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A referral to the Parliamentary Ombudsman

28 February 2005

Your Ref: 9724
The parliamentary Ombudsman's Ref: C.1775/05

Dr Howard Stoate MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

Dear Sir

Re: A referral to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

Thank you for your letter dated 14 February last and your assistance in taking my referral to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. In your letter you state, in regards to the Parliamentary Ombudsman's letter, "…, which I hope answers your concerns". Quite frankly it does not answer my "concerns" and reminds me more of a "high ranking Lawyer's" comments in regards to the Judge Davies affair "It sounds like the 'Old Boy Network' came to his rescue", see: - www.solicitorsfromhell.com/Lord_Charlie.htm#jrd

First of all let me quote from the solicitors rule book that goes something like "all communications with clients should be in plain language…"

As you probably know the rules covering the Law Society's Data Controller at the OSS (now the CCS) are made by the Law Society with the concurrence of the Master of the Rolls and if these rules are violated this constitutes a violation of the Data Protection Acts; …data controller" means, subject to subsection (4), a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed. If not please ask the Parliamentary Ombudsman to correct me.

Let me now quote the Law Society's;
Data Protection Notice
We will use the information you give us to investigate your complaint. We will not use that information for any unconnected purpose without your consent. We will have to reveal your information to the firm or solicitor you have complained about. We may also have to reveal that information to our agents (people acting on our behalf) and to others involved in:

Nowhere does it say that solicitors can 'request' information from complaints files, especially prior to that complaint coming under investigation, and the IC stated in a letter he wrote to me that "there is no provision in the Acts for this".

Let me also quote the rules on collection and the 'revealing' of information;
6 OSS and OSS complaint files
The Code applies to the OSS as part of the Law Society, but complaint files will not be disclosable except to the data subject and to the extent permissible under the Act. However, as stated in paragraph B.3.2, findings of OSS adjudications will be disclosable, in so far as this is permissible under the Act.
G.1 All requests for information in accordance with this Code shall be in writing, addressed to the Chief Executive, and shall be signed by the person making the request.

I have enclosed copies of documents A4 and A5 that are part of the file I previously sent for referral to Parliamentary Ombudsman, these two documents alone clearly show rule G.1 above was not complied with. The OSS refused to investigate this violation of the rules as did Zahida Manzoor the LSO, the Chair of the Compliance Board, Richard Hegarty first of all referred to me as a "disgruntled complainant" then later 'phoned me during the evening and tried to intimidated me. The Lord Chancellor tried the intimidation root by saying if you don't like it take us to the 'High Court' after I complain about this attitude he stated there are a 'Set of Enforceable Rules' that the Information Commissioner 'enforces' now it appears the Law Society don't have to comply with any rules and the Parliamentary Ombudsman can't 'see the trees for the wood'. That "Old Boy Network" that Lawyers are talking about most definitely comes to the rescue, well then again most politicians come through the legal route so what more should we expect.

  A request may be for a specific item of information, or for information within a specific category, or for information related to a specific subject or topic, or a combination of these.
H. Handling of requests for information
H.1 A request for information shall be acknowledged by or on behalf of the Chief Executive within 14 days of its receipt

Let me take a quote from the IC's rules;
"If someone wants to use your information for another purpose…you should be told about it and given a choice". I am aware from what the IC said in his letter to me dated 24 September 2004 that the Data Protection Acts have no "teeth" so why the hell he says that beats me.

What should an individual do if they are not satisfied that their information has been processed as stated by the Law Society rulebook:
http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/eventual.aspx?id=1037&expmovie=1

"If you believe that the data controller is not processing in accordance with your rights you should ensure that you have made every effort to resolve this direct with the individual or organization concerned"
I don't believe it can be said that I have left any stone unturned.

Let me get back to the part of my complaint that I wished the Parliamentary Ombudsman to look at, bearing in mind the Lord Chancellor's office stated that the Data Controller must comply with a "Set of Enforceable Rules" known as the 'Eight Principals' and further stated that the IC was responsible for 'Enforcing' them.

As you know from the information I have supplied I was advised by the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (as it was at the time) to send them an official complaint because the Senior Partner at Thos Boyd Whyte (Gordon Luckhurst) was in violation of the Client Care Agreement, (he had refused three times to see me and discuss my grievances). Although Gordon Luckhurst and Geoff Smith failed to turn up for a meeting if you look at document (A4) (these documents are in the copy file I sent to the IC that I enclosed in my original 'referral') an Attendance Note written by ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx my Solicitor at the time you will see all three found time to discuss how to go about sacking me also it shows she discussed my file with the OSS, my file was retrieved by the Data Controller from the 'cases pending investigation' and information was passed to her. If you now look at document (A5) a third 'Attendance Note' written by ?xxxx ?xxxxxxxxx on 8th June '00 it shows she passed this information to SIF (Solicitors Indemnity Fund) and then to the Ethics Committee so as to be advised by the Ethics Committee from this ?------ gained information on reasons to sack me as a paying client. You would have thought, to be fair to both sides, this 'Noble' Ethics Committee would have investigated the facts including the method in which the information was acquired before advising my solicitors to sack me.

If you read from 'Document A2 to A7 in the above mention file you will see ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx is in possession of information (my allegation of 'negligence' in my complaints file) that didn't come from me (document A2, the only time I spoke to ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx, bears this out) and the IC states there is no evidence that information was passed to her by the Data Controller, although document (A4) shows ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx spent 35 minutes (15 to the OSS Data Controller) "in perusal and consideration of the allegation of negligence…" just how did she know what was in my file unless the Data Controller told her? The IC states in his letter to me dated 4th November '04 that ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx didn't collect or pass any information from my file to the Ethics Committee; as he was not a party to those telephone conversations he cannot know that. How did ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx know what was in my file before it came under an investigation unless the Data Controller told her? What the IC is saying is that the OSS by advising me to send them an official complaint was reason enough to cause a 'Conflict of Interests' and the Ethics Committee based solely on the word of ?xxx ?xxxxxxxxx that I had made a complaint (Mrs M E Manwaring at the IC office on 4th November 2004 said no information from my file was passed to the Ethics Committee) was reason enough for a 'Conflict of Interests' to exist. It appears the IC is saying the OSS set me up with a reason, a 'conflict of interests' caused by Gordon Luckhurst's violation of the Client Care Agreement, for Thos Boyd Whyte to sack me.

Bearing in mind that the rules on the 'requesting' of data clearly state this must be done in writing, in this case it was all done in an unsecured method (over the telephone) and passed to third parties to be used for 'unconnected purpose without' my 'consent'. I was not asked or gave my permission and the OSS refused to investigate this part of my complaint also they refused to give me any information when I asked. Let me again quote the IC; "If someone wants to use your information for another purpose…you should be told about it and given a choice".

Let us look at what happened, first the IC said that solicitors have a right to 'request' information, I'm sure that is correct but the IC also stated that there is no provision within the Acts to allow for solicitors to 'request' information from complaint files, second to that the rules state very clearly that "All requests for information in accordance with this Code shall be in writing, addressed to the Chief Executive, and shall be signed by the person making the request" and as the 'request' was made verbally over the telephone the Data Controller should have denied access to my file which was a violation of the Data Protection Acts. Second the rules state, concerning information contained in my complaint file, "We will not use that information for any unconnected purpose without your consent". As the Data Controller gave out information (documents A2 to A7 bears this out), by unsecured means, from my unopened file to be passed to third parties (SIF and the Ethics Committee) for "unconnected purposes" he was clearly in violation of the Data Protection Acts. Let me quote one of the 'Eight Principles' as stated in the Set of Enforceable Rules "Security", is the blather mouthing of information by the Data Controller to people he can only assume they are who they say they are what the IC and the Parliamentary Ombudsman call 'Security'?

Further to this concerning information being collected from my file, whether it was pending investigation, under investigation or closed, to be used for 'unrelated purposes' my consent should have been given, I should have been told of the purpose for its collection and I should have been informed who was collecting it and when I asked about information that had been collected from my file they refused. The Law Society cannot be allowed to misuse information that is held by them and the Parliamentary Ombudsman will not be able to say she didn't know that this is going on.

I didn't make the rules but as a solicitor's client I should expect them to be 'Enforced' and the Lord Chancellor's office state it is the IC's job to 'Enforce' them I believe he should prosecute the Law Society for breach of the Data Protection Acts and the Parliamentary Ombudsman should ask why he has not done so. Oh yes I forgot, the IC states "Failure to comply with the data protection principles is not a criminal offence", "The Information Commissioner has no powers to punish a data controller for a failure to comply with the data protection principles" and "The only action we would been able to take would have been to require the Law Society to take steps to prevent similar future contraventions". Now come on the Law Society can and I am sure will carry on 'contravening' the "Data Protection Acts" which the IC is saying he has no powers to prevent. This Data Protection Acts sound like a large, deaf, blind, beached alligator with its mouth wedged open and its teeth pulled out being about as useful as the waste we flush down the toilet, I suppose it does provide Richard Thomas with a nice fat salary to keep the sewers from getting blocked.

Would you please now ask the Parliamentary Ombudsman to explain to me in plain language just how the Law Society has, if that is what she is saying, complied with the rules as they have been written and if so would she explain, in plain language, how a rule that is supposed to be 'requested' by correspondence has now changed to Telecom Communications and how they, despite the rules, don't need my consent to use information from complainants' files for 'unrelated purposes'? I'm aware this is not possibly the Ombudsman's remit to answer but it is the IC's remit and he is not giving satisfactory answers so I believe she is required to look at why he fails to answer directly to my questions.

I have enclosed a letter that I have written to the Legal Services Ombudsman that is related to what the IC said in his letter to me dated 4th November 2004. Bearing in mind the CCS say they "help you if you have a problem with your solicitor" the IC states that as I had sent a complaint to the OSS/CCS "there would be a conflict of interests if Thos Boyd Whyte continued to represent you". From the enclosed letter you will see I was advised by the OSS/CCS to send them an official complaint and they were deliberately giving, according to the IC, Thos Boyd Whyte reasons to sack me then they refused to investigate why the Senior Partner refused on three occasions to see me. The point here is what the IC is saying is irrespective of why a complaint is made by a solicitors client to the CCS the solicitors only have to tell the Ethics Committee that a complaint has been made against them (the IC, although not being a party to this conversation, said no information was collected from my complaints file and passed to the Ethics Committee) and the Ethics Committee with no information as to what the complaint is will correctly (the IC's opinion) advise the solicitors, over the 'phone, that there is a "conflict of interests" and reason to sack the client. Tell me how does asking the CCS for help or advise "help you if you have a problem with your solicitor"? This is the most 'Secure Protection Racket' I've ever heard of and the whole 'Dream Team' are in on it, no wonder "high ranking Lawyers" are talking about the "Old Boys' Network".

Finally, I have the right to expect information concerning me to be kept in a 'secured' environment that will only be used for the 'purposes' for which it was given and if or when 'accessed' will only be done in accordance with the rules. The bending, twisting, ignoring of the laws/rules to protect/benefit members of the Law Society is not acceptable and ignorance of these rules is not an excuse by people who should know them (a Senior Partner, Senior Litigation Solicitor, a Solicitor, OSS/CCS Data Controller, SIF and the Law Society's Ethics Committee). I think you might understand my confusion for (1) the Lord Chancellor tells me there are a "Set of Enforceable Rules" that all Data Controllers must comply with and the Information Commissioner must "Enforce" them then (2) the Information Commissioner states "The only action we would been able to take would have been to require the Law Society to take steps to prevent similar future contraventions". The IC uses the word 'require' what happened to the 'Enforceable Rules'?


Yours sincerely


X X Xxxx

Enc

PS. I'm aware that while the Law Society operate their own complaint procedures there is no chance of complainants' being able to get a fair and unbiased investigation into their complaints against Lawyers especially when Lawyers talk about this "Old Boy Network" that they have operating in the background. The Lord Chancellor who made Zahida Manzoor the LSO tells me she is independent from the Law Society. Yeah right, pull my other leg its got bells on it. Anyway she operates a 'Sexual Discrimination' scheme if you are male your rights are not equal to the female species, see: - www.solicitorsfromhell.com/omblet8.htm#zm

PSS. I'm also aware the Parliamentary Ombudsman couldn't careless about how complainants against the Law Society are treated but these letters will be on my website which are seen all over the world.

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