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Australian Police arrest suspect in connection with 2006 murder bid on Law Society of Scotland Chief Accountant Leslie Cumming

08 Nov

Leslie CummingLaw Society Chief Accountant Leslie Cumming (now retired) was attacked in January 2006. AUSTRALIAN POLICE have arrested a 45 year old man on an international arrest warrant in connection with an attempt on the life of the now retired Chief Accountant of the Law Society of Scotland, Leslie Cumming, which took place at Mr Cumming’s home in Edinburgh in late January 2006. The 45 year old man now under arrest in Australia cannot be named for legal reasons, as the Crown Office have launched proceedings to extradite him back to Scotland to face charges.

According to newspaper reports at the time, Mr Cumming was attacked outside his home by a man wearing a balaclava, receiving serious injuries to his face. Mr Cumming subsequently retired from his role at the Law Society of Scotland and set up his own consultancy business, Leslie Cumming Consultancy Services

Douglas Mill 4Douglas Mill claimed Law Society critics were responsible for ‘murder hit’, while Mr Cumming felt it was crooked lawyers. While some senior figures at the Law Society of Scotland publicly blamed critics of the Law Society itself for the attack, rumours at the time and several press reports on the case since 2006, including interviews with Mr Cumming himself appeared to point the finger of suspicion to rogue elements within the legal profession, or crooked lawyers, as Mr Cumming’s role as Chief Accountant gave him responsibility for detecting & rooting out the enormous swathe of money-laundering and corruption endemic in Scotland’s legal profession. Mr Cumming was in charge of auditing law firms accounts and investigating complaints concerning investment business carried out by law firms.

Law SocietyLaw Society maintained they do such a fine job, there are no crooked lawyers – Police report revealed otherwise. Most of the Law Society of Scotland’s top brass maintain they do such an excellent job of protecting the public from crooked lawyers, there are very few, or even none in existence. However, a Scottish Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency mapping project of 2009 led by Gordon Meldrum, the director-general of the SCDEA reported hundreds of crooked lawyers & accountants assisting organised crime gangs, claiming almost 250 crooked lawyers, accountants and other “specialists” give criminals professional help – something which certainly pours cold water on the Law Society’s claims to be an effective policeman of the Scottish legal profession. Subsequently, claims were made to law journalists that several of Scotland’s ‘leading law firms & solicitors’ were involved in financial dealings in such fine, reputable tax havens countries such as Jersey, Guernsey, the Cayman Islands, Monaco & Lichtenstein.

The 2008-2009 SCDEA Annual Report (pdf) stated : “Organised criminals are highly sophisticated when it comes to hiding the profits of their criminal behaviour and they change their methods constantly in response to preventative methods put in place by the authorities. They will enlist the services of ‘specialists’ – accountants, lawyers and financial advisers—to help them legitimise their ill-gotten cash” … leading to questions over the Law Society of Scotland’s public attitude of ‘This couldn’t possibly happen in Scotland as the Scottish legal profession is respected the world over’.

It was reported in the media later in 2006, Police believed a hitman was hired to carry out the attack on Mr Cumming,, and investigated a list of aggrieved clients and rogue lawyers who may have ordered the stabbing, which ended up as one of Lothian & Borders Police most high profile unsolved cases, and went onto feature on BBC Television’s Crimewatch programme.

News report on the attempted murder of Law Society Chief Accountant Leslie Cumming in January 2006 (click image below to view video)

I have previously reported on matters connected with the case, here : Leslie Cumming attack – The story so far

You can read more in the Scottish newspapers about the arrest in Australia, HERE and HERE.

Readers may wish to note as this is a criminal case, any comments should be kept to details already reported in the media.

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