleged fraud.

Carmarthen Journal 11 Mar 2004

Dentons in OSS complaint as Paris cash hole emerges.

"..the firm is to be reported to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) while, in a separate incident, its largest foreign office has uncovered a £200,000 funding gap."

Legal Week 11 Mar 2004

Clementi signals death knell for Law Society’s regulatory brief.

The Law Society and the Bar Council have conceded that they face having to separate their regulatory and representative roles under Sir David Clementi’s increasingly radical review of legal services regulation

Legal Week 11 Mar 2004

Solicitor In Cash Probe

AN Ulster solicitor is at the centre of a probe by the Northern Ireland Law Society, it can be revealed today. (Link Broken as at July 2006)

IC Northern Ireland 11 Mar 2004

Criminal justice system in crisis.

LIVERPOOL'S criminal justice system could run out of new defence lawyers in the next five years because of low pay and increasing red tape.

Liverpool Daily Post 11 Mar 2004

'Contract to break legs of lawyer'.

A Solicitor jailed for embezzling money from his clients took out a £4,000 contract to have his former partner's legs broken, a jury heard.

Derbyshire Evening Telegraph 11 Mar 2004

Byers is right: greedy lawyers are a curse.

Reversing what has become a profitable pursuit for unscrupulous lawyers and determined victims of accidents is bound to be a slow process.

Telegraph 11 Mar 2004

Man killed himself over £65,000 debts

Ananova 11 Mar 2004

Trial of trust goes horribly wrong

A rum do on the square does little to boost flagging recruitment figures.

L.A. Daily News

10 Mar 2004

Axe falls on lambasted legal watchdog.

The much-criticised Office for the Supervision of Solicitors is to be axed and a new consumer complaints service set up, divorced from the function of policing solicitors' professional conduct. Clare Dyer, Guardian

Guardian 10 Mar 2004
Cap Gemini drops Barlow Lyde & Gilbert Legal Week 10 Mar 2004

UK law firms served notice of new brief.

British solicitors and barristers face being governed by a tough new regulator in a fundamental shake-up of the "outdated, inflexible, over-complex and insufficiently accountable" way the legal profession is run.

Financial Times 09 Mar 2004

Supreme court plans.

The leader of the Lords, Lady Amos warned: "The house has taken a very serious step." By voting for a special select committee, the unelected Lords had made it impossible for the democratically elected Commons to receive the bill in time to consider it this session. The government would consider what the consequences may be.

Guardian 09 Mar 2004

The £1m swindler

"Michael Clark, 66, lived the high life with the money he fleeced from unsuspecting investors...The scam has brought misery to hard-working people who hoped the investment scheme would provide a boost to their pensions."

Evening Standard

09 Mar 2004

Clifford Chance calls for Law Society to be stripped of dual role.

"We do not think it is tenable for the Law Society to continue both as a regulator and a representative body," director of public policy Hilary Platten said.

Legal Week

09 Mar 2004

Lords inflict supreme court blow.

The House of Lords has defeated government hopes of pushing through plans to abolish the post of lord chancellor and set up a supreme court.


09 Mar 2004

Law Regulation Chief to Unveil Reforms

Chairman of the insurer Prudential, David Clementi, has pledged to square up to any vested interests in the legal profession.

Scotsman 08 Mar 2004

Legal 'fat cat' claws in £3m

Lord Grabiner, who is already one of the most sought-after QCs at the Bar, has found the field clear to charge as much as £3,000 an hour, according to senior solicitors who instruct him regularly. This is a huge hike on his standard £1,000 per hour rate.

Times Online (subscription) 08 Mar 2004

Lawyers in short supply. (Some mistake, surely? UJ)

PEOPLE approaching the Citizens' Advice Bureau in Sheen are being denied the help they need because of a shortage of lawyers, it was claimed this week.

Richmond & Twickenham Times

05 Mar 2004

Equitable report to be out within days.

"There had been fears that parts of the document could be subject to confidentiality restrictions but it was confirmed yesterday the report will be uncensored and unabridged."


05 Mar 2004

Is Blair keen to take on judges?

"It probably doesn't get much more serious than accusing a government of undermining the rule of law,..."

BBC 05 Mar 2004

Tycoon's lawyer dies in crash.

A lawyer with close links to Russian tycoons Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky has died in a mysterious helicopter crash.

This is London

04 Mar 2004

Firms set to take drastic laundering action.

Small firms are threatening to report their entire client lists to the National Criminal Intelligence Service

Accountancy Age

04 Mar 2004

'Vulture' solicitors lambasted.

Lawyers who acted like 'vultures' by charging infirm miners while being paid by the government should be struck off by the Law Society or sued by the Department of Trade and Industry, MPs said yesterday. Update: Miners' Claims News 2004-2007


04 Mar 2004

Britain May Drop 'Crown' From Agency Name.

Plans to rename Britain's Crown Prosecution Service have alarmed monarchists and provoked a tempest in conservative newspapers.


04 Mar 2004

Government defends legal plans

Lord Woolf, said a supreme court that replaced the House of Lords would be a "second class institution". And he criticised David Blunkett's plans to limit the right of appeal for asylum seekers as "fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law".


04 Mar 2004

New clampdown on money laundering

Lawyers, accountants, casino bosses and estate agents could all now face prison if they fail to report suspected fraud.


01 Mar 2004

Lawyers must accept truth will prevail.

The Irish Law Society ought to change its coat of arms. An insignia featuring a couple of snarling rottweilers and a Tiny Tears crying doll would constitute a much more fitting emblem than the pair of noble bloodhounds and Lady Justice statuette that adorn the existing crest.

Sunday Times - Ireland

29 Feb 2004

Lawyer stole from dead

A solicitor has been jailed for four years for stealing more than £278,000 from dead clients to fund his comfortable lifestyle.


28 Feb 2004

Solicitor Suspected of Smuggling Illegal Immigrants into the Country

The lawyer was stopped last night by detectives at Dover, with four Romanian nationals in his car returning from France.

The Scotsman

28 Feb 2004

Ex-con lawyer struck off

A CONVICTED murderer who qualified as a solicitor has been kicked out of the profession for trying to kill his wife.

Incredibly, Law Society officials were convinced he was safe to work as a lawyer following his release on life licence after he knifed a 17-year-old to death on a dance floor. (Well, the Law Society's not fussy about who it lets in, is it? UJ)

IC South London

27 Feb 2004

Lawyers nabbed at prison The Australian 26 Feb 2004

Sentencing of Former Solicitor Deferred Again

A former solicitor who stole £667,000 from his clients will have to wait a further three weeks to learn his fate, a court ruled today.

The Scotsman

26 Feb 2004

He kept swiping clients' money

FOR seven years, a crooked lawyer kept pocketing his clients' money. When he was caught last year, he had taken $1.68 million. (A nod to Asian reporting)

Straits Times

26 Feb 2004

Barrister 'jailed for judge insult'


26 Feb 2004

Lawyer jailed after £250,000 loan-fraud scam

A LAWYER who carried out loan frauds worth £250,000 to bail out his struggling legal practice was jailed for more than two years yesterday.


26 Feb 2004

Supreme Court to cost £32 million

Building a Supreme Court will cost up to £32 million, the Constitution Secretary, Lord Falconer, said yesterday as he unveiled the Bill that will replace the law lords and abolish the ancient office of Lord Chancellor.


26 Feb 2004

British justice a laughing stock.

Eyes of the high-tech world turn to Britain... and then turn to the heavens, in despair...

Silicon.com 25 Feb 2004

Bankers and lawyers forced to disclose clients' secrets.

LAWYERS, bankers and accountants would be forced to disclose confidential client information under sweeping new police powers being planned by ministers to tackle organised crime.


25 Feb 2004

Review could revamp law firms

The head of the government's review of the legal industry is to float proposals for a new type of law firm which could change the shape of the profession.


25 Feb 2004

£38m scam solicitor struck off

Paul Winter Morris (55), received a five-year prison term after he dishonestly siphoned some £8 million through his law firm’s client accounts.

HM Customs & Excise 25 Feb 2004
Legal reform bill to be unveiled BBC 25 Feb 2004
Money laundering clampdown This is Money 23 Feb 2004
Lawyer faces tribunal Manchester Evening News 23 Feb 2004
Law Society pressed for £20m to plug pensions black hole Legal Week 21 Feb 2004
Fahey launches attack on legal profession Ireland Online 21 Feb 2004
Legal Profession Loses Glitter Allafrica 21 Feb 2004
Falconer woos Scotland's lawyers Scotsman 21 Feb 2004
Civil liability bill tackles rogue litigants but not lawyers Politics Ireland 21 Feb 2004

Boiler rooms chug on

The number of unauthorised investment firms targeting the UK has doubled, according to a new warning from watchdog the Financial Services Authority. This leaves investors at higher risk of losing savings to unscrupulous offshore brokers than ever before.

Guardian 21 Feb 2004

Be robust about risk.

Compensation claims are starving the NHS of vital funds, and turning us into a society that feasts on blame

Guardian 20 Feb 2004
Treasury refuses to back laundering advice Accountancy Age 20 Feb 2004

United Kingdom: Money Laundering – Giving Solicitors the Key to the Gate. "...there has been uncertainty over the exact nature of a solicitor’s duty to report suspicions of criminal activity to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) and similar bodies."


20 Feb 2004

Harman tells police to change attitude to domestic violence. Harriet Harman, the Solicitor General, called for a culture change in police attitudes to domestic violence yesterday after figures showed forces were failing to record more than half of such crimes reported to them.


19 Feb 2004

High court orders inquiry into law firm. .. "enormous concern" by the conduct of a solicitor, Jane Loveday, who ran up a legal aid bill of up to £2m representing women claiming assaults by the struck-off gynaecologist Rodney Ledward. (Update June 2008 - Loveday struck off)


19 Feb 2004

The full weight of the law. To succeed as a solicitor, you need to be assertive. That's not the same as being a thug, reports Leonie Lamont.

Sydney Morning Herald 18 Feb 2004

UK Law Society refers case to Solicitors Practice Unit

Officialspin.com 18 Feb 2004

FSA targets 63 firms in ad clampdown. Watchdog's teeth sink into misleading financial product campaigns

Guardian 18 Feb 2004
Dirty cash rules perplex solicitors Scotland on Sunday 16 Feb 2004
Garnier blasts 'greedy' lawyers over huge legal settlements Independent 14 Feb 2004
Watchdog to sniff out greedy lawyers Sydney Morning Herald 14 Feb 2004
Benefit cheats may get ‘entrepreneur’ grants Sunday Times -Scotland 14 Feb 2004
Fraud in the UK is booming Creditman (link broken @ 22 Feb) 14 Feb 2004
Measures aimed at tackling the UK pension crisis have been published by the government. -a pension regulator will be set up to ensure new rules are followed and to combat fraud. BBC 14 Feb 2004
Fraud crackdown to target public sector staff Scotland on Sunday 14 Feb 2004
An elite squad of specialist investigators will take on the new challenge of fighting modern organised crime, the Home Secretary has announced Publictechnology 14 Feb 2004

UK Law Society digs deep,

... partner
Office for the Supervision of Solicitors responds to creditor's complaint

Officialspin.com 14 Feb 2004
Sentencing of Solicitor Deferred Again Scotsman 14 Feb 2004
Million legal problems a year slip through net - System is failing the poor and disadvantaged, survey suggests. Clare Dyer writes for The Guardian Guardian 13 Feb 2004
MPs calling on the government to postpone plans to scrap the office of Lord Chancellor. BBC 10 Feb 2004
Customs officers' perjury in fraud trials exposed Guardian 09 Feb 2004
Two legal aid QCs paid £600,000 Guardian 09 Feb 2004
Blair announces 'British FBI' BBC 09 Feb 2004
Solicitor used clients’ cash on loans David Holder ran up debts of almost £700,000... Hendon & Finchley Times 06 Feb 2004
Legal survey reveals that fraudsters are top of the blacklist for the legal profession Legal Week 05 Feb 2004
Law Society calls in firms to help reduce complaints overload Legal Week 05 Feb 2004
Financial Services Authority publishes its Financial Risk Outlook report 2004."The city's chief watchdog has doubled its budget for lawyers in the wake of a huge increase in fines and investigations." James Moore - Telegraph - 28/01/04 FSA 28 Jan 2004
Judge questions lawyer's right to practise Guardian 28 Jan 2004
Only 43% of jurors grasp all the details Guardian 27 Jan 2004
Lord Chancellor agrees concessions to strengthen judicial independence Guardian 27 Jan 2004

Consumers' Association seeks your feedback about shoddy solicitors in England


22 Jan 2004

Crooked solicitor paid tax bill with client's money

A CROOKED solicitor who settled her tax bill with money due to a bereaved family has been thrown out of the profession.

Henley Standard

19 Jan 2004

House-scam lawyer to be struck off

"Crooked solicitor David Gatherer will be struck off after being jailed for cheating an elderly widow in a property scam."

Evening Chronicle

19 Jan 2004

I was ruined by Shipman 'lawyer', says ex-solicitor

A former solicitor has alleged that the fraudster Giovanni Di Stefano ruined his practice


19 Jan 2004

Police probe Shipman lawyer claim

The man acting as lawyer for serial killer Harold Shipman and controversial property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten is not entitled to practise law in the UK, the Guardian has learned.

Guardian 15 Jan 2004

BCCI trial puts Bank in dock

Creditors are finally getting the chance to find out how much the Bank of England and financial institutions knew before the collapse, writes Conal Walsh

Observer/Guardian 13 Jan 2004

Prosecutors Turn Up Parmalat Heat, Citigroup Sued

Offshore Business & News

07 Jan 2004

UK Pensions crisis explored in depth.


07 Jan 2004


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