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British Coal Compensation

Volume 710: debated on Tuesday 19 May 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many solicitors have been convicted of charges before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal arising from professional misconduct in the handling of cases under the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation; what is the name of each solicitor and the trading name of his or her firm; and what was the outcome of each case, to include the sentence (if any) imposed. [HL3344]

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has provided the following information concerning 38 solicitors charged with professional misconduct in handling cases of miners’ compensation for occupational ill health:

Cases heard by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal:

AMS LLP (formerly Ashton Morton Slack) of Sheffield

Jeremy Brooke—fined £4,000;

Edward John Hartley—fined £8000;

John Michael Hodgson—fined £8,000; and

Balginder Kaur—fined £4,000.

11.3.09

Avalon Solicitors of Warrington

Andrew Nulty—struck off; and

Malcolm Trotter—fined £15,000.

30.4.09.

Beresfords Solicitors LLP of Doncaster

James Rhodes Beresford—struck off; and

Douglas Harold Smith—struck off.

11.12.08.

Gabb & Co, Abergavenny

Glyn Frank Maddocks—fined £15,000.

25.6.07.

Harrowell Shaftoe Solicitors, York

Simon Rupert Kay Black, Robert Paul Onyett, John Francis Yeomans, Robert William Miers, James Cooper Scott, Robert Gordon Charles Seaton, John Kevin Millar, Brian William Copley, Mark Tempest, Jacqueline Mary Knights—each fined £1,000.

2.12.08.

Hindle Campbell, North Shields

Clive Miller Hindle and Duncan Stuart Campbell —each fined £10,000.

4.4.08.

Ingrams

Paul Stott and Catherine Louise Copp—each fined £15,000.

18.12.07

Lopian Wagner, Manchester

Anthony Warren Wagner—fined £25,000;

Michael Benjamin Lopian—fined £15,000; and

Mrs Carin Bradley—fined £1,000.

24.3.09.

MLM Solicitors of Cardiff

David Robert King—reprimanded;

Jonathan Fernandez Lewis—reprimanded;

Christopher John Mayers—fined £2,500;

Nigel Llewellyn Trevor Morgan—reprimanded; and

Andrea Thomas—fined £2,500.

12.3.07.

Raleys, Barnsley.

Derek Ian Firth—suspended 4 years;

David Peter Barber—suspended 2 years;

Jonathan Timothy Markham—suspended 6 months;

James William Edward Gladman—fined £10,000;

Carol Ann Gill—fined £10,000; and

Katherine Anne Richards—fined £10,000.

17.02.09

Robinson King of Stockport

Jane Robinson—fined £7,500.

11.07.06

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many solicitors have yet to appear before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to answer allegations of professional misconduct in the handling of cases under the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation; and what is the estimated date by which those cases will be concluded. [HL3425]

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has provided the following information concerning 68 solicitors from 14 solicitors firms:

Cases pending hearing by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for alleged professional misconduct in the handling of cases under the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation:

Beckett, Bemrose & Hagan, Wirral—listed 12.05.09

Alan Hagan, Howard Roberts Beckett, Marcus Peter Bemrose.

Birchall Blackburn of Preston

Michael Foxford, John Didsbury, Conal Gallagher, Carlos Lopez, Jamie Patton, Paul Pickering, William Robbins, Moira Boyce, Judith Bell, Christine Harris, Susan Liver, Catherine MacCracken, Adele Gallagher, Gail Peterson and Rhonda Rosenfield.

BRM of Chesterfield

Peter James McGowan, Rodney Alan Shiers, Neil Anthony Brown, Jeremy Christopher Rice.

Gorman Hamilton of Newcastle

Dean Robert Auld, Tim Gorman, David Andrew Hamilton, David James Johnson and Stephen McCourt.

Graysons, 4-12 Paradise Square, Sheffield

Peter Maxwell Clark, Belinda Jane Lancaster, John Peter Hatfield, Jeremy Peter Hague, Carl Alastair Goodwin.

Holmes & Hills of Braintree

Graham John Fraser Steele, Michael James Barry, Mark Brian Cornell, Richard Norton Harris, Colin Ormond Simpson, Judith Hilary Simpson, David William George Whipps, Michael John Wright, Jason Elliott Brady and Christopher Alexander Livingston.

Kidd Spoor Harper of Newcastle

Diana Claire Harper.

Silverbeck Rymer, Liverpool

Charles Anthony Rymer, James Rymer, Joseph Michael Skinner.

Simpson Millar of Leeds—listed 09.07.09

David Ross, David Nash Harrington (now retired), Lisa Jayne Sheldon, Peter Richard Watson, Vivienne Jane Latimer, Adrian Charles Fawden, Howard Robert Arthur Ford Davies.

Stripes of Manchester

Richard Andrew Stripe.

Wake Smith Solicitors, Sheffield

Jonathan Charles Vivian Hunt, Michael John Tunbridge, David William Barclay Ware, Paul Robert Thorn, John Baddeley, Neil Salter, Richard Patrick Lees and Mark Robert Durno Serby.

Marrons of Newcastle upon Tyne

David Robert Allan, Stephen Mark Porteous.

Twigg Farnell of Sheffield

Alan Vincent Farnell.

Ollerenshaws of Leamington Spa

Timothy Richard Ollerenshaw, Debbie Louise Anderson, Jamie St. John Strong.

We are unable to estimate the dates by which these cases will be concluded as the listing of cases is a matter for the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many complaints have been lodged with the Legal Complaints Service by or on behalf of retired miners and widows concerning inadequate professional service on the part of their former solicitors in the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation; and what was the outcome of those complaints. [HL3426]

We understand from the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) that as at 1 May 2009, 5,098 cases had been received by the LCS and of those 4,394 have been closed and 703 matters are outstanding. As a result of these complaints a total of £1,762,933.87 has been returned to former miners and their dependants.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of the number of occasions upon which the Legal Complaints Service has not acted upon the recommendations of Zahida Manzoor, Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales, in connection with the conduct of solicitors in the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation. [HL3427]

We understand from the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) that the LCS has not acted on a recommendation from the Legal Services Ombudsman on just three occasions. Notification of each of these matters was made to the LSO on 29 April 2009.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of the number of complaint investigations suspended by the Legal Complaints Service in connection with the conduct of solicitors in the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation. [HL3428]

We understand from the Legal Complaints Service that it has suspended complaint investigations against one firm—Raleys Solicitors. As at 19 March 2009 the number of complaint investigations suspended involving this firm was believed to be about 160.

Ministers will be meeting the Legal Complaints Service and the Solicitors Regulation Authority in June to review their progress on this important issue.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any assessment of Raleys Solicitors not repaying former clients in the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation the sum of £7.686 million previously deducted from compensation awarded to them under those schemes and paid to the National Union of Mineworkers. [HL3430]

Complaints about solicitors are a matter for the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) of the Law Society rather than the Government, since the legal profession is independent.

However, the Government continue to press the Law Society to achieve payment in full of all inappropriately levied charges. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) support the LCS in its work to recover deductions not yet repaid and provide data to it to enable the work on recovery to continue.