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  1. #1
    DF Admin 4me2's Avatar
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    scam Sick miners' lawyers struck off

    Sick miners' lawyers struck off

    Mr Beresford earned almost £17m in 2006

    Two solicitors who took millions of pounds from compensation payouts given to sick miners have been struck off.
    Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith, of Doncaster-based Beresfords Solicitors, had denied 11 counts of serious professional misconduct.
    The Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal heard the men acted "unacceptably" by charging clients even though the government was paying their fees.
    It found eight of the 11 allegations against the lawyers proven.
    Inadequate advice
    The law firm argued there was "absolutely nothing wrong" with earning substantial fees from its business conduct.
    Beresford, 58, said last year to be Britain's highest-earning solicitor, and Smith, 52, made millions of pounds from personal injury claims for miners under the government's coal health compensation scheme. Tribunal chairman David Leverton said: "If ever there was a group of persons who needed the full care and attention from solicitors, it was these miners.

    "Mr Beresford described himself as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, his attitude allowed himself and Mr Smith to put commercial goals before his clients' best interests."
    The lawyers were also accused of not giving adequate advice and entering into contingency fee deals against their clients' best interests.
    Both men denied the charges at the tribunal hearing last month, which heard that up to 30% of a miner's damages could be deducted by Beresfords.
    The compensation scheme was set up by the government because of British Coal's lack of safety standards and led to hundreds of thousands of claims from former miners and their families.
    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) agreed to pay lawyers' fees in successful cases and it was also agreed that in unsuccessful cases miners would not have to bear costs.
    Beresford and Smith's joint earnings went from more than £182,000 in 2000 to £23,273,256 in 2006, the tribunal heard. But Timothy Dutton QC, appearing for the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority (SRA), said charging conditional or contingency fees over and above those set out in the scheme was "unacceptable". In one case, the firm deducted a "success fee" from the widow of a miner, leaving her with a total payout of just £217.73, the tribunal heard.

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  2. #2
    DF Jedi Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick miners' lawyers struck off

    Should have been dropped head first down a pit shaft the tosser.

  3. #3
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    beansontoast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick miners' lawyers struck off

    They must feel terrible when they're sitting in their mansion or on a yacht in the sun. Seriously, they get struck off for ripping off needy people & keep their fortune but a few of our friends go to jail for telling people how to rip-off certain tv services. Stinks.
    No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...

  4. #4
    R.I.P. taff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick miners' lawyers struck off

    The money they stole should all be paid back with intrest. If it was one of us that done it the money would be reclaimed under the Proceeds of Crime act.

  5. #5
    DF Jedi Cenus_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sick miners' lawyers struck off

    Quote Originally Posted by taff View Post
    The money they stole should all be paid back with intrest. If it was one of us that done it the money would be reclaimed under the Proceeds of Crime act.
    I think that might be a little beyond the remit of an employment tribunal.

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