MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE REGULATORY BODIES
1994: SOLICITORS’ IDEMNITY FUND
I was advised by the SCB to report Anthony Gold to the SIF. On 31 July 1994 they wrote to me saying: we refer to the above matter and write to inform you that we have now instructed panel solicitors to investigate the matter on our behalf.
The Solicitors instructed are: Ince& Co. London EC3R 5EN.
Ince& Co. contacted me 19 January 1995 and informed me of the following:
“The SIF is a company set up under the Solicitor’s Act 1974 to provide indemnity to solicitors against claims in respect of civil liabilities incurred in connection with their practice as solicitors.
It is not the Fund’s function to take referrals of files from the SCB.
In other words the SIF are the body that defends solicitors against any claims.
Ince& Co. Solicitors provided AGLM with legal representation against me throughout my legal action against them.
1993: SOLICITORS COMPLAINT BUREAU.
Letter to SCB June 1994:
I have been in touch with the Solicitors Indemnity Fund as instructed in your letter to chase them up in dealing with my case. Unfortunately they could not trace any files from you relating to my case and they could not find any information registered on their computer indicating that you had been in touch with them regarding this matter.
I have noted the Ombudsman’s criticisms and am very sorry that in this case our investigation fell short of the standard we would normally wish to achieve.
1994 – 1995: LEGAL SERVICES OMBUDSMAN
I was awarded £50 in March 1995 as compensation for the way the SCB handled my case. This was a derisory offer, but by this time I was desperately short of money and had no option but to accept it.
1998-2000: OFFICE FOR THE SUPERVISION OF SOLICITORS
They could not assist with my complaint against AGLM solicitors. They can only investigate complaints of poor service.
“If you suspect the solicitors are guilty of criminal offence then that should be reported to the police who are the appropriate body to investigate complaints of that nature.”
On 21 February 2000 they closed their file on my case stating: As the Solicitors Practice Unit only investigates complaints which raise issues of professional misconduct I will advise that your file has now been closed in this unit and transferred to our client relations Office for further investigation. Our client Relations Office deals with issues relating to inadequate professional service.
HISTORY OF SOLICITORS REGULATORY BODIES
- OSS: 1983: Office for the Supervision of Solicitors
- SCB: 1994: Solicitors Complaints Bureau
- LCS: 2004: Legal complaints Service
- SRB: Society Regulation Board
- SRA: 2007 Solicitors Regulatory Authority