Carving up the client roast : Solicitors regulator SLCC’s Board Members Interests reveals connections, influence & how quango positions, consultancy empires are built behind closed doors

13 May

SLCCJudges should do it too – Register of Interest at Scots solicitors regulator reveals connections public should know. WHILE the Scottish Parliament await to hear from Scotland’s Lord President Lord Brian Gill who was asked over a month ago to reconsider his refusal to attend an evidence session before MSPs on the subject of Petition PE1458: Register of Interests for members of Scotland’s judiciary, it is worth noting there are others in Scotland’s closed shop legal empire who are already bound by rules which require them to declare their interests.

The board members of Scotland’s notoriously inept, scandal prone legal regulator, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) have been required to declare their interests in an updated register published online by the SLCC, after DOI journalists submitted Freedom of Information requests to the ‘independent’ SLCC in 2008 for details of board members interests & connections.

Over the past five years of the SLCC, its changing, and burgeoning board members lucrative interests have been reported on Diary of Injustice, where connections with big business, law firms, the lucrative world of mediation & consultancies, Scottish Government quangos and the well-remunerated committee circuit have shown some at the SLCC with more than 10 jobs at a time.

Unsurprisingly, little has changed in 2013, with the most recent published version of the SLCC’s Board Members Register of Interests revealing most of it’s board members haves the usual ‘as long as your arm’ list of interests which gives credence to critics & consumers perception of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as a bit of a time wasting exercise in the regulation of complaints against solicitors.

Notably, the 2013 Register of Interests at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission currently published, lacks mention of any information which may give an indication of a wealth quantification of those on the SLCC’s board, however it is plain that those who end up at the SLCC, just as those who end up promoted to positions within Scotland’s judiciary, appear to gather up money making roles on boards, jobs as consultants and other high earning money spinners almost as easy as ordering a pizza.

Any register of interests for Scotland’s Judiciary will most certainly have to include more specific information on judges and their links, interests etc which the SLCC currently, curiously omits.

The current Register of Interests published by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is published below, however it should be noted there is as yet no entry for the SLCC’s newest Board Member, former Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion who was consistently critical of how the SLCC handled Freedom of Information requests to the media.

Bill Brackenridge (Chairman, SLCC)

*Non-Executive Director of Highland Health Board.

*Non-Executive Director of the State Hospital Board.

*Chairman, Argyll & Bute Adult Protection Committee.

Lawyer Members :

George Clark

*Director of Scottish Building Society and SBS Mortgages Limited.

*Former Consultant/Partner with Morton Fraser LLP from 1979 until 2012.

*Chair of the Private Rented Housing Panel in Scotland.

*Previously, Chairman of Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre from 1988 until 2001.

*Chair, of Homeowners Housing Panel.

*Member of Scottish Rugby Council

Ian Leitch CBE

*Member of the Law Society of Scotland.

Maurice O’Carroll

*Practising Member of the Faculty of Advocates 1995 – date.

*Ad hoc Advocate Depute for Crown Office 2002 – date.

*Brother of Sheriff Derek O’Carroll who as a practising Member of the Faculty of Advocates (2000-2010).

*Board Member of the Homeowners Housing Panel 2012 – date.

‘Lay’ Members :

Ian Gibson

*Board Member of NHS Highland and Chair of Health and Social Care Committee.

*Member of consultant’s panel for Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

*Member of consultant’s list for Development Partners Ltd providing business advice services for Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

*Member of consultant’s panel for the Charities Aid Foundation.

*Volunteer business mentor Scottish Chamber of Commerce.

*Cousin is a partner in Kirklands Solicitors Perth.

*Nephew is a solicitor advocate with Simpson Marwick; his partner is an advocate in Axiom stables.

*Trustee CLIC Sargent.

*Secretary of Newtonmore Camanachd Club.

Dr Samantha Jones

*Director of Islandscape Photography (self-employed).

*Freelance consultant.

*Formerly, an Associate Consultant with Valuta Ltd during (2010).

*Previously, Clerk to the Standards Committee and HR Change Programme

*Manager for Scottish Parliament (2000-2010).

*During time with Scottish Parliament had regular professional contact with staff of the Government Legal Service for Scotland (GLSS) (2000-2010).

*Chair of Mull Theatre Ltd – voluntary unpaid role.

*Director of Comar, SCIO – voluntary unpaid role.

*Director of Wild Scotland – voluntary unpaid role.

*A Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society – voluntary unpaid role.

*Volunteer Crew Member at Tobermory RNLI and the station’s Lifeboat Press Officer – voluntary unpaid role.

Iain McGrory

*Commissioned the services of Simpson and Marwick Solicitors, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Branches, on behalf of Grampian Police, on several occasions between 2002 and 2010.

*Iain McGrory is an independent complaints handling consultant trading as IJM Professional Services.

During 2012 he provided consultancy services to the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) and the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland (PCCS).

*He is currently Chairing a Working Group on behalf of the Scottish Government – Police Reform Team, tasked with producing updated Conduct Regulations for the new Police Service of Scotland.

Fiona Smith

*Formally HR Director for NHS Orkney from 2004 to 2011.

*Professional dealings with the NHS Central Legal Office between November 2004 and February 2011.

*Currently providing associate consultancy services to KBAScotland, including being a member of consultant’s list for Development Partners Ltd providing business advice services for Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

*Partner in Sorton Partners, a business advice and consultancy partnership.

*Associate of Impact International, a training and development provider.

The SLCC’s full register of interests is available online HERE, and is worth comparing with previous versions, reported by Diary of Injustice here, More ‘jobs for the boys’ than action on ‘crooked lawyers’ : What it takes to be a Board Member at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

An earlier report on the recruitment of some of the above board members, which compares their previous positions to those now listed above, is available here : One more ex-cop for anti-client Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as Justice Secretary hands out five year quango jobs at £212 per day


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