My name is Carol McNamara. I am a McKenzie Friend (lay assistant) for my father, Andrew McNamara, who is a party litigant and defender in a litigation that has run for 16 years having been raised against us by our former solicitors in Edinburgh’s Court of Session. The narrative on this site is written entirely from my own perspective.
When Tods Murray initially sued my dad in 1996 I spent 6 months pacing around our office exclaiming ‘they can’t do that!’ ’They sued us for £244,000 of alleged unpaid fees and applied diligence on the dependence. (The diligence was only released when they demanded, and received, a £275,000 bank guarantee.) During their period of engagement, when Tods Murray acted as our legal agents, they correctly invoiced our company an admitted £253,023.31 – yet they had been paid £315, 163.19. Lord Woolman’s 2012 opinion records that, in fact, with interest and other credits, we have paid an admitted £323,220.71). How could Tods Murray’s summons claim almost another quarter of a million pounds remained outstanding and was due to them?
At the outset of this litigation we engaged six firms of solicitors, two senior and two junior counsel (two of whom are now Lord Ordinary’s; Lord Clark and Lord Carloway) over a five year period to protect our interests. They all failed to do so even though, after 8 years of litigation (in 2004) Tods Murray admitted that they sued us for the sums they did ‘in error’.
My dad was forced to become a party litigant in 2001 when our last legal agent resigned agency (while my dad was in the States) and Tods Murray sought decree (for want of insistence) for the entire £244,000 they sued for (plus costs) in the full knowledge that they were never due those sums.
The sum sued for by Tods Murray was only amended in the Record in 2008 after Michael Simpson (now retired) of Tods Murray received a 100% uplift in his hourly fee rate by the Auditor of Court (yep – fee charges doubled on invoices that had been rendered and paid 20 years earlier – neat trick.) Tods Murray now have one conclusion seeking in the region of £87k on all of their accounts. From their own expert’s figures Robert Dobie of Tods Murray, even with a 60% uplift in fee rate awarded by the Auditor (Mr. Neil Crichton) owes us money.
My dad is now 70 years old, is losing his eyesight, going deaf and at times has great difficulty walking and yet, as his McKenzie Friend, I am prohibited from doing anything more than sit beside him in the court and hand him the relevant documents. He was the same age as I am now (45 yrs) when he first engaged Tods Murray as his legal agents. If anyone reading this thinks for one moment Tods Murray EVER had a valid case against us, consider that, as one of Scotland’s biggest legal firms and, purportedly one of our most talented, if they really did have a case they would have crucified us years ago.
In effect, a fraudulent action was raised against my father’s company to evade a Law Society investigation – and with the aid of fellow members of the legal profession, the assistance of the court, being funded by their insurers and the tidy set up now in place at the SLCC and the Law Society – their tactic has been a huge success.
Fraud, especially white collar fraud, is like an onion. The initial crime may be comparatively simple but the cover up – well – that’s what makes our ordeal so tortuous to explain to anyone. So many years have passed, so many people, legal firms, QC’s and judges involved, that what lies at the heart of our experience has been lost in a quagmire of ‘nice legal arguments’.
The question for me was always why they would do this? Well, when we eventually gained possession of Tods Murray’s files in 2008 I found out why. This website has therefore been created to expose what I found in those files, to expose the lengths members of the legal establishment will go to in order to protect their member’ interests and to alert the public at large of these matters in the (perhaps vain) hope that public exposure will be enough to jolt Scotland’s legal establishment back into the real world and get it out of its lawyer la la land.
» Who we are
Arakin Limited is a family business founded by my parents who established their first company (an electrical contractors) in 1966. The company was originally registered as Arakin Building Services Limited, that is, until we sought legal advice from Tods Murray. As a building contractor the company specialised in residential renovation contracts for local authorities. It was a building dispute with Glasgow District Council (as it then was) in 1986 which precipitated our protracted relationship with Tods Murray.