Today after reading this piece you might think I’m full of bile and angst against the suited professions but I’m not, I’m just telling you like it is, so that every body can make up their own minds. Its rather long but stay with it.
Whilst I was in business, if that is what it was called, I always thought that it was the loneliest place in the world. In the day to day running of a company, problems arise from all angles and as a company owner, you are supposed to deal with them and if you cannot, then to seek advice. Nothing prepares you for this position, you have to learn on the hoof and those that do take the subject at third level and go to Business School, learn how it’s done and tend to join large corporations and do not get involved in the nitty gritty of small business. So you can say that 95% of business owners when starting off, although full of enterprise and zeal, know absolutely nothing about keeping alive and afloat. They really are calves for the slaughter.
The professionals, the lawyers, accountants and bankers rely on this ignorance and lump this 95% into a term called entrepreneurs. All that means is that unless they have a solid gold market from which to work, these entrepreneurs are just dupes to the system. You have to be a crook or a gangster to fight your way to success and as 90% of the 95% are in neither of these two categories, small businesses continually fail because of the vagaries of the market and the elusiveness of the advice given when put under scrutiny.
Failure of businesses just turn up the volume of jingling cash to these professions, every failed business is a cash cow, to accountants, lawyers and bankers and as long as these suits can continue to help businesses to fail, all the better for them. They can make five or six year’s fees out of a failed company, knowing full well that these drone entrepreneurs will fertilise another company and keep the cash wheel turning. On top of all of that and to keep the ball in the air, the men in really good suits, the politicians, are happy as well, these drones are taking people off the streets, removing taxes from their earnings, acting as unpaid agents for the politicos and filling the coffers of government to enable the politicians to line their own pockets. One mad scramble for money with the ants on the floor, the drones flying above them and everybody else on a feeding frenzy.
All these professionals and I do not see why they should be labelled as such, surely leeches would be a better soubriquet. Soubriquet is apt because it means in Old French, a tap under the jaw. That is what these leeches, these men and women in suits, do to the entrepreneurs, tap them under the chin and while he/she is out cold, proceed to bleed their client dry.
Do not get me wrong, these professions do not act haphazardly but supposedly have different frameworks backing their actions up, but they know that with so much ignorance about, it is a matter of knowing how much they can get away with. How much they can filch off a customer before alarm bells start ringing. These frameworks come under a general term called ethics, which the dictionary tells me is “the moral principles governing or influencing conduct” a verbose way of saying whatever I can get away with. Let me give you a good example of ethics in action although it has nothing to do with the main subject of today’s posting, it has a lot to do with the morality of the professions.
For a while now, four years in fact, I have been leading a particular initiative that will eventually and shortly lead to a case to be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. I have allied myself with a particular firm of lawyers in this matter and although we jog along and I quite like them, they do not particularly like me. Outspokeness is not for the professions, keep everything under the carpet and close to your chest, so that you get trampled on , on a daily basis by whoever is out there, and whenever anybody stands up and shouts j’accuse, at one of their own, they all assemble together round a cauldron and mutter and moan and often do things a lot worse.
At the same time as our initiative was going the rounds in preparation for our day in court, another firm of lawyers from Manchester, Panone, have also taken up the cudgel on behalf of two other people, victims of this historical outrage I have been fighting against. Incidentally because I have been carrying the torch for this particular issue for four years now, I consider myself to be an expert on the subject and in fact a world expert.
Three years ago I approached a senior partner in Panone with my evidence or what evidence I had at the time, but he told me to forget it, that I had not got a chance. No bad feelings, you take your luck with these suits. I went away and allied myself with another firm who saw the case differently. The heat started to rise and Panone then saw the value, got themselves a couple of clients and went on their merry way. Richard Scorer, the senior partner I met, put the case in the hands of a sweet talking, pretty little thing called Molly Whittall, an associate partner in Panone.
Lawyers when approaching third parties for information and witness testimony and knowing that the third party is represented by another firm, according to Lawyer’s Professional Ethics No 101, have to put their requests through this representing firm and not go directly to the third party. This, Molly Whittall has failed to do on a number of occasions, not just with me but with a number of witnesses I had garnered over the years for our case. My lawyers stupidly giving Molly, a list of our witnesses for nothing in return. This might seem nothing to you outsiders but this is the legal profession and we are talking professional ethics which is supposed to be the Bible of this profession. I have asked for an apology but all Molly chooses to do is ignore, after all I am just a piece of shit she found under the carpet, when she lifted one corner. Remember the names, Panone solicitors, Richard Scorer and sweet little Molly Whittall.
So much for ethics, I want now to tell a story, a true story, which implicates all the professions and gives an unbelievable insight into the depths these fellows in suits have descended.
A husband and wife team, fully alert, capable, intelligent and full of ideas, started up a business in 2003 and were doubling their overheads and profits by the year. A mistake, because the systems have to keep up with growth but there was nobody to tell them this. They were done by an internal fraud amounting to £250K but could not prove anything, this affected cash-flow and pressure from suppliers was becoming a burden. Desperately they applied for a discounting facility at a bank, the RBS. After RBS auditors had inspected the books they offered 85% of their book. That is the RBS agreed to pay weekly 85% of the value of invoices generated in a particular week in an ongoing manner. They then delayed the deal and came back with an offer of 70% along with other costs that were not in the original offer. These changes were made at the 11th hour and the two partners were foced to sign and give personal guarantees.
They received their injection in October 2008 and hobbled on to February 2009, the week before the bank was taken over by the government. The bankman said that they would now only fund 50% of book, which meant the pair would have had to pay £180K back to bank prior to paying any supplier. They were forced into administration by a bank that had performed a hundred times worse.
They called in administrators, a firm called S F Plant from London, who their accountants had advised were decent, S F Plant told the pair to buy the business back off them and at the same time attracted an investor who could see the value of the business. The administrators looking at the debtors ledger were rubbing their hands, there was £700K of monies owed to the company. They came along and threw all the business files into a wagon, they had no intention of seriously collecting the debt, that was RBS’s job. The money for the administrators was the cash in bank on day 1 of administration, no work to do and easy cash. At this time they owed RBS £300K, the debtors ledger would easily cover this (£700K) but all RBS bothered collecting was £143K, the outstanding was covered by Personal Guarantee, so the bank thought why should we bother collecting. So the pair owed £157K and the RBS came after them.
In the meantime the company’s bank, NatWest, were also coming after the pair for a 1oK PG overdraft facility. At the time of administration there was a cash surplus in the company account but two months after administration S F Plant withdrew £32K. The amount was never disclosed in the administrators report and was never explained by the team of suits who were supposedly looking after (raping) them. All they now knew was that NatWest were calling in a£10K PG.
They hired another suit, a lawyer who specialised in PG work and while they were investigating the case it became obvious that RBS had fraudulently altered key documentation. Are we now seeing crime here by men in suits. However the joint claim came to court amounting to £200K, an amount any way that was totally unfair if the banks had carried out their obligations and surprise, surprise, the banks within minutes offered to settle if they accepted 10% of the debt. Tired, confused and feeling totally bullied with the system they accepted the offer after more advice and also their new investor was also getting nervous.
A payment plan was set up agreeable to both sides and the pair payed in monies to their PG solicitor who then passed the money on to the bank, this was in September 2011. Payments were made on time and then in March 2012, the husband found out that he had a County Court Judgement against him for £25K for non payment of the agreement. It seems that the PG Solicitor whose name by the way is Lake, Jackson of Norwich had kept or stolen the last £6K plus and not paid it over even though the pair had paid all his fees. RBS had gone to the County Court without informing the pair of the problem. There is a moral here, do not pay money to a solicitor for onward payment to a third party. These people are criminals and I think they all should accept that mantle.
Lake Jackson could not be contacted and another solicitor was ordered to try and recover the missing£6K plus. This proved fruitless, so they contacted the Solicitors Regulation Authority who said they could not help but contact the legal ombudsman, who found in their favour but had no powers of recovering the money, so armed with the ombudsman report another solicitor was approached, again to no avail.
RBS were now threatening bankruptcy proceedings, so the pair armed with their own skills created a website called lakejacksonstoleourmoney.co.uk and soon had it at the top of Google for the name of the solicitor, his firm and every other permutation. A press release was also concocted and sent to the firm prior to its release. Very quickly he paid up outstanding monies plus £800 the ombudsman had said were costs. Damages and these are now considerable are being worked on as I write.
The big problem was this outstanding CCJ so they wrote to RBS and said we have now recovered the monies which we will send you but could you please apply to the court to have the CCJ put aside (cancelled). Remarkably and bloody minded as they are, RBS said no, the CCJ stands, just give us the money and we will mark it as settled but that means the CCJ still stands. The pair had had enough of bullying by this time and stood firm. The RBS issued a statutory demand which means that the pair are in the bankruptcy courts in two weeks time, just because RBS will not put right the harm they have done.
The ironic part of all this is that as a bankrupt your credit rating is clear after a year, while as with a CCJ you cannot get credit for six years. My advice is, but I do not wear a suit, go to the bankruptcy court, keep the £6K plus and have a week or two on the piss. Do not give satisfaction to these bastards, the men in suits. The lawyers, bankers and accountants who do nothing but bleed industry dry and are scared outof their shite of criticising one of their own. These men/women in suits are criminals, so let everybody wake up.