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Mr Peter Williamson
President of the Law Society
2 New Square
Lincoln's Inn
London
WC2A 3RZ

5 October 2003

Dear Sir

Re. Client Care Agreements

As we all know the Law Society make their own rules, govern their own complaints procedure and carry out their own disciplinary measures. This all works fine for the Law Society's members, brother watching out for brother so to speak, but for the client's side it appears the 'client' is on his own, for instance, in my case, the rules that benefited the solicitors were strictly applied to me, but vice-versa the rules were ignored.

Below is an extract taken, as you can see, from 'The Times' in May 1998 and the highlights show that solicitors "should have their own complaints procedures" and the OSS will not look at complaints until "in-house procedures" were carried out first: -
'THE TIMES' - Wednesday May 6, 1998

'Solicitors Watchdog Awash `With Complaints'
By FRANCES GIBB - LEGAL CORRESPONDENT
A WATCHDOG yesterday announced measures to curb a 30 per cent rise in complaints about solicitors and to increase its efficiency.
The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) will no longer look at a complaint until it has gone through a firm's in-house procedures. Almost half the complaints it gets about 19,000 a year go direct to the Office, despite a rule that all solicitors in England and Wales should have their own complaints procedures.
The Office is also to set a time limit; those dissatisfied with the in-house procedure must, in most cases, approach the Office within six months
-------------------------------------------.
After 'complaining' for two years the Senior Partner would refuse to see me (April '99) or carry out an internal investigation, and the OSS, who I contacted for help at the time, and despite letters and 'phone calls it would be 18 months (Dec '00) before they wrote to me. Not only that but 6 months previous (6 June '00) the OSS colluded with my solicitors in using the content of my 'unopened file' to assist my solicitors in sacking me on 7 June '00.

First of all my solicitors failed to comply with the 'Client Care Agreement' in that the Senior Partner, Gordon Luckhurst, refused to see me or to carry out any "in-house procedures" to deal with my dissatisfaction, except to allow an ex-employee (according to a court document had left the firm 2 years previously) who some of my complaints were about, take a pre-arranged meeting on her own that Gordon Luckhurst failed to turn up for then twice more refused my requests to see him then eventually seeking the OSS's help and assistance to sack me as a paying client. Conspiracy or what???

Second the OSS failed to 'enforce' the 'rules' in April '99 when I asked them to or 'investigate' why they did not enforce the 'rules' when they carried out their investigation into my complaint over two years later (June '02).

Third the OSS failed to investigate why there was no 'in-house complaints procedure' in operation.

Fourth the 'collusion' between the OSS and my solicitors on 6 June '00 in using my 'unopened file' to bring about my sacking amounts to 'misconduct' which the OSS refused to investigate and the Legal Ombudsman also ignored this part of my complaint.

Fifth the OSS failed to inform me of an 'advice service' they provide if the client had made an allegation of 'negligence' against their solicitors. (This 'negligence information' was passed by the OSS, from my 'unopened file', to my solicitors on 6 June '00 to assist them in sacking me on the 7 June).

Sixth. In your Client's Charter there is a line that states, "be polite and considerate in their dealings with you". Well because I am complaining that the Law Society have failed to 'comply' with their own rules, your 'Chair of the Compliance Board' first of all ignored me then referred to me as a "disgruntled complainant" I don't call that "polite" or "considerate" and I believe he should say why he his ignoring 'non-compliance of the rules'.

Seventh, where do we go from here? The point is simple, if the OSS refuse on the client's behalf to make the solicitors comply with the Law Society's own rules, the Legal Ombudsman will not address the issue and the 'Chair of the Compliance Board' after being contacted ignores the client and then at the second attempt he replies and shows total disregard for the client, client care and the Clint Care Agreement by just referring to the client as a 'disgruntled complainant'. Tell me, does the solicitors' client ignore all your complaints channels, as they don't work, and write direct to you to get their solicitors to comply with your own rules or do you ignore the rule book as well? If so, does the client write to the 'Master of the Rolls' for clarification of the rules?

I have enclosed part copies of "Chapter 13.02 Practice rule 15" and "Chapter 13.02 Solicitors' Costs Information and Client Care Code". As you know these rules are made "in accordance with a Solicitors' Costs Information and Client Care Code made from time to time by the Council of the Law Society with the concurrence of the Master of the Rolls…". As I have previously said my solicitors refused to comply with these rules, the OSS would not enforce them and later refused to address this part of my complaint, the Legal Ombudsman who stated "it has been dealt with" failed to show me 'where and how' and the Chair of the Compliance Board could not care less.

In the last letter I wrote to the Chair of the Compliance Board a quote I made to him I will repeat to you: -

"When I go to a country, I do not look to see whether there are good laws, but whether those there are enforced, for good laws are everywhere".
Charles Louis Montesquieu: French Jurist (1689-1755)

You must agree it is 'Members of The Law Society' who are not 'complying' with your own rules and it is also 'Members of The Law Society' who are not 'enforcing' these rules for the benefit of 'Members of The Law Society'. If you do not apply the rules to your own members as strictly as you apply them to solicitors' 'Clients' then it shows your 'Complaints' handling 'Procedures' are so corrupt it is time for you to hand over to an independent body or call it what it is, a 'Lawyers Protection Racket'.

Let me expand a little on this 'Protection Racket' allegation. The consensus of opinions of three legal experts, a District Judge, a Barrister and a Solicitor was that there were six years of delays (it took three years to apply for a summons) in bringing my case to a conclusion. When my complaint was evaluated by the 'Non-legal experts' (OSS) their verdict on delays stated, "…has concluded that there is no sufficient evidence to show a delay", albeit John Lymbury the Adjudicator actually invented evidence to cover for the 'delays' that they say didn't occur, and the Legal Ombudsman who was aware of these facts refused to address them. For the OSS and the Ombudsman to 'cover-up' six years of delays plus inventing evidence, amongst other things, is nothing short of operating a 'Protection Racket'.

In the Ombudsman's 'Little Blue Book' (rule book??) it states "she will always look at what you have to say" and "What the Ombudsman will do is check that all your complaints were addressed…" all I can say is Zahida Manzoor must be the joke of the century.

Before you throw this letter in the bin believing, as Richard Hegarty does, that I am just some raving 'disgruntled complainant' you should pay attention to what a District Judge, a Barrister and Ann Abraham, the Ombudsman's predecessor, amongst others said about my ex-solicitors and then read the various impressive comments made by yourself and other senior members of the Law Society that I have enclosed. May be these comments are all made with 'tongue-in-cheek'?


Yours sincerely

X X Xxxx

PS I will publish this letter on my website, which I am sure by now you are aware of, as I have done with various other correspondence.