Archive for July 2011
The Legal Services Commission (LSC), which runs Legal Aid, chose Bostalls, an unregulated commercial body not owned by lawyers, to provide telephone advice to suspects being held in police stations, something previously reserved to solicitors.
Bostalls has gone bust, owing unpaid taxes.
The Law Society at the time criticized the decision to allow such an unregulated body to deliver legal services, rightly describing it as an Alternative Business Structure by the back door.
Andy Scripture, Managing Director, of Bostalls Bust said:
“We were looking to do other things and distribute golfing aids from Thailand in the UK but the articles of association for Bostalls limited it to the provision of legal services”.
Lesson learnt? Not a bit of it! The LSC has transferred the contract for the Criminal Defence Service (Direct) Scheme to Shaftesbury, a new company set up by ……Mr Scripture!
Asked if such a contract should be given to a company, which in another guise had been wound-up for non-payment of taxes, an LSC spokesman said:
“The LSC is satisfied public monies are being spent appropriately”.
Really? So that will be just the two of you – you and Mr Scripture – who think that.
Kafka where are you?
Judicial enquiry in to the Legal Services Commission where are you?
National press where are you?
“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” (Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4).
As this play is as readable as a commercial lease or European Court of Justice judgment I am surprised anyone ever made it to Part 2.
Soon you may all find out if the Bored of Stratford was right as from 6 October the Government aims to kill the legal profession by allowing non-lawyers to practise law.
This has all-party support – it was the Labour Government that introduced the Legal Services Act 2007 and it is being implemented by a Conservative-Liberal coalition.
I suppose this will ease unemployment among the jobless phone-hackers and police bunga bungas but hey, maybe it is time for a bit MORE regulation of lawyers, police, politicians and the press, not less.
So, and you heard it here first, Law Abroad plc and Underwoods Solicitors are remaining just that – solicitors. No Alternative Business Structure for us. After all the legal profession, and its offspring the judiciary, are about the only parts of the British Constitution not subsumed in scandal.
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
(T S Eliot: The Hollow Men)