The Law Society Consumers Complaints Services that acts for the Protection of Lawyers
Zahida Manzoor the Law Society's Defence Attorney

28 January 2005

Your ref: 30451

Zahida Manzoor CBE
Legal Services Ombudsman
3rd Floor
Sunlight House
Quay Street
Manchester M3 3JZ


Dear Ms Manzoor

Re: Richard Hegarty, Chair of the Compliance Board

Thank you for your letter dated 18 January 2005 and I would like to confirm that I have received a response from the CCS.

First let me refer to your comments concerning the words "disgruntled complainants". You write it off by saying "an explanation was offered regarding the interpretation of the word 'disgruntled'". If you read my letter addressed to the CCS dated 15 May 2004 as you said you have, the final paragraph on page 3, this answers that "interpretation" and not only that I believe Richard Hegarty used these words in such a way that also amounted to 'intimidation', which he later followed up with an evening 'phone call and the CCS, as you also have repeated, said Richard Hegarty "was telephoning you in connection with Law Society business", I do note this 'phone call will now be investigated.

It would appear from your letter that you are trying to defend Richard Hegarty by telling me "that staff working for Mr Hegarty had obtained information regarding your home telephone number from the internet" (of course Richard Hegarty didn't know anything about this 'Yeah Right').

As you know if you want to obtain information from the "internet" you use one or more of the many 'Search Engines', Google, Yahoo, Mamma, Msn etc. First you put in 'keywords', for instance, if you are looking for solicitors in Bexleyheath just type in "bexleyheath solicitors" or the name of a solicitors "thos boyd whyte", "hegarty co" or "legal services ombudsman" or a name" i.e. "zahida manzoor" of which I have enclosed a few examples that give information relating to these 'keywords'. The only information Richard Hegarty had concerning me were my name and address so if you type in "brian gray" the first 4 pages I have enclosed show no information on me whatsoever.

As you are aware anyone who holds data/information on individual(s) are classified as 'Data Controllers' and are bound by the 'Set of Enforceable Rules' known as the 'eight principles' : -

They require the data controller to ensure that data is
" Fairly and lawfully processed;
" Processed for limited purposes;
" Adequate, relevant and not excessive;
" Accurate;
" Not kept longer than necessary;
" Processed in line with your rights;
" Secure; and,
" Not transferred to countries without adequate protection
(The term "processing" covers the obtaining, holding, use and disclosure of data.)

The Act says that in determining whether personal data are processed fairly, you need to look at the method by which they are obtained, including whether any person was deceived or misled as to the purpose for the data.

As Chair of the Compliance Board, Richard Hegarty will be familiar with these rules so he must supply evidence as to the method and for what purpose(s) he gained my personal information from the 'internet' if it was not in the public domain, also when I wrote to him on the 5th December 2003 seeking this information he should have, according to the rules, given an adequate response within 50 working days he ignored this request he must give a reason why he knowingly, on behalf of the Law Society, ignored the rules.

One thing I would like to know is as Richard Hegarty was, according to Aman Virk at the CCS, acting on "Law Society business" why did he use the "internet" to get information on me? As Aman Virk said he rang me during the evening to "discuss" with me an "issue" which I had "raised", when he tells us what this "issue" was this should identify the 'purpose(s)' why he, on behalf of the Law Society, used the "internet" as the 'method' to gain information on me.

I'm aware you say that concerning my complaint against Thos Boyd Whyte you "do not intend to revisit these particular complaints". In your letter (page 3 4th paragraph) concerning the "possible contravention of the data Protection Acts was a matter which fell within the remit to investigate". If you look at the enclosed attendance note and a letter which I sent to you dated 21st May 2003 you clearly must have been aware at that time there had been a "possible contravention of the data Protection Acts" that you now say comes "within" the CCS's "remit to investigate" which at the time I bitterly complained that the OSS and then yourself refused to investigate. This 'Attendance Note' written by my Solicitor on 7 June 2000 is clear evidence that my 'complaints file had been misused perhaps you would like to comment why you refused to investigate this part of my complaint then but are quite happy to investigate an identical scenario now.

If a complainant makes a negligence complaint against their solicitors there is a service supplied by the Law Society where a complainant is offered a free session with an independent Solicitor so as to be advised. As you know 'negligence' was part of my complaint against Thos Boyd Whyte and when I complained I was not offered this service you again did nothing. I wonder why?
Complaints about negligence
Complaints of this sort should also go in the first instance to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. The OSS will review the complaint and if appropriate will refer the matter to one of the solicitors on their Negligence Panel. These are independent solicitors who have volunteered to give one hour's free advice on whether a solicitor was negligent and, if so, what to do next. Ultimately it may be necessary for you to take action in the courts to obtain compensation for the negligence of a solicitor. Enquiries should be directed to:

Remember in my current complaint the rules state an independent Solicitor should be instructed and after I was told this was being done, Aman Virk, Manager, Quality & Services Standards, decided to deviate from the rules and once again my rights were withdraw. I wonder why?

Your little blue rules book that you send to all complainants and which I have frequently quoted, states with reference to the OSS/CCS "They must take into consideration the views of everyone involved, and then make a reasonable decision based on all available information". "Involved" in my complaint against Thos Boyd Whyte the concensus of opinion of a Judge, a Barrister and one of my Solicitors (Sandra Durrant) was that there were six years of delays, it took three years after I gave instructions for the Solicitor (Margaret Dunton) who listened to my complains to apply for a summons (see my enclosed letter to you dated 21 May '03, page 3 highlighted blue), and some 'half baked' Caseworker stated that there was a 4 month period that amounted to 'some delay'. The OSS ignored the opinion of three professionals and despite me quoting your 'little blue book' you refused to look at this delay issue. I wonder why? The same Solicitor (Sandra Durrant) wrote in an 'Attendance Note' that she didn't think that her predecessors at Thos Boyd Whyte had treated me correctly, another view that the OSS and yourself didn't take "into consideration". I wonder why?

While I am on about delays I believe it appropriate to enclose a letter I sent to the OSS dated 28 June 2002 that you would have read when you looked at my file. This letter that, at the time, contained all supporting evidence shows just how badly my affairs were handled and this "4 month period that amounted to 'some delay'" that you went along with clearly was not correct. Now you are pathetically making a big deal out "of the unjustified time delay of two months when there was no action taken in relation to your complaint" by awarding me £100. 'Yeah Right' I'm impressed it's a pity I was not previously 'impress' with your findings with TBW.

Letme quote a statement made by you: -
9 Mar '03 "I had one ludicrous example recently where a woman wanted to make a complaint against a law firm. She was told by the Law Society that she would have to take it up with the firm concerned first. She did and found that the solicitor who was to investigate her complaint was the solicitor she was complaining against! This kind of thing has just got to change."
As you know this happened to me and the Solicitor, according to a Court document, had left the firm 2 years previous, the Senior Partner refused twice more to see me even though I had contacted the OSS for assistance, they would not help and over two years later when they got round to investigating my complaint, even though by the Law Society's own rules the Senior partner was guilty of 'Professional Misconduct', they (OSS) refused to investigate and you refused to do anything. If you again read the enclosed letter I wrote to you dated 21 May 2003 it's clear you were not going to be of any help. Why not, are you prejudiced against 'white English males? If not you most certainly treated me unfavourably compared to the way you treated a female which would relate to sexual discrimination.

As you may or may not know I have referred a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, I will send a copy of your letter also this letter and its contents to my MP to add to the correspondence I have already referred to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. I will point out that you are now saying the violation of my complaints file by the OSS, as it was at that time, and Thos Boyd Whyte does come within the 'remit' of the OSS to investigate but you failed to instruct the OSS to carry out an investigation at that time. In an identical scenario the complaint against Richard Hegarty you have instructed the CCS, which the OSS has now become, to investigate a "possible contravention of the data Protection Acts". It is very confusing when people alter or change the rules to suit the occasion, for instance you probably believe as Richard Hegarty got my home 'phone number etc from the 'internet' he has not violated the Data Protection Acts so ordering the CCS to investigate it won't do any harm, well that remains to be seen. However I will say in the case, mentioned above, where you gave a woman preferential treatment you appear to have got away with it.


Yours sincerely

B R Gray

See 'Legal Eagles' http://www.solicitorsfromhell.com/Legal-Eagles.htm

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