It only takes a few minutes in reality for the cries of “rising standards” within the Scottish legal profession to be proved wrong.
The following case reported in the Scotsman newspaper of a lawyer admitting to giving a client a false alibi (wasting one’s career on a client, a dangerous thing indeed) will give the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal something more to shout about , or perhaps a victim to take their public rage out on, proving the world still needs their failed remit.
It has been pointed out that if the accused resigns his position on the Solicitors Roll, like Ms Angela Baillie who reputedly caused the SSDT such grief last week as to provoke a run to the newspapers in search of new powers, he could regain his practising certificate later on but maybe Paul McBride his defence Counsel has already pointed that one out, being the same defence Counsel of Ms Baillie.
Of course, lawyers regularly give alibis to other lawyers when it involves a client complaint, on everything from defrauding banks & faking up files, to even defrauding clients & the inland revenue. It’s just this time, the lawyer has admitted in court, giving an alibi to a client. Usually, there isn’t even an eyebrow raised to the former, but the latter it seems is a taboo in the legal profession, not to mention against the law in both cases of course.
The spectacle of the SSDT calling for new laws after the event is reminiscent of the Law Society making a big fuss over the powers given to it in the Council of the Law Society of Scotland Bill, ran through the Scottish Parliament at great speed by former Tory leader David ‘Taxi’ McLetchie MSP & Roseanna Cunningham MSP, former chair of the Justice & Home Affairs Committee of the Scottish Parliament.
The Council of the Law Society of Scotland Act 2003 was yet another piece of legal profession sponsored legislation which was claimed would clean up the regulatory world of lawyer covering up for lawyer .. although as we all know, has had no impact on the ever rising levels of corruption in the Scottish legal profession, only proving yet again the failure of allowing lawyers to regulate themselves.
Article follows from the Scotsman – no news in the story on what happened to the “serious criminal” as he can’t be named for legal reasons
One has to wonder why the accused solicitor has even had to admit guilt .. as there are a fair few in the legal profession with criminal convictions still practicing and some who have faced much more serious allegations than the solicitor in the story… it’s just the Law Society of Scotland won’t let the public know about it.
Lawyer provided false alibi
A LAWYER gave a “serious criminal” a false alibi for his trial on abduction and attempted extortion charges, a court heard yesterday.
The solicitor, Shahid Pervez, 39, told police that the man, who for legal reasons cannot be named, was in his office discussing an insurance claim when the crime was alleged to have been committed.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Pervez, of Crookston, Glasgow, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The judge, Lord Hardie, told Pervez he faced jail, but he continued his bail pending sentence next month, ordering him to report to the police twice daily. The judge was told that Pervez was now no longer practising as a solicitor and would eventually be struck off.
Alex Prentice, prosecuting, said Pervez was a conveyancing lawyer at Belton Pervez in Victoria Road, Glasgow, when the offence happened between 22 March and 23 May, 2005.
Mr Prentice said the lawyer was approached by one of his clients who was indicted for a High Court trial alleging charges of abduction, assault and attempted extortion.
He asked the solicitor to provide him with an alibi and Pervez agreed. A special defence of alibi was lodged for the trial, and the Crown instructed police to take statements from Pervez.
He told them the man was in his office discussing an insurance claim between 11:30am and noon, when it was alleged the crime was committed. He repeated this in a sworn affidavit.
Mr Prentice told the court concerns were raised that the alibi might have been concocted and police were instructed by the Crown to investigate.
Paul McBride, QC, defending, told Lord Hardie: “He is a naive, stupid young man who has succumbed to threats of violence from people involved in serious, monumental criminality.”