Hudson, Law Society's chief executive
Inaccurate statement made by you to Journalist Jon Robins
I am the owner/author of the website solicitorsfromhell.com I repeat .com which came into being in 2002/3 after my affairs were handled by Thos Boyd Whyte Solicitors. I named my website Solicitors from Hell at the time because it was 'attention catching' and summed up my treatment by my solicitors and their non-existent in-house complaints procedures followed by the Law Society's 'Protection Racket'. My website is based on fact with all or most supporting evidence embedded (all other available) also, I have offered Thos Boyd Whyte Solicitors the option of writing a review which they can place on their own website and/or the option I will publish in a prominent position on my own website, in addition I have, in a letter to them, waived all rights to any confidentiality rules/agreements. Let me quote you; "fair criticism" is "entirely valid" and the need for clients to be able to give feedback is "extremely important". I believe my website comes under that umbrella.
On 25rd March this year the Guardian published an article that accused the solicitorsfromhell.com (.com) website of all the misdemeanours of Mr Kordowski. The enclosures (1), which are direct copies of the Guardian's article (as published by the Guardian from 25 Mar up to the 9th May when they then made a correction) under the heading "Website that has become the scourge of all lawyers, good and bad" the contents of which are full of defamatory and false allegations, for instance it states; "...owner of solicitorsfromhell.com, scourge of all dodgy lawyers and perfectly decent ones that have the misfortune of falling into his notoriously non-discriminating net." - "who has a number of legal actions from aggrieved lawyers against him, that he be must either be "brave or suicidal'' to bait lawyers" - "Mr Justice Lloyd Jones last month lambasted the hugely controversial website - which seeks to name and shame "corrupt, negligent, dishonest, crooked, fraudulent lawyers" - for comments about a young solicitor that were, he said, "baseless, abusive, malicious and an unwarranted slur on the competency and probity of a young lawyer"... The judge was particularly vexed by the site's £299 "administration charge" that lawyers have pay to get their names taken off the website." As the owner/author of the .com website it also clearly implies I am attempting to 'extort' money out of law firms.
On the 30 March I sent emails to: - email@example.com; (Jon Robins Journalist) and cc'd to firstname.lastname@example.org; (Gus Sellitto Co Director) info@jures; email@example.com; (Chris Elliott) firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; asking for a correction and an apology, only receiving automated replies.
On 15 April I repeated the process with two of the six direct to the Guardian; (enclosed (2)) firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; and cc'd to firstname.lastname@example.org; (Jon Robins) email@example.com; (Gus Sellitto) firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; once again only receiving automated replies.
On the 4th May I complained to The PCC who contacted the Guardian on the 9th May who corrected their own website and also contacted the web addresses I had listed, but that is just the 'tip of the iceberg' as the six week delay had allowed the situation to spiral out of control. The PCC decided in their wisdom that the ignoring of twelve emails and their mistake was a "genuine human error" and the action the Guardian took on the 9th May, after six weeks, amounted to "Sufficient remedial action". Of course the Commission covertly slipped 'genuine human error' into the 'Editors' Code of Practice' and gave 'promptly' a new meaning.
Following the PCC advice if I was dissatisfied with the outcome I should write to the 'Independent Reviewer'. I wrote to Sir Michael Wilcocks the 'Independent Reviewer' who sat on his hands for some nine weeks then tells me he has no powers to 'review' my complaint. If you don't laugh about it you would end up crying. To view all the correspondence between the PCC and myself copy and paste this address into your address bar: - http://www.solicitorsfromhell.com/press-complaints-commission/index.htmAs I see it.
On or before the 23rd March when the Guardian's Journalist, Jon Robins, interviewed or spoke to you, you informed him the website of Mr Kordowski was that of solicitorsfromhell.com (.com) and went on to make derogatory comments about the .com website (encl. (1)): -
Mr. Justice Tugendhat said in Court to Rick Kordowski, he "should take reasonable care in relation to the publication", also Mr Vassall-Adams QC said "...that Mr Kordowski appeared to be willing to publish very serious defamatory allegations without any prior check to establish their truth or accuracy". Obviously when you spoke to Jon Robins you failed to 'take reasonable care' that you had your facts right and an innocent person has suffered because of your carelessness.
The situation was exacerbated when the Journalist and the newspaper ignored my twelve emails asking for a correction and an apology, to add to that the 'toothless' (Nick Clegg's comment) PCC went outside of the Editors' Code of Practice and came back with "genuine human error". Can you just see Rick Kordowski waltzing into the High Court with that one and the Judge, just like the PCC did to the newspaper, pat him on the head and say 'don't do that again'.
As I see it, you caused the initial problem in your conversation with the Journalist and from the information you gave him you caused the www to be profusely littered with derogatory content about my website. The question I would ask, how can the Law Society on behalf of law firms and solicitors take Rick Kordowski to the High Court when at the heart of the Law Society they are doing exactly what Mr Kordowski is/has been accused of? May be Mr Kordowski would be entitled to ask that question in the High Court when the Law Society bring their joint prosecution!
I believe you need to get together with the Journalist, the newspaper, the PCC and Sir Michael Wilcocks the 'Independent Reviewer' who has no powers of 'review' and find some solution to the problem caused by yourself and the Journalist, Jon Robins.
Finally, my ex-solicitors who have dropped the Thos and now call themselves Thomas Boyd Whyte so as to lose the stigma of the old name are now so confused by the Internet stories they have sent me letters trying to intimidate me with threats that the Law Society are taking a joint action against the owner of SfH .com website and they will be joining that action where they will seek "...the cost of the proceedings", let me quote them "We would very strongly recommend that you obtain independent legal advice in relation to this and earlier correspondence. In particular, we would recommend that you instruct specialist litigation solicitors". I have enclosed this letter (8) to show how a supposedly intelligent firm of solicitors has, by what has transpired from your conversation with Jon Robins, become so confused. You have to laugh, this 'supposedly intelligent firm of solicitors' seem to think that along with Rick Kordowski some 1,000 individuals who have listings on his website will be in Court with him and law firms will be able to claim their costs etc from them. Pathetic, but then again when they handled my affairs they managed to have two case numbers at Court, my Solicitor wrote in an Attendance Note that the "Court was getting into a muddle" the Court clerk wrote to TBW fifteen months later telling them of their error and as they had been randomly using both case numbers this had caused confusion. May be they should call themselves on their "new brand" website 'Thomas Boyd Whyte Confusion'!
I have never had any listing on Rick Kordowski's website and on my own website I have a 'disclaimer' of any connection with him or his website.
B R Gray