Letter: Is the Law Culture in uncharted waters?

In the 1st of two letters, retired solicitor Chris Forrest particulars his ordeals with the Regulation Modern society of Scotland.

Expensive Editor,

Just above a person 12 months in the past Douglas Mill concluded a collection of content articles (the final entitled Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes) in which he related the travails that I, his therein unnamed shopper, experienced experienced at the arms of the Regulation Society who had determined to challenge the award of expenditures in my favour made by SSDT, next their unanimous exoneration of a grievance against me.

This was the initially time a respondent had been productive just before the tribunal when represented by an individual not on the roll and the Culture attempted to do this (I am now informed, obtaining taken guidance from a law accountant) by the incompetent use of the procedure of taxation. Their position, as was obviously said in the points of objections to the account lodged with the auditor, was that for the reason that of Douglas’ status he was not entitled to any bills:

“The complainers … think about Mr Douglas Mill to have represented the respondent in this subject as akin to a lay representative … and that exactly where a lay agent … acts for a prosperous get together, no expenses can be recovered”

The auditor dismissed all their arguments and located in my favour.

In his report, Douglas briefly described the unhappy story of my makes an attempt, subsequent this debacle, to get some answers to some affordable inquiries from the Culture and, possessing hit a brick wall, my comments about the cover-up staying extra really serious than my initial fears, he postulated as to what my alternatives may possibly then be.

What I did do was to lodge official issues about the conduct of the Society’s director of regulation, Mrs Rachel Wooden, with SLCC. Not only was she the individual with whom I had largely corresponded but, as significantly as I was in a position to verify, she was the only individual included who was an enrolled solicitor and for that reason was the only individual involved who was subject matter to the Carry out Regulations.

Very last November SLCC done a quite thorough investigation and advised that from the evidence that has been offered to them so considerably they have decided, inter alia, that Mrs Wooden was not associated in the determination-earning process concerning that incompetent obstacle to the award of expenses because it appears that she was not in article at the relevant time (!) — amid other obfuscations, this was not disclosed to me nor was it disclosed who was associated — and that the objections that had been offered on behalf of the Modern society to the auditor of courtroom by their solicitor who experienced acted during as the Society’s fiscal “did not precisely reflect the Society’s situation or the Society’s instructions” (nor experienced that been disclosed to me).

As an apart, at this juncture make sure you get a minute to take into account:

  1. What would have took place in the set of instances described higher than if no a person in the Society was on the roll of solicitors and the only organisation to whom I could have complained was the Society by itself. If I experienced, do you imagine I would ever have bought to anyplace in close proximity to the fact of the make any difference? Not a cat’s prospect in hell.
  2. If, notwithstanding that the objections lodged on behalf of the Modern society to Douglas’ account did not accurately reflect their place or their instructions, they experienced been thriving, with the stop result that Douglas did not get a penny in bills from the Modern society, leaving me to decide on up the tab, do you honestly consider that they would have arrive again to me to say “Sorry it’s all been a significant blunder, so here’s a cheque”? Aye, correct.

Anyway, as a consequence of their investigations into my problems and simply because of the desire created by the said content, SLCC are content that the carry out alleged in my grievance could be capable of amounting to skilled misconduct or unsatisfactory specialist perform if an investigation establishes that Mrs Wood unsuccessful to adequately address my considerations, and these investigation may possibly also think about whether or not any failure on her component was these as could be regarded to provide the career into disrepute presented the relevant context.

In accordance with the statutory provisions all those complaints have been remitted to the Modern society for investigation as they relate to the carry out of a solicitor.

A person of the primary details created by Douglas in his post was that it was likely to be attention-grabbing to see how the Culture examine their have director of regulation, and the depth of their procrastination and ineptitude in dealing with that predicament will abide by.

Chris Forrest