"Lord Falconer's Advocate"

4 February 2004
James Shutlar
Legal Services Development Division
The Department for Constitutional Affairs
Selbourne House
54/60 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QW

Dear Sir

Re: Your letter dated 27 Jan '03

Thank you for your letter dated 27 January, let me quote you from that letter "I understand that you remain unhappy with the way in which your complaint against a solicitor has been handled…" the short answer to that is 'Yes'. However if you read correctly what I am complaining about, it is 'non-compliance of the rules'. You state the Law Society is 'self regulating' which means there are strict rules that must be adhered to, the solicitors client has no option but to conform, rightly so, in the case of the Law Society the rule book goes out the window if they don't like what's in there and you on behalf of Lord Falconer use intimidation, if the client complains the rules are not being applied, by telling the client 'if you don't like it take us to the High Court'.

Let me continue with the last paragraph of page one where you do mention the "Law Society's client care agreement and noncompliance of their rules" you then continue with "This is a matter for the Law Society and you should pursue your concerns with that body". Let me first state who I have tried to "pursue" my "concerns" with:
1. Office for the Supervision of Solicitors'
2. The Legal Services Ombudsman.
3. Mr Kevin Martin, Deputy Vice President of the Law Society.
4. Richard Hegarty, Chair of the Compliance Board, who first of all ignored me then referred to me as a "disgruntled complainant" and finally, after illegally obtaining personal information on me, rang me during the evening in an attempt to 'intimidate' me.
5. The President of the Law Society, Peter Williamson.
6. Chief Executive of the Law Society, Janet Paraskeva.
7. Finally Lord Falconer and yourself.
The point here is, unless you can give me a name and an address other than who I have stated, it is back to Lord Falconer as my rights as a 'solicitors client' have been violated also I believe it comes down to my 'Human rights' are being violated. Let me make some quotes from some of Lord Falconer's speeches:

"Who will stand up for our basic rights and freedoms if we are unpopular or don't have money or don't have power?"

"These human rights stories all involved court action. I could give you a lot more but I'm even more interested in the ones that didn't involve a court - where the Human Rights Act is making a difference to people's lives by inspiring good practice and a sharper focus on individual rights and responsibilities".

"We have also been changing the way that Government works to bring rights home".

"People shouldn't be surprised. Human rights provides the vital missing link between basic fairness for the many, and basic fairness for the few. It is that link that makes equality very plainly an issue for us all. Human rights has always shown why. Human rights is now going to show how"

"I am from the Department for Constitutional Affairs, which is new as of June this year. It is a new department, with a new emphasis to serve the public, and on the side of the public, whereas in the past, the Lord Chancellors Department concentrated on providers. This new focus will clearly assist those committed to ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) and mediation"
Access to justice

"Lord Woolf's Access to Justice report identified the need for fair, speedy and proportionate resolutions. Those principles lay at the heart of the Civil Procedure Rules which came into force in April 1999, around the time that I decided to leave the legal profession - they were developed on the understanding that litigation should be the dispute resolution method of last resort. The CPR included the first references to ADR in rules of court and introduced pre-action protocols, with their emphasis on settlement, even before court proceedings are issued. They added up to a wholesale change in the way we look at disputes".

"People can be driven to litigation when all they really want is an apology".

"such as the need for an explanation or a change in procedures to prevent a recurrence of the source of the dispute".

"The third target in our Public Service Agreement, our commitment to the public on what we will deliver, agreed with the Treasury, is "to reduce the proportion of disputes which are resolved by resort to the courts". We in the Department for Constitutional Affairs have many drivers to live up to that PSA target and the financial imperative behind it".

"The first model we are testing is to raise awareness of mediation by targeting information to court users at different stages of the court process, because people simply aren't aware that mediation is an alternative available to them".

There are endless quotes I could make but let me finish on a final quote that I believe Lord Falconer needs to stand by if he wants people to believe the statements and promises he makes in his speeches.

"And I say this to our opponents on the right: we will not be deflected from ensuring that the people of this country know what are their rights, how they can obtain them, and how they may enforce them. Never mind the right wing: we will do the right thing".

Finally, after Lord Falconer's attempt at 'intimidation' (take us to the High Court) maybe you could put me right regards his advocating 'ADR' and continue use of the word 'mediation'???? Let me again quote Lord Falconer "The CPR included the first references to ADR in rules of court and introduced pre-action protocols, with their emphasis on settlement, even before court proceedings are issued. They added up to a wholesale change in the way we look at disputes" also "case where successful party was denied costs on the basis that they had refused an offer of mediation".

I will write to Mr Richard Thomas and enclose copies of my letter to Lord Falconer dated 5 January last also your reply dated 27 January plus this current letter. For your information I have sent a complaint regarding Richard Hegerty to the OSS dated 23 December 2003.

Yours sincerely