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ADVANCE, QC: From Big Invoice to Cash Register – New Dean of Faculty of Advocates stood silent in court while Lord Malcolm concealed his son was on same legal team representing asbestos dumping construction company who lost case – then used law firm linked to top judge to hunt down couple for legal fees

17 Jul

Lord Carloway & Lord Malcolm welcome new Dean R.Dunlop TO WATCH and listen to members of the Faculty of Advocates who strut around Scotland’s courts as if they have a starring role in a grand pantomime or musical overseen by a figure dressed in fiery red and white robes – you may be forgiven for thinking you just entered the world of fantasy and cosplay.

However – what you are actually witnessing is Scotland’s ‘Victorian’ justice system – where lies spoken in court by a figure in a black gown & wig can become an accepted ‘truth’, prosecutors can intimidate defence counsel by adding the dead to witness lists, deals can be done in-chambers to avoid the press & public in open court, and evidence can be lost down the back of a filing cabinet.

And, if you are looking for shameless, outright dishonesty – try the time where Scotland’s top prosecutor James Wolffe QC – himself a former Dean of the Faculty of Advocates –  was being sued in the Rangers admin case of wrongful arrest.

The stakes in that case were so high that Scotland’s ‘world leading’ courts system then neatly engineered a scenario so that Sarah Wolffe QC – the wife of that same top prosecutor James Wolffe QC – could hear and rule on the £9 million claim against her husband and Scotland’s Chief Constable.

You all know the story – A real howler: WOLFFE COURT: Lord Advocate James Wolffe and his judge wife at centre of £9million damages claim – Questions remain why Lady Wolffe avoided recusal during emergency judge swap on court case against her own husband

It gets better: ‘World famous’ (really, not) Scots QCs taking millions in publicly funded legal aid – can literally dream up an entirely false line of defence (commonly known as a lie) – for their child murdering clients and get away with trolling it out to a sceptical judge, jury and entire court room – and then bill the Scottish Legal Aid Board (Taxpayer) for their time spent doing so.

Going further up the tree – Scotland’s top prosecutor – the Lord Advocate – on an instruction to cover up for top cops with shady pasts – can ram-raid a Tribunal hearing and intimidate Tribunal judges into blocking claims of corruption and evidence tampering in the most senior ranks of Police Scotland – from becoming public.

Want to see examples of what most in the real world call corruption and money laundering? – try case after case where Advocates and QCs quietly demand with menaces – sums of cash in envelopes from their criminal or civil case clients. The ‘whisper’ goes like this – Pay up – or the desired court outcome will not be achieved.

And, don’t forget the ranks of slick, overcharging QCs who represent newspapers and the media – you know the type – all smooth talking on telly in between demanding appearance fees for doing so, hair gel to deflect from the botox injections, slick suits, a brown envelope on the way to the court, and a seat on a local rugby club along with a property grabbing, grubby, dishonest local high street solicitor who happens to sit on several Tribunals where he and his brethren live out their squalid existence extorting millions more from taxpayers.

Yet, for those in the know – behind the backs of their very own fee paying media clients, the same QCs with media scorecards find a quiet corner in the Court of Session to contact a colleague to get a message to opposing counsel on what and what not to say – to prolong the case for fees, or do the dirty on the case before them, for a favour on another.

You do for us today, we do for you tomorrow. And, tell you what mate – there is an opening in the Faculty for the son of that judge –  even though he only worked as a trainee lawyer for a few weeks.

But of course, these same legal legends in their own minds jealously guard their profession and self-created reputations – even on social media – where a critical article – or realistic tweet on the legal world can draw the ire of a grubby QC who actually lives on defending the worst filth in society and makes the taxpayer pay him staggering amounts of legal aid millions for doing so.

If anyone dares to question these weird legal people with double lives and multiple personas who market themselves as more valuable to society than doctors and nurses – in their legalistic, legal aid funded view of the world – that critic, person, politician or even a journalist – is not fit to live.

It’s all good though – as they say – because when such public exchanges take place – inevitably someone in an office comes forward with a bundle of papers to show the same high and mighty advocate or QC was actually knocked back by the Legal Aid Board for submitting false claims for public cash – so let’s call that attempted fraud, for the purposes of reality.

To complete the picture of what is in actuality – the Faculty of Fantasy – remember those envelopes full of cash – collected in person by a ‘leading light’ or ‘top’ Advocate or QC – of the same Faculty of Advocates whose members are money laundering and tax dodging all the way to the bank.

Take it from people who write of reality in the justice system – when you enter the eerie world of Scotland’s legal mafia and fall prey to that business known as the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service – you are witnessing a cash grabbing, case fiddling, double dealing world of avarice and greed, rather than the work of robbed figures who would have you believe they are the saviours of humanity, or anyone’s Human Rights.

Clients – mean nothing. Cash collecting and Big Invoice are king. Take them to task and they will see you suffer. And, they do exactly that.

The last Dean of the Faculty of Advocates – Gordon Jackson QC – stood down on 30 June after being filmed talking about the Alex Salmond trial in a train.

The video footage published by the Sunday Times revealed remarks Mr Jackson made about his client Alex Salmond – and his accusers.

In a statement published by the Faculty of Advocates on their Twitter feed, Mr Jackson said in April: “I have intimated my decision to resign as dean of the Faculty of Advocates, with effect from 30 June, at the latest.”

“It would not, however, be appropriate for me to remain as Dean at a time when the Faculty was considering disciplinary proceedings regarding my conduct.”

“Accordingly, if, before that date, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission remits the recent complaint for consideration by the Faculty’s Complaints Committee, I will stand down as Dean immediately. I do not intend to make any further comment.”

Since that announcement in April, Gordon Jackson has been less conspicuous on twitter – with much of the Faculty’s usual posturing on all things, law, legal and ‘other’ taken up by Roddy Dunlop QC – who was handed Jackson’s job in a lower than usual fanfare of the Court of waffling Session earlier this week.

Albeit  Dunlop only gained the position by default – he was the only candidate to put forward his name for the role – after Gordon Jackson ended his own run as dean in a blaze of careless comments in a train, filmed for posterity.

Dunlop – who – earlier this year gained the position of Vice Dean after Angela Grahame resigned her role – was welcomed in as Dean of the Faculty by Lord Carloway (Colin Sutherland), Lord Malcolm (Colin Campbell QC) and Lord Woolman.

However – the three judges who welcomed Mr Dunlop into the poisoned position of dean – have their own story to tell.

Two of those judges – Carloway & Malcolm – concealed conflicts of interest to a case which Dunlop lost, but was then used to go after the people who won it for the legal fees generated by Dunlop and his colleagues – including Lord Malcolm’s son. This case is currently at the heart of an ongoing media investigation and ticks all the right boxes for dishonesty, greed and conflict of interest.

The probe has so far linked Dunlop’s client (Advance Construction Scotland Ltd) to an ex-sheriff Peter Watson who resigned from the judiciary after he was suspended to protect public confidence in the judiciary

Then, there was the law firm – Levy and MCrae – who escaped a £28m writ over a £400m collapsed hedge fund.

The judge – Lord Malcolm – who concealed the fact his own son was linked to the same case he heard eight times

And, Scotland’s top judge himself – Lord Carloway – who concealed from MSPs that the law firm where his son worked was employed by Dunlop’s client to go after, and seize the properties of the party who actually won the case which Dunlop lost – courtesy of a ruling by the third judge – Lord Woolman.

Only in Scotland’s justice system will you ever find such a gang loaded with conflict of interests who use their seemingly unquestionable status in society to welcome another to their safe-house.

The investigation which reported on Lord Malcolm’s failure to declare serious conflicts of interest, is reported in further detail here: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Papers lodged at Holyrood judicial interests register probe reveal Court of Session judge heard case eight times – where his son acted as solicitor for the defenders.

When Lord Malcolm’s son bailed out of the court case – but only after the secret his own father was hearing the same case in the same court – came to light – Ewen Campbell ended up in the same Advocate stables as the new Dean of Faculty – Roderick William Dunlop QC of Axiom Advocates.

Nicely done – as some may say.

A recent development in the ongoing media probe of this case saw publication of a witness statement from Advocate Ewen Campbell – Lord Malcolm’s son –  which directly contradicts evidence given by  Lord Carloway – to the Public Petitions Committee and MSP Alex Neil in a hearing on 29 June 2017.

A further development saw a court-sourced witness statement of solicitor and ex-Sheriff Peter Black Watson to the Court of Session – which confirmed Watson employed the son of Lord Malcolm in the case to represent the client – Advance Construction Scotland Ltd – which ended up being heard by Lord Malcolm – who concealed his link to his son during multiple court hearings.

Lord Carloway’s son – Alexander Sutherland – then bailed out of a law firm linked to the same case heard by Lord Malcolm – after the Judicial Office were asked for comment on why his father – Scotland’s current top judge concealed this conflict of interest from evidence in the Scottish Parliament.

Carloway’s son – Alexander Sutherland then spectacularly ended up in the Faculty of Advocates – after only a few months working as a trainee solicitor.

Everything happens for a reason, right?

An earlier investigation revealed Lord Carloway failed to declare his son was linked to the same case: JUDGE OF CONFLICT: Top judge who attacked MSPs over judicial interests probe – failed to declare relative’s role at law firm targeting MSP’s constituents’ home & farm in £6M court case linked to Lord Malcolm conflict of interest scandal

A full report on the publication of evidence contradicting Lord Carloway’s testimony at the Scottish Parliament can be found here: DISHONESTY, LORD: Files reveal Lord Carloway misled Holyrood Committee on involvement of judges’ relative in Court of Session claim – witness statement exposes direct role of Ewen Campbell in £6M land case heard by his father – judge & privy councillor Lord Malcolm

Another turn of luck in the ongoing investigation of the Nolan v Advance case – was the discovery of methods employed by QCs and Advocates to get round signed up fee agreements – by demanding substantial sums in cash payments – which the QC or Advocate then insists on collecting in person from their clients.

But – trawling the court files and fee notes took on an even darker tone when evidence emerged that the Faculty of Advocates itself were attempting to issue fee note credits to cover undeclared payments of cash collected by QCs – when the Faculty feared discovery, and the worrying prospect of an investigation by UK tax authorities.

In one such document – a study of a statement from Faculty Services Ltd in the Nolan v Advance  – noted references to ‘undated’ sums, and credit notes for payments which were in fact – never made.

In one credit note from Faculty Services Ltd – the sum of £5000 – without any date reference is stated as paid.

However, a solicitor dealing directly with the case DENIED the undated £5,000 amount had been paid to Faculty Services Ltd – and a review of the accounts confirm NO such payment was ever made.

The undated £5K credit note listed in the documents – and other unexplained entries – appear to have been created by Faculty Services Ltd with a deliberate intention to conceal tens of thousands of pounds in undeclared cash payments Campbell demanded from his clients.

The fee statements & accounts from Faculty Services Ltd now raise serious questions of how far up the involvement of figures in the Faculty of Advocates in this case stretches – after an earlier investigation established Campbell was pocketing large payments he personally insisted on collecting in cash filled envelopes from his clients in £5,000 bundles.

Written evidence recovered from files held by legal regulators revealed Campbell himself sent emails to his clients – demanding large payments in cash to pay himself and junior counsel Craig Murray.

A full report on Craig Murray’s involvement in the case, and his role in writing two versions of evidence to legal regulators can be found here: ADVOCATE PROBE: How legal regulators covered up for top QC – Files show Scots Advocate now working as Barrister in London – authored two versions of SAME letter for Faculty probe of cash scandal QC who failed clients in £6M Court of Session case

An email from John Campbell to his clients revealed Campbell demanded £5,000 in cash – while he was on the way to a meeting at Airdrie Sheriff Court followed by a dinner with the Law Society of Scotland.

The email from Campbell states: “A little better information about timing. I am due in Airdrie at 4.30. The meeting is in the Sheriff Court, which closes at 6.30. The Law Society is taking me and a colleague for dinner, but I have no idea where. There isn’t a huge number of restaurants in Airdrie, but we’ll find somewhere. This means I won’t be at Bonkle Road until about 8. Is that OK?”

“I have asked JC [John Carruthers] for a breakdown of the £5000. I will explain to you how a spec case works. I have checked; both John and I are willing to take on a spec case for Donal, but only if he signs up to it. There will be two conditions; one is that you keep the Edinburgh agent fed and watered, and the second is the size of the uplift at the end of the day, as I explained to you.”

A Sunday Mail investigation into the case established John Campbell sent multiple emails to clients – in some cases, demanding cash “in any form except beads” to pay for legal services.

An additional email from John Campbell QC to his client stated: “I’m writing to confirm that we agreed at our meeting on Friday that we will meet in Dalkeith on TUESDAY morning, when you will give me £5000 towards the fees of your legal team” … “Please let me know if it’s OK to meet at the Mulsanne Garage, which is at 137 High Street, and what time would suit you?”

If you were wondering why Mr Dunlop’s name keeps cropping up in Nolan v Advance – well – it was Roddy Dunlop’s legal fees – and others – which prompted Levy and Mcrae & Begbies Traynor to use Lord Carloway’s son’s law firm to evict the pursuer out of his house to pay for it all.

You can read all about what happened next, here: FIRE SALE: AIB face sequestration probe as files reveal Trustee was paid £20K by vulture fund to sell home & firebombed farm five days after targeted attack on couple at centre of land case linked to top Scots judges, an ex-Sheriff, an asbestos dumping building company & law firm Levy and Mcrae

If you want to know why Lord Carloway decided to keep quiet about his own link to this case, read more here: JUDGE OF CONFLICT: Top judge who attacked MSPs over judicial interests probe – failed to declare relative’s role at law firm targeting MSP’s constituents’ home & farm in £6M court case linked to Lord Malcolm conflict of interest scandal

THE GANG’S ALL HERE: New Dean welcomed by judges who concealed conflicts of interest in same case

THE newly-elected Dean of Faculty, Roddy Dunlop, QC, has been introduced formally to the Court of Session in a short ceremony.

Mr Dunlop was presented to the Lord President, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lords Malcolm and Woolman, in the First Division courtroom.

Lord Carloway said it was not only his duty but his particular pleasure to congratulate Mr Dunlop on the high honour conferred on him by the Faculty.

Lord Carloway said: “It is an honour which is amply justified by your professional attainments and your personal character,” added the Lord President.

“It is a mark of my own age that I can not only say ‘kent his faither’ – whom I am pleased to see is present today – but even ‘kent his grandfaither’, whom I remember as an agent practising in Glasgow High Court.

“These are difficult times for the Court, the Bar, the wider profession and the public. We have learned a lot in the past four months, and will learn even more over the next four. There are many issues which need to be resolved if the courts are to continue to deliver justice for the people of Scotland. They will require discussion and careful consideration, but at the end of the day difficult decisions about the future will have to be made.

“The Court is confident that you will maintain the high traditions of the office of Dean. I can assure you that any representations which you make to the Court on behalf of the Faculty will always receive our closest attention.”

Mr Dunlop was the sole nomination to succeed Gordon Jackson, QC, who stepped down after four years in office.

Mr Dunlop said: “It is a huge honour to have been appointed Dean of Faculty. This high office extends back to the very origins of the College of Justice in the 16th Century. It has been held by many of the foremost legal minds in Scottish history, and I am humbled, and a little awed, to find myself in their company.

“I take office at an extremely challenging time for Faculty, and for the legal profession as a whole. I will endeavour to meet these challenges in a way that respects the efforts of those who have gone before me.”

Admitted to Faculty in 1998, Mr Dunlop took Silk in 2010. He has a broad-based, mainly civil practice, but with a keen interest in media law, he has been regularly instructed in the criminal courts in contempt matters.

Mr Dunlop served as Treasurer of Faculty from April 2017 until February this year when he was elected as Vice-Dean of Faculty. An election for a new Vice-Dean will follow.

Further material sourced from the Court of Session, including digital evidence & recordings from Neal transcribing machines in relation to proceedings in court where Dunlop and his opposite number John Campbell QC ‘sparred’ during hearings of Nolan v Advance – will be published in further articles.

 

 

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