Original - Solicitors from Hell .com
Information Commissioner's Office
18 February 2004
Re: Data Protection Act
In the first instance if somebody is concerned that data which concerns them is being misused their 'first port of call' should be the Data Controller I believe? In my case this would be the Law Society/Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. If you look at a letter I wrote to The Constitutional Affairs Department (Doc.A17) it will be seen I have written to numerous members/Departments of the Law Society concerning 'non-compliance' of their rules, all to no avail.
If you read a previous letter (Document A15) and it's enclosures I wrote to Lord Falconer I quote basically the rules on how the data held by the OSS should be used. From these documents you will see how information was illegally passed on, how correct procedures were ignored, how my unopened and after it had been closed complaints file lodged with the OSS was retrieved and information not relevant to my complaint was discussed illegally by 'phone, ("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" also "individuals must be told when their data are being collected, who is collecting the data and for what purpose"). How this information was passed on in unrelated purposes to my complaint is in direct violation of the OSS Data Protection Notice ("We will not use that information for any unconnected purpose without your consent"). As you are aware violation of the Law Society's 'Data Protection Notice' is in turn a direct breach of the Data Protection Act by people who must be aware of the rules.
Furthermore you will see how Richard Hegarty, Chair of the Compliance Board, obtained personal information, with total disregard to the rules, on me to allow himself to 'phone me during the evening in an attempt to intimidate me.
I have enclosed a file that relates to 7-8 June 2000 that culminates in me being sacked as a paying client by my solicitors on the 8th which shows my complaints file lodged with the OSS was used illegally which is in violation of the Data Protect Act.
Document A1 is self explanatory, Tula Fitzpatrick taking over my case, 18 May, and arrangements for a meeting being made.
Document A2 is an attendance note concerning the above arranged meeting written on 7th June by Tula Fitzpatrick that shows I am extremely angry, however the point about this attendance note is that it shows that any references to my solicitors being 'negligent' (highlighted in yellow) are made by Tula Fitzpatrick and there is at this point no suggestion that I made any such negligence claims at that meeting.
A4 an Attendance Note that shows Gordon Luckhurst, Senior Partner,
Geoff Smith, Senior Litigation Solicitor and Tula Fitzpatrick, my
Solicitor at the time, spent 20 minutes discussing by what means they
could get rid of me after 6½ years. This Attendance Note shows
that my complaints file which is with the OSS and was not yet 'live'
was illegally used and from my complaints file the word 'negligence'
is now related to me (a negligence claim was in my OSS complaints
file). This document alone (A4 underlined in red) shows data
was collected from my complaints file, it was not requested by the
correct procedure and my file should not have been discussed on the
'phone especially for 'unrelated' reasons to my complaint, I was not
informed data had been collected, I was not told for what reason(s),
I was not asked if it could be collected or gave my consent and as
it was 'unrelated' to my complaint the 'Data Controller' should
have refused permission for it to be collected. When I did ask on
several occasions for an explanation they would not reply. Finally,
the information that was illegally given was illegally used by my
solicitors for their personal use (reasons to sack me).
Document A5 a memorandum from Tula Fitzpatrick to Gordon Luckhurst and she states "I have spoken to the OSS" (A4 underlined in red bears this out) she goes on to say " there is an inherent conflict of interests in the light of the allegations which he has made in respect of the conduct of his proceedings" this is based on illegally gained information from my not yet live complaints file, she then passes this 'illegally gained' information on to other departments for the sole personal use of my solicitors to establish an excuse to sack me, which is totally 'unrelated' to my complaint ("We will not use that information for any unconnected purpose without your consent").
Document A6 this letter from my solicitors dated 8th June to the OSS clearly shows Tula Fitzpatrick knows the "basis" of my complaint ('document A4' Tula Fitzpatrick's 15 minute 'phone conversation (7th June) with a Mr Fise at the OSS discussing my complaints file, which was against the rules), remember my file is still not live and won't become live for a further 14 months and highlighted in yellow you will see she is aware my file is: "awaiting the allocation of a case worker". She is now saying I told her I "intend to take proceedings for negligence against this firm" If you read what she wrote in document A2 (the only time I ever spoke to her) the suggestion of "proceedings" are made by her, her invention, from her collusion with the OSS, was to give my solicitors a reason to sack me. This shows data from my complaints file (my 'negligence' accusation) held by the OSS was solicited and passed illegally by the OSS for an unrelated reason to my complaint (to make an excuse for my sacking). Let me quote the OSS'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" Let me now quote the Data Protection Act 1998 "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". I'm sure you know the rules far better than I do.
Document A7 this letter my solicitors wrote to me on the 8 June '00 is very important. First I am told the writer (Tula Fitzpatrick) has written to the OSS but fails to tell me she contacted the OSS by 'phone (not the correct procedure when collecting data) and collected data from my, not yet live, file (illegally). Second she states " you should hear from the OSS shortly in relation to this matter". The OSS never contacted me or told me that data (unrelated to my complaint) had been collected and for what reason from my file and when my file was allotted to a Caseworker nearly 14 months (30 July 2001) later they refused to comment on their 'collusion' of the 7-8 June 2000 with my solicitors or their data violation of my file. Tula Fitzpatrick further states that I intended to start proceedings against Thos Boyd Whyte, which is different to what she stated in the attendance note (document A2), if I was going to start 'proceedings' why did I send a complaint to the OSS? There are no prizes for guessing what there game is all about.
Document A8 so I don't miss anything out this is my reply to my solicitors dated 9 June 2000. Remember this letter was written before I became in possession of my file.
Document A9 a letter that I wrote to the OSS dated 4 Sept '02 - I have highlighted the sections that ask all the above questions. From this letter the OSS must clearly be aware the Data Protection Act had been violated and should have carried out an internal investigation, by not doing so the OSS are guilty of a conspiracy.
Document A10 an acknowledgment of the above letter that shows the OSS refuse to discuss their 'breach of the Law Society's rules' which in itself amounts to a 'breach of the Data Protection Act'.
Document A11 a letter I wrote to the LSO dated 10th June 2003 again complaining that the OSS refused to investigate the 'conspiracy' and 'illegal' use of my complaints file between the 7th and 8th June 2000.
Document A12 the LSO must be aware that there is, apart from non-compliance of the Law Society's rules, a violation of the Data Protection Act but she refuses to act.
Document A13 the Chair of the Compliance Board who must know the rules decides on 1 September 2003 to refer to me as a "disgruntled complainant".
Document A14 this letter I wrote to Richard Hegarty and it can be seen he solicited personal information on me from a third party within the Law Society. There can be no doubt that, once again, the Data Protection Act has been violated by the Chair of the Compliance Board. There was no reply to this letter.
Document A15 this is the 3rd of 4 letters I have written to the Lord Chancellor and is self explanatory which details my complaints in relation to non-compliance of the rules.
Document A16 this letter, from the Lord Chancellor's office, is in reply to my letter from above. Let me take a very important quote from this letter that refers to the Data Controller "he has to make sure that all the data processed always complies with an enforceable set of good information handling rules ". Will somebody tell me how a solicitors' client can get the 'rules enforced' and who will stop the Data Controller from passing on 'confidential' and 'unrelated' data illegally?
Document A17 the recent letter I sent to the Lord Chancellor's office I list the people/departments I have approached trying to get the "enforceable set of good information handling rules" complied with. However, at last Lord Falconer has put your name forward (Document A16).
Document A18 if you look at this letter from the OSS dated 20 November 2000 (also in A15 doc.2) you will see information, with total disregard to any rules, is being passed to or solicited by the OSS even before my complaints file as been opened.
Just in case you jump to the conclusion that I am a "disgruntled complainant" (Richard Hegarty's comment) or I deserved to be sacked, which I'm sure you won't, let me quote a few of my solicitors' peers: Mr Higgins QC labelled my solicitors 'negligent' and 'incompetent'. District Judge Glove's opinion showed my case lasted five years longer than it should have. Anne Abraham, previous LSO used the words "their work was so bad " one of my own solicitors wrote on an 'Attendance note' that she thought I had not been treated properly (doc.3 inside A15) and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
In document A15 I am, with good reason, asking (highlighted blue) for information regarding data held by persons/departments of the Law Society who I don't believe can be trusted to protect data held by them (see third page highlighted red). If you look at document A14 written on 5 December 2003, highlighted in blue, you will see I have asked the Chair of the Compliance Board, Richard Hegarty, now over 50 working days ago (remember the rules "You should expect a reasonable response within 40 working days"), for information concerning the illegal data he collected on me. I'm still waiting for a reply from a man who is expected to know the rules.
Solicitor's Clients and/or Complainants should expect that their data that is held by solicitors and/or the OSS should be held in a secure and safe environment. It is obvious that is not the case as the misuse of my file goes to prove and although I have been complaining about this misuse for a very long time it still has not changed. For example, Richard Hegarty, Chair of the Compliance Board, gained personal information on me, as late as November last, that should have been denied, I was not informed it had been collected, I was not told the reason, I did not give my consent, it was unrelated to my complaint, he did not use the correct procedure in requesting the information and he has not replied within the time limit for my request for information regarding this illegal data he holds including where he collected it from, by your rules he must comply. As the 'Rules Enforcer' for the Law Society I can't wait to hear his defence.
Please note I am not asking you in any shape or form to comment on or draw any conclusions relating to my complaint to the OSS or the LSO but solely on how Richard Hegarty, Chair of the compliance Board, my solicitors, OSS, possibly LSO or others have, which I believe there is no doubt, utterly and totally violated their own rules, the 'Data Protection Notice', which includes their refusal to give answers to my persistent questioning and in turn this is a violation of the Data Protection Act.
all due respect to your good self, but as you probably understand
I am at this stage very distrustful of the use of telephones and how
information/data has, in my case, been passed around that I was not
privy to and used to my detriment. If it is unavoidable for the 'phone
to be used then an 'Attendance Note' should be made, if the call was
made or received, and I should be sent a copy/copies also copies of
all correspondence sent or received that concern me.
PS I will be sending copies of this file to selected people and possibly publish it on my web site.