They often say that the best writing about a subject comes from personal experience, rather than theory .. and on the subject of the Scottish Legal Aid Board – I could say, from my own experience in many battles with SLAB, that it ranks as one of the top 5 corrupt bodies in Scotland today, when it comes to dealing with cases of injustice. Of course, I’m bound to say that, because the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) is full of lawyers – and some of them have a pretty poor regulatory history too ….
I have written about some of my battles with the Scottish Legal Aid Boaid, as you well know from earlier posts to this blog, such as : http://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2006/03/leaked-letter-shows-true-extent-of-law.html when Douglas Mill, the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, held backdoor discussions with the Legal Aid Board over my case and sent a letter to tell them to deny my application for Civil Legal Aid to challenge the Law Society of Scotland … and of course, the Scottish Legal Aid Board, obeyed their neighbours in Drumsheugh Gardens .. like the good puppies that they are ….
… but every application I filed with the Scottish Legal Aid Board has been subject to the utmost prejudice, since of course, my case relates to suing lawyers – and since the gang of lawyers at SLAB don’t want that, I have been subject to the most malicious campaign of dirty tricks by those lawyers at SLAB and within the ranks of the Law Society of Scotland to defeat every application I made … and again, this has happened to many more than me .. it’s just that I found out about it ….
Nothing ever changes at the Legal Aid Board, of course, and it has emerged that now, well over a thousand applications for legal aid by clients to sue solicitors for misconduct or negligence, have been either denied or thrown out by other means … and really .. the lengths that the Law Society of Scotland and crooked lawyers will go to defeat such civil applications for Legal Aid, have got to a very low stage – for instance :
In one case (which has now been repeated in many applications), a solicitor from Glasgow, who ruined a client and nearly had her thrown out of her home, spending years tormenting his client and making her life misery, sent a vast array of false information to his former client’s Benefits Agency, claiming she was defrauding the Government, was very rich, etc … and then the Benefits Agency, without even bothering to check the information, sent it onto the Scottish Legal Aid Board as FACT … something – as I have said, has been repeated in many cases ….
Even more sinister, has been the use of Police Forces against former clients by crooked lawyers who face client complaints and charges of fraud, embezzlement of client funds, etc … where the crooked lawyer have apparently ‘called in old favours’ with some in the Police Service they have ‘assisted’ over the years .. and the client who complained to the Law Society of Scotland has found themselves beseiged by Police in various incidents or charges, which have conspired as a whole, to harrass, and further ruin their lives …. nasty stuff, don’t you think ? yes … and it certainly gets a lot worse, with some people who have made complaints against lawyers finding themselves dragged off to Jail to shut them up or take away their credibility …
Simply put, a client, who has been completely financially ruined by a crooked Scottish lawyer, has little or NO change at all to get funding from the Scottish Legal Aid Board to sue that crooked lawyer for what they did .. my case is a good enough example of that, and the lengths that some, like the crooked Douglas Mill, took to defeat me … but there are many cases which have gone unheard, which are equally deserving of attention …
So, amidst all of this, and the Scottish Executive’s attempt to bring in an independent regulatory body to investigate complaints against crooked lawyers, you would think that they would be cleaning up the Scottish Legal Aid Board too … right ? …. No Chance !
To illustrate my point – just look at the likes of who are on the Scottish Legal Aid Board .. a collection of lawyers, NHS Board members, and others .. which would in any ordinary persons mind, fail to congure up the words “independent” or “transparent” … and the latest addition to the motley crew on the Scottish Legal Aid Board .. is none other than Paul McBride QC, the Scottish lawyer who earns the most from the Legal Aid Board ! (last year alone – £357,000 !!), and also, the same Paul McBride QC is also the lawyer of the convicted drug running lawyer Angela Ballie, who the Scottish legal profession is going all out to save, from her criminal conduct. Angela Ballie has, unsurprisingly managed to stall her sentence by fleeing Scottish Justice to England on a sick note … as my previous post reported … and I wonder who’s advise she took to do that …..
Think Paul McBride QC would be up for taking on any cases like mine to challenge and sue the life out of the crooked Law Society of Scotland for fiddling complaints cases and financially ruining my family ? …. no way … that’s not up his street – challenging his colleagues .. and with the significant hostility that most or all Scottish legal firms feel against me, coupled with my entry on the infamous “Client Blacklist” – which names & identifies Scottish persons who lawyers are NOT to represent in cases – McBride probably wouldn’t touch the likes of me with a barge pole .. and I will hazzard a bet that he will be throwing out many more civil legal aid applications to sue crooked lawyers, just as many of his predeccessors at the Scottish Legal Aid Board have ….
If you are serious about reforming the Scottish Legal Profession, Cathy Jamieson – how about putting ordinary people on the Scottish Legal Aid Board – not the likes of what is already on it … but of course – a corrupt system, demands a corrupt governance … and that is how it will be until it is changed …. and I cannot help but wonder .. will he be prioritising his clients cases for legal aid too ?? … these lawyers have such poor respect for the term ‘conflict of interest’ …
Article reporting on McBride’s appointment to the Scottish Legal Aid Board, from “The Scotsman”, at :
Top-earning QC will advise on legal aid
SCOTLAND’S top-earning legal aid QC has been appointed to the body that paid him more than £300,000 last year.
Paul McBride, who has represented a string of high-profile killers, last year topped the list of criminal lawyers, earning £357,600 from legal aid.
Yesterday Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, announced that Mr McBride was one of three new members of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, which spends around £164 million of taxpayers’ money a year on giving people access to justice.
The other appointees are Graham Bell, QC, and Group Captain Graham Watson.
The appointments will run for four years and come with a salary of £8,328 for about three and a half days’ work a month.
The new appointees will help deliver major reforms in legal aid spending, including proposals to widen access to aid in civil cases, as well as changes to the distribution of legal aid in criminal cases.
Through his work with the Faculty of Advocates, Mr McBride has been critical of some aspects of legal aid payments to lawyers, but yesterday he announced that he would now be taking a less “partisan” role.
Mr McBride said: “There are on-going discussions about fees with counsel and solicitors, but I’m no longer operating in the same role. I’m not on the board as a partisan participant.”
He said he was looking forward to helping the board implement its programme of reform. His role, he explained, would be to help drive through the Scottish Executive’s desire to increase access to justice.
“I’m certainly not doing it for the money. In fact I’ll probably earn less money. I just thought I could make a contribution and assist the board.
“I have 20 years of experience so I feel I have a good idea what the important issues are in relation to legal aid.”
He said the fact he had been appointed to the board and last year topped the legal aid earners’ chart was “absolutely coincidental”.
“I would have applied no matter where I was on the list. I don’t think that in any way affected the decision to appoint me,” he said.
Mr McBride has been involved in some of Scotland’s highest-profile cases, including that of Mark Bonini, who murdered two-year Andrew Morton in the Royston area of Glasgow.
He is currently representing Angela Baillie, the lawyer who smuggled drugs into prison.
Mr Bell has been a member of the Bar since 1980 and a QC since 1990.
He is a member of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which is currently considering the case of the Lockerbie bomber.
Gp Capt Watson, who spent 31 years in the RAF, is a member of Fife NHS Board. He has more than 30 years of senior management experience in a wide range of appointments.
Meanwhile, two of the present board – Ellen Morton, a member of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and solicitor David Nicol – have been reappointed to their positions.
As well as assessing legal aid applications, it is also the board’s job to scrutinise and settle bills submitted by solicitors and counsel.
Legal aid has risen by £6.4 million since 2003, to £152.4 million in 2005, driven by a sharp hike in legal assistance.