25 October 2003

Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Lord Chancellor's Department.
Department for Constitutional Affairs
Selborne House
54-60 Victoria Road
London
SW1E 6QW

Dear Sir

Re: Solicitors Client Care Agreement

For the last few years I have been trying to establish the validity of the 'Solicitors Client Care Agreement', I have been through the 'Complaints Procedures', the OSS and the Legal Ombudsman, Zahida Manzoor, I wrote to Kevin Martin, Deputy Vice President of the Law Society who passed me on to the Chair of the Compliance Board who first of all ignored me then just referred to me as a "disgruntled complainant", I then wrote to the President of the Law Society, Peter Williamson who has not bothered to reply. No one will even attempt to explain how a solicitors' clients can get their solicitors to comply with this 'contract', may be you can.

When you start any litigation your Solicitor asks, as mine did, "did you have a contract or an agreement with the Defendant(s)" (a 'contract' is written an 'agreement' could be verbal?). If it was written your Solicitor tells you it should be reasonably easy to ascertain if the 'contract' was broken and therefore establishing your claim. The 'Client Care Agreement' is clearly written and your Solicitor asks you to sign and return it, therefore I believe this must amount to being a 'contract'?

Let me quote your good self on a point concerning solicitors' clients "someone who doesn't understand the process, therefore must be wrong" it is obvious that the Complaints body (OSS) rely on this in their investigations. Let me also quote Janet Paraskeva "Consumers have become much more educated…" I don't know about that but by the e-mails I now receive it is obvious the "Consumer" is very aware when they are being 'ripped off' by solicitors as well as by the 'Complaints Procedures'.

Let me get to the point which is 'non-compliance of the rules' by my ex-solicitors and the failure of the OSS, when asked, to force the solicitors to comply and, over two years later, when they got round to carrying out their investigation refused to address this point as did Zahida Manzoor.

Let me give a brief insight of my complaint that the OSS and the Ombudsman refuse to address. First of all the consensus of opinions of a District Judge, a Barrister and a Solicitor is that my case should have been concluded within one year, but it took seven and Mr Higgins QC labelled my solicitors negligent as well as incompetent. Second, after five years I asked to see the Senior Partner, Gordon Luckhurst as stated in the 'Client Care Agreement'. Arrangements were made to suit Gordon Luckhurst and Geoff Smith the Senior Litigation Solicitor who would sit in and give advice. What happened, Margaret Dunton, who some of my complaints were about, not only that but according to a Court document she had left the firm two years previous making her 'an ex-employee', took the meeting and on two subsequent occasions Gordon Luckhurst still refused to see me. Third, although I contacted the OSS several times, including sending an official complaint, they would not give any assistance then one year later the OSS colluded with my solicitors to give them reasons taken from my, not yet opened, complaints file to sack me within weeks of the trial.

The Ombudsman's 'little blue book' states "she will always look at what you have to say" also "What the Ombudsman will do is check that all your complaints were addressed". I'm afraid Zahida Manzoor has neither "looked at" nor "addressed" all of my "complaints". I have inserted below a statement by Zahida Manzoor of an example that is one of my main complaints that must have been dealt with by her at the same time as mine, and Zahida Manzoor states, "This kind of thing has just got to change" obviously it hasn't or in my case she just decided to ignore it.

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."

Not only that, but in my case the Solicitor was an ex-employee of some two years. Zahida Manzoor by her own admission has admitted that what happened to me was "ludicrous" but in her efforts to protect the solicitors and the OSS she has ignored this point along with a number of others. The Ombudsman's 'little blue book' states, "your case could only be re-opened in exceptional circumstances" I believe these are "exceptional circumstances". So tell me, is Zahida Manzoor 'two faced' or down right dishonest? I am very curious to see, as you appointed her, if you are at all interested in the facts or whether you will, probably as you see it, out of duty stand in her corner.

A term I have used in recent correspondences of late to describe the Law Society's 'Complaints Procedure', and it appears that Peter Williamson is now up front leading, is 'The Solicitors Protection Racket'. Are you going to join this army in 'Jack Boots' in treading the 'little man' into the dirt? If so remember the story of 'David and Goliath', for it might just be found the 'Internet' is the 'pebble' that 'slays the giant'.

Underneath is a second insertion attributed to Zahida Manzoor that, in part, states, "…you can do something about the poor level of legal service you receive…" I don't understand the mentality of someone who spouts her mouth off saying one thing and in reality does the opposite. I believe its back to what you said above about solicitors' clients "someone who doesn't understand the process, therefore must be wrong".

ZM comments 9-03-03: - "I really want to get down to the man and woman in the street and say you can do something about the poor level of legal service you received in the system," she says with obvious conviction.

'What a load of rubbish'

In the wake of the 'Solicitors Complaints Bureau' came this 'Wonder Drug' the 'OSS' (Office for the Supervision of Solicitors): -

September 1996

The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) replaces the Solicitors Complaints Bureau. The Office's declared aim is 'excellence and fairness in enforcing standards'. Peter Ross is appointed as the first Director. No new powers, but the Law Society promise a 'complete restructuring of the old Solicitors Complaints Bureau', 'a new emphasis on conciliation' and 'major initiatives in client care'.

Now it appears, 7 years later, there are 'major side effects' from this 'Wonder Drug' and you are now going to introduce a 'Miracle Drug' called 'Oflaw'. The problem here is you are using the same 'main ingredients' with a bit more 'poisonous gas' (Zahida Manzoor) a few more years down the road the 'SS' backed up by the 'Gestapo' will see there are 'no complaints' just the painfully thin bodies of 'Complainants' starved of any rights they had or even thought they had, for 'Oflaw' in Zahida Manzoor's hands will turn out to be 'The Final Solution'. But then again 'Hitler and the Nazis' did lose the war and many went on trial!

Please tell me as no one else will, is the 'Client Care Agreement' a binding 'contract' has it any 'validity' at all and how do the solicitors' clients get their solicitors' to comply or is it a worthless bit of paper that Zahida Manzoor has already 'unofficially' torn up?

The Law Society made the rules and they are stringently applied to the solicitors' clients as was in my case, but no one is applying them to the solicitors'. Why?

If you wish to read the letter I wrote to Peter Williamson, that he never replied to, go to my web page at "http://www.solicitorsfromhell.com/williamson1.htm".

I will put this letter on my web site and any reply you would like to make, if however you are of the same opinion as Peter Williamson (doesn't bother replying (very 'discourteous')) then I believe the Law Society are 'in breach of contract'.


Yours sincerely

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