Monday, 16 June 2014

Scrutinizing the Scrutinizers !

Hi. I’ve actually done this - not for Savile but in another similar sort of case. I wanted to comment/advise (sort of) on

"Osborne Clark Solicitors only receive claims that have PASSED some sort of SCRUTINY from the PI (Dux etc)/ third party (BBC, NHS, etc)  solicitors”

Having been asked to comment on several signed witness statements supposedly so checked, I would advise you (or the solicitors) against assuming this. The impression I have got is that absolutely no checks are done whatsoever except the most desperately obvious, and often not even then. AFAICS all they do is simply write down whatever they are told, re-arrange it into the appropriate format and get them to sign it. (This is not Dux, but one of the several similar scammers). They seem to be often cut and paste jobs.

There are frequently things that are not a matter of opinion, interpretation, or belief - there are things that are either impossible, or utterly improbable.

The one thing that is true, confirmed to me by a solicitor with many years experience of this stuff, is that these people, for all their public shouting about how much they care, are bone idle, and incompetent. They ignore judges guidelines, don’t bother to do anything etc.

The reason they get away with it is because often the ‘defending’ solicitors are equally lazy. It is (IME) almost often two sets of solicitors not trying too hard, not picking up obvious things. the solicitors almost have an arrangement not to push each other too hard, it is really just a negotiation about how much money should be paid out rather than whether the claimants claims are remotely credible. 

Anyone working for the trust must check that their solicitors are fighting hard, making the likes of Dux’s job difficult. It is very easy, IMO, for them to get into a position where they are just both running up bills ‘checking’. I have read things and said - look this is actually impossible, this is utterly implausible. 

There are two reasons for this ; firstly under pressure they fall apart, make really simple errors. Secondly, because they are basically lazy, and claimant whose case is ‘too difficult’ is just abandoned. The compo solicitors basically rely on no-one bothering too much, and when they are pushed they can collapse in a heap.


  1. Lazy Incompetence is endemic throughout the system.

    [news quote] Operation Yewtree has snowballed from a handful of complaints made against Savile in a television documentary into the pursuit of Britain’s most prolific sex offender, with detectives having completed 377 individual crime reports. Thirty officers are working on Yewtree, processing 6,000 documents and the officer said he expected more arrests after the search through evidence. [news quote]

    Yewtree was started even before Exposure was broadcast. That was eight months ago. Doing lazy sums and calculating just four weeks per month gives me 32 weeks. Working just a five day week, that is 160 days. With thirty officers, that is 4,800 Man-days. They have written 377 reports? That is one per fortnight.

    1. Whatever the claimants' lawyers do or don't do, those acting for Jimmy's estate MUST do everything in their power to rebut claims that are demonstrably false. That is their duty, no one is above scrutiny. I assume that the beneficiaries (inc the JSCT) have a right to scrutinize ALL the claims made against the estate. After all, the money was INTENDED for them was it not ?

  2. Those checking the claims would do well to read this rather extensive coverage of the defense barrister's closing speech for Rolf Harris today

    "The prosecution has to prove it and they have to prove it so that you are sure, and that's a high standard. A standard that when you analyse the evidence, which is all that any of us can do, the prosecution has not met."

  3. The standard of proof in a criminal case is "beyond all reasonable doubt". In civil cases the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities.

    1. Yes, the burden is so much lighter for accusers and their representatives. The solicitors for the estate should make a fresh claim to the High Court and review their acceptance of the 'scheme'. Witnesses are coming forward and are casting significant doubt on the initial claims. I don't know what the legal aspects are here but one would think that, like any other legal issue, fresh evidence should be grounds for review ?

    2. It is the solicitors for the charitable trust who will have to make a fresh claim to the High Court if they want to review their acceptance of the scheme, which was agreed by the solicitors for the estate, the NHS and the BBC as well as the personal injury lawyers. Aren't they still in the process of appealing against having to pay all the costs of their previous action, when they were given permission to scrutinise all the claims and reject any that prove to be dodgy? Is there any news yet when this appeal will be heard?

    3. "The standard of proof in a criminal case is "beyond all reasonable doubt". In civil cases the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities."

      It's especially odd therefore that when someone approaches a solicitor with a case of "historical sexual abuse", the usual recommendation is to go to the police and seek a criminal conviction first.

    4. Moor/Anon - standards don't apply to the dead !