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Scottish Legal Complaints Commission seeks new Chief Executive on £70K & pension to make Law Society’s “front company” ‘work’

07 Sep

SLCCScottish Legal Complaints Commission seeks new Chief Executive. ALTHOUGH the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission has offered little in the way of a believable explanation for the abrupt resignation earlier this year of its former Chief Executive, Eileen Masterman after less than twelve months in her post, the SLCC is again engaged in a recruitment process for a new Chief Executive Officer, offering anyone willing to try and bring the hapless scandal hit law complaints quango into shape a whopping salary of around £1,350 a week, equating to around £70,000 per annum with a pension thrown in.

Eileen MastermanDiary of Injustice reported SLCC Chief Executive Eileen Masterman’s resignation after less than 12 months in the job : In an eerie reflection of events two years ago which forced the resignation of former Law Society Chief Douglas Mill, EILEEN MASTERMAN, who was appointed Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill in 2008 on a salary of £1,350 a week, resigned after only one year of being in the controversial post at the scandal-hit regulator which deals with consumer complaints against Scottish solicitors. Ms Masterman had been absent from her post for six months, as I reported earlier, here : £70K Chief Executive ‘missing for 6 months’ at Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as Justice Secretary dodges questions on scandal-hit law quango

Salaries may well be high in the world of regulators where a ‘feathered nest’ is allegedly ‘crucial to attracting the most talented people for the job at hand’, however it remains a fact the thousands of clients each year who are forced to complain to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, face little in the way of financial redress for the vast sums of clients funds embezzled by members of Scotland’s legal profession as it turns out the SLCC itself can only make awards of up to £20,000 “for any loss, inconvenience or distress resulting from inadequate professional service”.

It will be hardly a surprise to most readers hardly any compensation has yet been paid out to victims of ‘crooked lawyers’ – this despite many Scots clients losing much more than £20,000 to some of the worst serial offenders of Scotland’s legal profession who continue to practice law.

The SLCC also state on their website : “We can also require the relevant legal practices and practitioners to reduce fees, re-do work and rectify any mistakes at their own expense. If we feel the practitioner shows a lack of competence relating to any area of the law or legal practice, we can report the matter to the relevant professional body.” However, and proving again its claim to be an effective regulator is well, rather ridiculous, the SLCC has admitted in an FOI request it does not have any power to recommend discipline or prosecution of a solicitor even after it has investigated a complaint.

If anyone feels they are up to the job of running what one Holyrood MSP privately dubbed “The Law Society’s front company”, here follows the job offer …

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission : Chief Executive

Location: Edinburgh. Salary: circa £70,000 per annum plus group personal pension scheme

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) was set up under the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 and opened on 1 October 2008. Providing a single point of contact for all complaints about legal practitioners operating in Scotland, the SLCC investigates and resolves complaints about inadequate professional service; refers conduct complaints to the relevant professional body and has oversight of complaint handling across the profession. The Commission is a neutral body operating independently of the legal profession and independently of Government and is considered a hybrid organisation with public and private attributes.

We are seeking to appoint the Chief Executive Officer to provide operational and strategic leadership to the SLCC whilst working closely with and supporting the Commission Members.

As CEO you will lead and motivate staff to provide consistently good service. Developing and maintaining relationships with relevant external bodies; particularly the Scottish legal profession and the Scottish Government.
As the organisation’s Accountable officer, you will implement, monitor and sustain rigorous financial processes for the budget, ensuring that financial accountability and control is evident at all times. This is a key position for an experienced business leader with strong financial and operational capabilities. The role requires exceptional communication skills with the ability to influence at every level with the necessary energy to act as a true driving force within the organisation.

Dates for your diary: Closing date: 10/09/2010, First-stage interviews: 01/10/2010, Second interviews: 08/10/2010

For an informal conversation or more information, please contact Bonnie Clarke at Hays Executive on 0131 226 7972.

Applications must be received by: 17:00 on 10/09/2010.

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