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NEWS - May 2006

UnjustIS caches offline the full texts and originating urls of News content.

This page features news and news items relating to UnjustIS matters.

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Solicitors and other lawyers making the bad news from 2003 to date: News Roundup

Essential developments and newly available information building news in the background. Essential

 

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Silly Season approaching - watch this space, examples herein:

Clifford Chance is predicting revenues to break through the £1bn mark for the 2005-06 financial year, while average profits per equity partner (PEP) are expected to reach more than £810,000. The Lawyer  "...Many study law because they have a strong interest in justice, including social justice. Many also have a strong sense of community and want to be able to give something back." The Lawyer  Mishcon de Reya saw its revenue rocket by more than 20 per cent last year, increasing from £24.2m to £29.1m. The Lawyer  Mekon de RaygunDon't lose sight of: Miners' claims, and (recent) History. (UJ)

 

Mekon de Raygun

Ho Hum.

Hands up, you horrors.

30 May

Images, left: © Dan Dare Corporation Ltd.

E-mail filter blocks 'erection'

A resident's e-mails objecting to a planning application were blocked by a computer system that tries to filter blue or risque language. Commercial lawyer Ray Kennedy, from Middleton, Gtr Manchester, wrote three e-mails to Rochdale Council complaining about a planning matter. But two messages, with the word "erection", were blocked as offensive and the third was too late. The council said it would be apologising to Mr Kennedy. (They might be blocking "election" next. UJ)

BBC

30 May

FRAUD: Con pair face ruin

A COUPLE are today facing ruin and the loss of their home after a pair of smiling swindlers stole £90,000 from their business. Engaged couple Tracey Holdsworth (42) and Mark Jackson (50) were facing problems with their electrical firm when they fell for the charm of Michael Brandon, who said he had the financial know-how to turn things around.They little suspected that the conman, and his partner Simon Rutledge, would bleed them dry and leave them in despair. Today, the only consolation for Tracey and Mark, of Dunsberry, Bretton, Peterborough, is that they were not the only victims of the conmen's convincing story of business acumen. They can also take comfort from the fact that glib-talking Brandon, who admitted 16 counts of obtaining £250,000 from his victims by deception has been sent to prison for three and a half years. His cohort, Rutledge, a disbarred solicitor, has been ordered to do 240 hours of community work for his part in profiting from the misery of others.

Peterborough Today

30 May

Law Society opens up hearings

THE Law Society is expected to lift the secrecy surrounding disciplinary hearings against solicitors in an effort to rid the profession of poor standards and dishonesty. There are about 600 cases a year, which Peter Williamson, newly in charge of regulation at the society, wants to make available to the public. The society represents about 100,000 solicitors in England and Wales. (Update 02 June 2006: Clarification)

Times Online

Clarification

30 May

What did the lawyers do for their millions of pounds?

By Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract

The Law Society’s claim to be ‘cracking down hard on miners’ solicitors’ is spin

SO THERE we have it. The Law Society has spoken. In respect of the British Coal Miners’ Compensation debacle, Janet Paraskeva, chief executive of the Law Society of England and Wales, has complained that “some people have taken the opportunity to pursue a campaign against solicitors, unfairly raising the expectations of miners and their families and creating unnecessary problems for solicitors and firms”. Since Lord Mason of Barnsley, the former Cabinet Minister, dubbed me the “miners’ champion”, I am qualified to respond.

Times Online

30 May

OK, the bathwater may need changing, but keep the baby

City giants, legal aid firms and high street solicitors all come under the umbrella of the Law Society of England and Wales. Will they agree on its future? A COSTLY and irrelevant bureaucracy or a strong voice and defender of the solicitors’ profession? This Thursday the Law Society council kicks off debate on the future of the 150-year-old body that represents nearly 100,000 solicitors in England and Wales. At stake is whether the society should survive, in what shape and what it should do for the solicitors who fund it.

Times Online

27 May

Legal aid fee dispute escalates

The ruling body for Scotland's 10,000 solicitors has voted to take action in a dispute over legal aid fees. The Law Society of Scotland will not now co-operate with the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Legal Aid Board "on all legal matters". Members have accused the executive of failing to increase legal aid fees in line with court reforms. Ministers said they were committed to fair payments.

BBC

26 May

Town lawyer is struck off

A dishonest Shrewsbury solicitor who pocketed nearly £10,000 of a client’s cash entrusted to him for a house purchase has been struck off. Stephen Morecroft, of Battlefield Road, also forged vendors’ signatures on documents and tried to trick a hospital into handing over confidential records.

Shropshire Star

26 May

Solicitor who stole £1.3m gets 7 years jail

A greedy solicitor who stole nearly £1.3 million from clients' accounts to live a life of luxury was today jailed for seven years. Timothy Miles, 45, a former chairman of his local Round Table, paid off the mortgage on the family home in Uxbridge and then bought himself a luxury flat in Gerrards Cross which he furnished opulently when his marriage broke up. He also bought a Jaguar car. He admitted 13 charges of theft and one of forgery of two wills over a four year period until a routine audit while he was on holiday led to his arrest. Miles, a salaried partner in the Uxbridge firm of Bird and Lovibond which he joined in 1994, earning up to £60,000 a year, dealt with conveyancing, wills and probate, said counsel.

LSE

26 May

Shock as sick miners lose court case

A HIGH Court judge has said failed legal action by a group of miners was 'doomed from the start'.
The Action Group for Miners (AGM) had taken claims company Vendside – which is part of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM) – to court over alleged unfair legal fee charges. But Judge Sir Michael Turner found that the application for a Group Litigation Order against Vendside was a 'gross abuse of the system'. The defeat for AGM could prove costly, with miners and their families possibly facing a legal bill of more than £1 million.

Worksop Today

26 may

Society hits back at Manzoor after £250K fine

The Law Society hit back at the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner (LSCC) this week, saying that her demands would require an impossible 25% increase in caseworkers. It follows Zahida Manzoor’s decision last week to fine the Society £250,000 for the ‘inadequacy’ of its plan to improve complaints-handling over the next year. The money will go to the Treasury.

Law Society Gazette

26 May

NHS chief found guilty of fraud

The former chief executive and finance director of West Yorkshire's ambulance trust have been jailed for three years for defrauding the NHS out of £250,000. Trevor Molton, 50, and John Miners, 55, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud at Manchester Crown Court.

BBC

26 May

Enron's Lay and Skilling guilty

Former Enron bosses Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling have both been found guilty on fraud, conspiracy and other charges. The two presided over the spectacular collapse of the energy giant in 2001 and were also accused of lying to investors about its financial problems.

BBC

25 May

Era of 'Tesco Law' approaches

The era of so-called "Tesco Law" took a step closer to becoming a reality today with the publication of the draft Legal Services Bill. The Bill, to be debated in the House of Commons, proposes allowing general businesses such as supermarkets or insurers to provide legal services and own law firms for the first time.

Times Online

25 May

Legal scales set to tip in consumers’ favour, says NCC

The National Consumer Council (NCC) warmly welcomes today’s publication of the Legal Services Bill – an eagerly-awaited and important step towards a new legal services regime that will put consumers’ interests at its heart. (Download the Price Waterhouse Coopers report as a pdf file from the DCA web site, link right. UJ)

eGov Monitor

DCA

25 May

MDPs given go ahead in Legal Services Bill

Lawyers will be allowed to practice in partnership with other professionals within firms owned by non-lawyers under new legislation, it was announced today (24 May).

The Lawyer

24 May

Lords rule in favour of large divorce payouts for wives

The House of Lords ruled in favour of two ex-wives today in separate legal rulings that will set precedent for other multi-million pound divorces in England and Wales and strike fear into the heart of wealthy men.

Times Online

24 May

Bar appoints new complaints commissioner

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has appointed senior civil servant Robert Behrens as the new Bar Complaints Commissioner. Behrens, previously secretary to the committee on Standards in Public Life, succeeds Michael Scott in the role and takes up his post on 1 June.

(UnjustIS has received no complaints about barristers since 2002 !. Regulatory chief appointed, Nov 2005. The Bar Council, however, recently made available on its web server a private and confidential document entitled: REPORT OF THE VERY HIGH COST CRIMINAL CASES CONTRACTING REVIEW, in which matters of lawyers' remuneration has been the subject of some negotiation with the Law Society. UJ)

The Lawyer

23 May

Solicitor admits money laundering

A solicitor from County Armagh has pleaded guilty to involvement in money laundering at a Liverpool Court. Brian Dougan, 48, from Brootally Road, Milford, admitted using his firm's business account to handle money from a red diesel money laundering scam.

BBC

23 May

Judge ridicules Home Office on immigration

A SENIOR judge decided against imposing a deportation order on a jailed African fraudster as he claimed no-one would take any notice amid the ongoing Home Office immigration crisis. Judge Paul Hoffman made the controversial decision not to send illegal immigrant Teslim Raji back to his home country of Nigeria once he had completed a 15-month jail sentence. The judge claimed he had "no confidence" in the immigration system...

Yorkshire Post

23 May

Solicitors reveal wish for better representation by Law Society

Solicitors want the Law Society to be a strong representative body over and above providing member services or influencing public policy, a profession-wide consultation has shown. The Law Society's 'Have Your Say' survey targeted solicitors in England and Wales and garnered responses from nearly 19,000 lawyers, or 17 per cent of the profession.

The Lawyer

22 May

High Court Victory for Vendside and the UDM

Sick and dying miners could face huge legal bills after an “unnecessary” application supported by the Action Group for Miners (AGM) against compensation claim handling company, Vendside, was thrown out by the High Court today. Judge Sir Michael Turner said that the application, backed by the AGM and John Mann MP, for a Group Litigation Order was “a gross abuse of the system” and “doomed from the start”. (Link to judgement text: Bailii)

Press Dispensary

22 May

Judge turns up heat on mis-sells

Financial regulators are on the verge of yet another crisis of confidence as a court case on endowment mis-selling raises fundamental questions about the approach of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to consumer complaints.

Observer

22 May

Victims may decide inmates' fate

Victims of crime could be given a say on whether offenders should be freed from jail, under plans being considered by Home Secretary John Reid. It comes amid increasing concerns that the rights of offenders are being given too much prominence and controversy over the early release of criminals. (Uh? UJ)

BBC

22 May

The violent criminals who walk out of prison at will

Hundreds of prisoners, including murderers, rapists and robbers, have absconded from open prisons in a further embarrassment for a Government reeling from a series of Home Office blunders. Prison Service figures show that offenders have been escaping from Leyhill Open Prison, Glos, at the rate of almost two a week for three years.

Telegraph

22 May

Former Ombudsman: ‘This bill is a mess’

SCOTLAND'S legal services watchdog for the past six years delivered her last word on the governance of the profession in an interview with The Herald last week. Linda Costelloe Baker's valedictory observations are provocative and will make for uncomfortable reading – not only for the Law Society of Scotland, but also for a Justice Department whose reforms of complaints- handling are aimed at bolstering public confidence.

The Herald

22 May

Miners' pay out case thrown out

An MP has insisted the fight will continue to recover money owed to miners who were wrongly charged fees when they claimed compensation. A miners group had taken claims company Vendside - part of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers - to court over allegedly unfair legal fee charges. The case was called "unnecessary" by a High Court judge and thrown out. But MP for Bassetlaw, John Mann, said while he was disappointed, individual claims would go ahead.

BBC

20 May

Dispute between solicitors and executive escalates

A dispute between Scotland's solicitors and the government over legal aid fees has escalated. In an unprecedented move, the Law Society of Scotland is set to withdraw its co-operation with the executive on criminal matters. Some individual lawyers are even threatening to stop representing people accused of sex offences.

Scottish TV

19 May

Coal Miners who lost money in DTI compensation scheme to appeal

Coal miners' claims for unlawful deductions from compensation awards to be referred to the Court of Appeal
19 May 2006 - Press Dispensary - Solicitors acting for miners who are claiming back very significant amounts deducted by trade unions and solicitors are taking the matter to the Court of Appeal. This follows the decision - made in court yesterday by Sir Michael Turner - to dismiss the application for a Group Litigation Order which would have enabled miners collectively to litigate against the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM), Vendside and certain solicitors for the recovery of deductions made in respect of settled coal mine claims, with costs. Mr Edwards from Greene Wood & McLean LLP, the solicitors who represented the coal miner applicants, said today: "With due respect to Sir Michael we believe that his judgment is wrong and that the Court of Appeal will make a Group Litigation Order." (This press centre is provided for Greene Wood & McLean LLP by
Press Dispensary) To view full text, use link, right.

Press Dispensary

19 May

Law Society Plans To End Document Delivery Service

The Law Society intends to end its document delivery service on 29th August 2006, it has been confirmed...The key issue is that while the Law Society is keen to reduce costs, the planned changes are very likely to make it much more difficult and costly for legal practices to secure vital documents. This will inevitably result in an impaired service to clients and/or increased costs being passed on to clients.

Managing Information

19 May

Lawyers raided in corruption case

Police on the trail of millions of pounds in government funds allegedly stolen by a former Zambian president raided a solicitors’ office in North London yesterday. The raids in Edgware were part of a corruption case being brought against Frederick Chiluba, who stepped down as president in 2001. Officers believe that Cave Malik & Co Solicitors has been receiving large sums of money from Mr Chiluba since 2001..."It is not suggested that the solicitors knew the funds were from an alleged money-laundering operation."

Times Online

19 May

Law Soc slashes staff as cost-cuts begin

The Law Society is beginning a programme of cost-saving redundancies, citing the results of a recent consultation as the catalyst. The society’s representative side, which employs around 300 staff, has told 11 people that they are likely to be made redundant as well as freezing a further 12 posts which were due to be advertised. It is understood that further redundancies are likely as the society continues a cost-cutting programme.

The Lawyer

19 May

Millions unclaimed from SIF surplus

More than 7,000 law firms will have received £20 million from the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) surplus by the end of the month – but 1,000 more have not even responded to communications from the fund on how to claim their money, it emerged last week. SIF chairman Paul Marsh told the Law Society Council that, in total, 9,446 firms are due a £25 million refund of their premiums from the 2001/02 indemnity year. (The are no outstanding claims on the SIF, then? UJ)

Law Society Gazette

19 May

Change is in the air - this time it's true

The legal profession is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented change, the chairman of the Bar Council tells me. Stephen Hockman, QC, anticipates my next question by admitting that barristers' leaders say that every year. This time, he insists, it's true. Next week, the Government intends to publish a draft of its Legal Services Bill, which will allow lawyers to set up new business structures in line with recommendations from Sir David Clementi. Next month, or perhaps in July, Lord Carter of Coles is expected to publish his advice on how the Government should pay for legal aid work. (1024 words total)

Telegraph

18 May

Top union adviser faces probe on miner fee claims

Thompsons has been dragged into the row over compensation for sick miners, with the top trade union adviser this week admitting it was being investigated by the Law Society, while new figures revealed the firm had received £83.7m in public money. The firm conceded that it was facing investigation by Chancery Lane for its role in advising thousands of sick miners in the £7bn Government-backed compensation scheme.

Legal Week

18 May

Law Society fined over solicitor complaints

...Louise Hanson, head of campaigns at Which?, said: "It just goes to show how badly consumers are being served by the very organisation that is supposed to be looking out for them and how desperately the government's forthcoming legal services reforms are needed." Years of consumer dissatisfaction with the handling of clients' complaints against their solicitors prompted the lord chancellor to create the commissioner's post in 2003, with powers to set targets and impose fines of up to £1m for non-compliance...

Guardian

18 May

Law Society fined £250,000 by complaints commissioner

The Law Society has been handed a £250,000 fine by the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner, it was announced today (17 May), after the independent watchdog slammed Chancery Lane’s bid to improve its complaints-handling record. (Should have added two noughts. UJ)

Legal Week

17 May

Mortgage mis-selling: no hope of making lawyers pay

Scotland's legal services watchdog warned yesterday that legislation aimed at tightening the regulation of lawyers will not prevent the mis-selling of mortgage policies.

The Herald

17 May

Tax office worker netted £200,000 from false repayments

A TAX worker has been jailed after an elaborate income tax fraud netted him more than £200,000. Gareth Hopkins created bogus taxpayers he could reward with tax repayments. Over seven years, he put the money into a business account he had opened for himself.

IC Wales

17 May

E-mails: who knows the new rules on disclosure?

Many businesses seem unaware of the changes, but they cannot be ignored
MISUSE of e-mail cases have been well-documented. Who can forget the case of the lawyer, the secretary and the ketchup stain? In business terms, committing confidential agreements or sentiments to e-mail can often lead to much more costly consequences if they are used as evidence in litigation.

Times Online

16 May

ROWS WITH LAWYERS HIT NEW HIGH

WATCHDOGS investigated a record number of complaints against lawyers last year. The Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman looked into 519 cases in which people claimed a complaint had not been dealt with fairly by the legal profession. The figure was up from 505 the previous year and was more than double the 2002 level. Chief watchdog Linda Costelloe Baker said lawyers had dealt with only 60 per cent of those cases "fairly, efficiently and reasonably".

Glasgow Daily Record

16 May

Holy's holey defence

Property star Julian Holy lost his appeal to the High Court last week (11 May) against the Law Society's decision to strike him off the solicitors' roll. Holy was struck off last year over breaches of accounting rules, conflict of interest on loan transactions and other matters. A year ago, Holy told The Lawyer: "I didn't realise that I shouldn't be acting for both sides on a deal." A bafflingly naive statement for such an experienced lawyer, and clearly one that didn't wash with Mr Justice Newman. Holy has now been suspended from practice for four years.

The Lawyer

15 May

Unforgivable

The latest details to emerge in the miners’ compensation scandal rightly will prompt more outrage from the pitmen who have too often forfeited part of their compensation to solicitors. And it should prompt concern from taxpayers who have funded a disastrously inept scheme to recompense them for their suffering. The plight of miners should also bring urgency to the Law Society’s efforts to hold to account those who have exploited their injured clients. Those efforts have so far proved inadequate

Times Online

15 May

'It was an absolute insult. I would rather someone had spat at me'

THE family of the late David Cowan thought that his 48 years down the pit were worth a little bit more than £7.13. His country was still fighting the First World War when Mr Cowan, from Fife, left school to become a miner at the age of 14. He retired in 1965 and died, his health broken, ten years later.

Times Online

15 May

Family of dead miner offered £7 as lawyers earn £41m

THOUSANDS of miners with chronic chest disease have been paid less than £100 in compensation under a programme that earned their solicitors 20 times as much per case. Newly released details of the £7.5 billion scheme, the largest in the world, expose the way in which public money has benefited law firms far more generously than pitmen and their families.

Times Online

15 May

New public safety laws considered
The Government is considering new laws to ensure that public safety comes before human rights legislation, the Lord Chancellor said. Lord Falconer acknowledged concerns that dangerous individuals were being allowed to remain at large because of the Human Rights Act.

Guardian

13 May

Outraged general counsel attack City firm

City firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) ’scored an own goal against every large company in the country’ last week with a newspaper advertisement that left general counsel at some of the UK’s biggest businesses ‘appalled’ and ‘outraged’. Legal heads at Barclays, BP and Rio Tinto have written to its senior partner to vent their annoyance, with one calling for a published apology.

Law Society Gazette

13 May

Offshore investors begin to come clean

Hundreds of individuals with money invested offshore have caved in to government pressure and have voluntarily disclosed details of those investments to HM Revenue & Customs. The disclosures follow advice from accountants and lawyers for investors to “come clean” about money held in offshore bank accounts...

Financial Times

13 May

 £18.4m legal aid for fraud case lawyers

Lawyers were paid a total of £18.4 million for defending six people in a fraud case, the Department for Constitutional Affairs disclosed yesterday. The case, which involved software privacy, was the most expensive criminal legal aid case of the past financial year. It led to prison sentences of up to two and a half years.

Telegraph

13 May

Lawyers charged £28m in legal aid for two cases

The two most expensive criminal and civil cases which were wound up in 2004-05 cost taxpayers more than £28m in legal aid. The most costly criminal case clocked up legal aid fees of £18.4m, while the bill for the most expensive civil case was just short of £10m. The figures, outlined in a letter to the Labour MP Andrew Dismore from the constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman, highlighted the costs to public funds of just a few expensive cases.

Guardian

13 May

Law Soc free to pursue accountants after Lords victory

The Law Society has won a House of Lords victory which allows it to pursue its fight against an accountancy firm accused of negligence. Yesterday morning (10 May) the Lords ruled that the society is able to bring its case against Sephton & Co despite having filed the claim 14 years after the actions under dispute took place - outside the standard six-year limitation period. The Law Society filed its negligence and fraud claim against Sephtons in 2002, alleging that a partner in the firm had failed to properly examine the accounts of solicitors’ firm Payne & Co between 1989 and 1995. Paynes' name partner Andrew Payne was struck off the roll and was imprisoned for misappropriating more than £750,000 from clients' accounts.

The Lawyer

12 May

The king of fraud flies in to help banks beat menace of ID theft

ONE of America’s most famous fraudsters arrived in London yesterday to warn Britain about identity theft. Frank Abagnale, 58, whose life story inspired the Leonardo DiCaprio film Catch Me If You Can, is to advise banks, utility companies and large retailers on how to combat fraud.

Times Online

09 May

Targets for fraud 'forgotten victims of crime'

FRAUD victims are the forgotten sufferers of crime, although some people lose their homes or even commit suicide as a result of their experiences, a watchdog claimed yesterday. The Fraud Advisory Panel said those targeted by fraudsters received little attention, which not only made it more difficult to help them, but also contributed to the low level of public awareness about how much people were at risk. (Use the above link to download the reports. Time to explore the main menu, left, of this site, too UJ)

Yorkshire Post

09 May

Revealed: the £5bn-a-year tax fraud

Organised criminals are stealing up to £5bn a year from the government's coffers through an increasingly sophisticated series of frauds...More than 500 customs officers are trying to stem the losses, but investigators say they are hampered by the complexity of some of the frauds, and by the criminals' use of top lawyers to frustrate prosecutors.

Guardian

09 May

Solicitor on compensation charges

A 58-year-old solicitor has appeared in court accused of taking £900,000 compensation money from one of his clients, a road crash victim. Thomas McGoldrick faced 41 charges of false accounting, three of money laundering and one of forgery, at Trafford magistrates' court. (Update Feb 2008: Mcgoldrick guilty)

BBC

08 May

A cold day in hell before I say sorry

"Legal & Commercial Solutions is run by one man, Andrew Donald Gordon Mackenzie, 53, from Littlehampton, West Sussex - so I guess the letter comes from you, Mr Mackenzie. In August 1997 at Maidstone Crown Court, you were found guilty on five counts of deception and false accounting, and jailed for two years. You were a solicitor with your own firm, but the Law Society sensibly struck you off. "

This is Money

08 May

Jowell's husband to 'clear name'

David Mills, the estranged husband of Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, has vowed he will clear his name over allegations about his finances.

BBC

07 May

Mills faces inquiry on Dubai claims

The Law Society has launched an investigation into David Mills, the former lawyer for Silvio Berlusconi and estranged husband of Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary.

Telegraph

07 May

Solicitor struck off for £350,000 mortgage fraud

A Flitwick solicitor who dishonestly misappropriated more than £350,000 of clients' money to help a crooked property dealer was thrown out of the profession on Tuesday. Linda Collier, 45, of Glebe Avenue, handed over an initial £141,850 entrusted to her by a mortgage company to a businessman who claimed he needed the funds to finance a string of home deals. The client, referred to as Mr B, promised he would pay back the money on Collier's return from a holiday to Luton law firm Churchman Thacker, where she was a partner.

Bedford Today

06 May

A spiteful attack on middle Britain

What kind of Government imposes stealth taxes on widows and orphans, penalises parents who try to provide for their children and forces millions to rewrite their wills - at a cost of £2.5billion - without a word of consultation? (Let's all go to New Zealand; or Bogata, or New York. UJ).

Daily Mail

05 May

Government approves updated conflict rules

The Government has brought the long-running tussle over legal conflicts rules to an end after it announced today (5 May) that it was to approve the latest revision of the plans. The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) this week gave the thumbs up to the Law Society’s proposals, which were drawn up in consultation with the City of London Law Society in a bid to bring the existing system up to date. Under the new-look regime, which is due to come into affect later this year, it will now be possible for a law firm to represent two clients in an auction where both clients are competing for the same goal.

Legal Week Global

05 May

Law Society announces new consumer complaints head

The Law Society has unveiled Deborah Evans as the inaugural chief executive of its new Consumer Complaints Service (CCS). Evans, currently practice director at Birmingham firm Anthony Collins, will begin in the role in July and is set to work alongside Consumer Complaints Board (CCB) chair Shamit Saggar. (Anthony Collins numbers amongst UJ's more regular visitors. UJ)

Legal Week

05 May

'Enormous scandal' is revealed

THE MINERS' compensation 'scandal' has taken another twist with the leaking of documents revealing a deal involving the UDM and Doncaster firm Beresfords Solicitors.

Worksop Today

05 May

Leak lifts the lid on a 'secret' deal

LEAKED confidential documents have lifted the lid on a 'secret' deal between Mansfield miners' union the UDM and solicitors firm Beresfords. The Doncaster firm has so far earned £73m in Government money by handling miners' industrial disease claims –– thousands of which were referred by the Union of Democratic Mineworkers. A leaked claims handling agreement drawn up between Beresfords and UDM's claims manager Clare Walker has now revealed that Beresfords would pay between £150-£300 for each claim it was given to handle. The document also reveals that from 2002 onwards the fees were no longer paid to Vendside, but instead went directly to Ms Walker's own company, Walker & Co, ...

Ashfield Today

03 May

Legal quango 'open to blackmailers'

A PROPOSED new quango to handle complaints against solicitors could lead to a "blackmailer's charter", a senior lawyer told MSPs yesterday.

Scotsman

03 May

ANGER AT SLOW DEAL FOR MINERS

MINERS are still waiting for justice in the scandal of solicitors who cashed in on their compensation. It was revealed yesterday that not one of the 45 cases referred to the Law Society since March last year has been dealt with. Alan Cummings, a former mineworkers union lodge secretary, said: "It beggars belief that the society is not dealing with this more quickly."

Mirror

02 May

Law complaint plan rights warning

Reforms to the handling of complaints against the legal profession may fall foul of human rights legislation, MSPs are to be warned. The Law Society of Scotland will be giving evidence to Holyrood's justice 2 committee on Tuesday. MSPs will be told of anger over plans for a new Legal Complaints Committee.

BBC

02 May

Solicitor is guilty of misconduct

A DITHERING solicitor who allowed a house to fall into ruin has been found guilty of professional misconduct. The Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal heard William Rennie, 53, of Kilmarnock, was asked to deal with the estate of a couple who died just weeks apart, without leaving wills.

Glasgow Evening Times

27 Apr

Misconduct solicitor struck off

A Newton Stewart solicitor has been struck off after being found guilty of 15 counts of professional misconduct. Nicholas McCormick, 47, who traded out of offices at 28 Victoria Street, was found guilty by a Law Society discipline tribunal. It found that he had breached a catalogue of rules and ignored complaints made against him by clients.

BBC

27Apr

Charles Russell CJD role garners mounting criticism

Lawyers claim firm may be open to investigation over role acting for trust
Charles Russell is facing growing pressure over its role advising the trust created to compensate the families of victims of the human form of mad cow disease, after it came in for criticism last week over its costs and for its making contested claims regarding the scheme.

Legal Week

27 Apr

 

 

 

 

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