This is the most important page on this site. Herein lies the reason that Robert Dobie was so keen to ensure that the Reporter appointed by the Law Society did not have access to his files during 1995/6 when his investigation was under way. Herein lies the reason that my family have been in Scotland’s courts, unnecessarily, not just for the 16 years of our dispute with Tods Murray, but going back as far as 1988/89, the time period when Robert Dobie committed his original fraud against us.
We didn’t receive Robert Dobie and Michael Simpson’s files until 2008 despite, all told, having participated in three separate taxations of their accounts before the Auditor of Court at which we are entitled to lodge objections to the solicitors’ charges. Not having access to the files we were thus denied the opportunity of submitting informed objections to the charges in Tods Murray’s accounts. We received Tods Murray’s files only after Michael Simpson was awarded a 100% uplift in his hourly fee rate by the then Auditor of Court (Mr. Neil Crichton) in 2008 (after 12 years of litigation) and it was only then that the full extent of the solicitors’ chicanery became known to us.
In Scotland a fraud that is maintained over a period of time is referred to as ‘wilful imposition’. Personally I prefer the English term, ‘long fraud’. Lord Woolman, in his wisdom and partiality, despite all documents being before him in the court, prefers to complacently dismiss the following as ‘scurrilous accusations’. (In my view it’s not that our accusations are scurrilous – they are, after all, founded on the contents of Robert Dobie’s files – it is that Robert Dobie’s conduct has been utterly outrageous.)
As I firmly believe that the current action was raised against us by Robert Dobie to avert the Law Society’s Reporter from having sight of the contents of his files (and for the doubters) I have taken the time to scan, and post below, the earliest letters and file notes from Robert Dobie’s ‘File 1′ (of 7) relating to the ‘work’ he undertook (fee-mongered) during the McLachlan & Brown v. Arakin Limited dispute.
In my opinion it is these documents that Robert Dobie was desperate to conceal from scrutiny when he raised his action against us. His 1996 summons successfully drew a halt to the investigation of our complaints by the Law Society who declared, that as matters were now ‘sub-judice‘, their investigation would effectively be sisted until court proceedings had been concluded however, they added, any matters not dealt with by the court could be brought back to them afterwards. That was 16 years ago.
When Lord Woolman deleted all of our averments regarding Robert Dobie and Michael Simpson’s misconduct in his 2010 opinion (recording that these were matters for the solicitors’ governing bodies) I took my complaints back to the Law Society. During the interim 15 years (from the date of the sist of the original Law Society investigation) the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission had come into creation. The Law Society informed me that, as it was the profession’s new ‘gateway organisation’, my complaint would initially have to be submitted via the SLCC and would thereafter be redirected back to the Law Society. (As far as I am aware, given the dates concerned, the SLCC could never have handled our complaints.) I complied with the Law Society’s direction and duly completed and submitted the SLCC complaint form. The SLCC informed me that there would be no investigation of my complaints because they are TIME BARRED; that because matters had been within my knowledge for more than a year they would therefore not investigate.
Here’s what they don’t want to see;
ROBERT DOBIE’S FILE (1)
As of 16 February 1988 M&B were still acting as Arakin’s accountants
M&B had informed Arakin that the company had a large tax liability. Arakin was built on a ‘no borrowing’ ethos and to cover the liability my father sold a heritable property. M&B’s error re our tax liability came to light, when HMRC informed my dad that they, in fact, owed his company a rebate. M&B produced a report explaining the error to HMRC which caused my dad concern, as M&B’s report appeared to blame the directors of Arakin for their error.
Concerned 26 Febraury 1988 my dad forwarded M&B’s report to William Simmons of Tods Murray (who had worked for him on previous occasions while in the employ of another law firm)
When M&B sent a bill to my dad for producing their Report he disputed the amount, or that he should be charged at all, given that, due to their error, he was now a tennant in his own building. In any event M&B lodged winding up petitions against three of my dad’s companies in Glasgow Sheriff Court.
William Simmons’ 16 July 1988 letter to my dad informs him that Tods Murray will lodge caveats with the court. ( William Simmons reference is WGS and it is found on all of his correspondence and file notes.)
However 27 July 1988 William Simmons, without informing Arakin, passed this matter on to Robert Dobie. This document demonstrates that is is Dobie who is the fee charger from here on in this sorry tale. (Robert Dobie’s reference is ‘RLD’ it is found on all of his correspondence and file notes. )
DOBIE GETS TO WORK
And it was 27 July 1988 that Robert Dobie wrote to M&B’s solicitors (Dorman Jeffrey) informing them that he had lodged the caveats and that seeking insolvency of our companies was not the correct course, that ‘his client’ disputed the fees charged and that Arakin had counterclaims it would set off against any claims by M&B. (There is no file note in Dobie’s files indicating where he got the information re counterclaims, or any other instruction for that matter.)
Dorman Jeffrey 1 August 1988 to Tods Murray is addressed to ‘Dear Sirs’ but uses Dobie’s RLD reference indicating that this correspondence was landing on Dobie’s desk not William Simmons’. At this time Dorman Jeffrey are still rather belligerent stating they have instructions to raise court proceedings- they are, after all engaged to protect M&B’s interests.
Dobie diligently responds 4 August 1988 to Dorman Jeffrey seeking clarification re Dorman Jeffrey’s reference to ‘raising court action’. This is perhaps the last time in this sequence that Dobie acts with due diligence – albeit he, nor William Simmons, have as yet informed my dad that Dobie was acting for him.
A 4 August 1988 internal memo from Dobie to ‘Gail’ thanking her for ‘doing the caveats’ and asking that she obtain further information to ‘do Caveats’ for another of my dad’s companies.
It was 5 August 1988 that William Simmons wrote to the Clerk at Glasgow Sheriff Court requesting the additional caveat be lodged.
Dorman Jeffrey’s 9 August 1988 letter, addressed to Robert Dobie (who is the only solicitor from Tods Murray who has written to them directly) states that they intend to raise an action for payment.
THE ‘INITIAL WRIT’
And here it is….the 10 August 1988 ’Summons’ from McLachlan & Brown against Arakin Limited (and our other two companies – Tumac and Annick ). Now it’s not what you do, but the way that you do it. At this point in time, having been served a summons, my dad was under the impression that Mclachlan & Brown were suing him for payment. In receipt of such a document wouldn’t you? At this point in time I can even forgive Robert Dobie for thinking an action had been raised against Arakin. It was only when I received these files in 2008 that I discovered the following deception.
On 12 August 1988 that Robert Dobie wrote to Glasgow Sheriff Court with copies of the three Initial Writs and Notices of Intention to Defend.
Dorman Jeffrey’s 16 August 1988 states that my dad has been in direct contact with McLachlan & Brown’s partners (who he’d known since 1966) suggesting that M&B submit their accounts to the ‘Institutes Auditor of Fees’ and saying their clients have no objection to this course but that the cannot accede to my father’s other conditions as specified in his 5 August 1988 letter to them. (Albeit there is an Arakin compliment slip in Robert Dobie’s files indicating he was forwarded a copy of this letter, no copy exists in his files. There is more detail regarding the missing papers from Robert Dobie’s files in the ‘Recovery of Tods Murray’s Files’ page of this site).
William Simmons 22 August 1988 extensive file note recording a telephone call with my dad and the issues he has McLachlan & Brown’s services as his accountants. This file note indicates two things. Firstly, that my dad was still under the impression that it was William Simmons who was dealing with his affairs, and secondly, that at no time during the conversation does William Simmons inform him of Robert Dobie’s involvement.
THE GLASGOW AGENTS
Robert Dobie’s 22 August 1988 is Robert Dobie’s first letter of instruction to Wright Johnston & McKenzie (his Glasgow agents) asking that they appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court for ‘the tabling’ of the three actions to lodge defences and to seek a continuation to the adjustment roll.
Robert Dobie’s 22 August 1988 reply to Dorman Jeffrey’s 16 August letter to him contains information that I can only surmise came either from William Simmons telephone call with my dad or, his responses were so bog standard he simply used his initiative. He does state that he has not yet received instructions from my dad and that (rather than send M&B’s fees to audit) the ‘present proceedings would present the quickest and cheapest forum for resolving both issues.’
Dorman Jeffrey’s 23 August 1988 response to Dobie informs him that my dad has once again been in contact with M&B’s partners to seek a meeting and that they, Dorman Jeffrey, will have their instructions from M&B by the end of the week.
Wright Johnston & McKenzie’s (WJM) 24 August 1988 simply confirm Dobie’s initial instructions to him in respect of the three actions and confirm that they will appear at the Sheriff Court.
William Simmons 23 August 1988 internal memo to Robert Dobie states he is unable to attend a meeting with my dad’s new accountants from Pannel Kerr Forster (now PKF) and asks Dobie to attend in his place. My dad was never informed that it would be Dobie who be in attendance at that meeting.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
WJM’s 31 August 1988 report to Dobie informs his that they attended court on 25th August 1988 and that NONE of the actions had tabled. (They’ve not yet been lodged with the court). Perhaps Mclachlan & Brown were as keen to have a negotiated settlement as my dad was.
Dorman Jeffrey’s 2 September 1988 letters to Robert Dobie indicates that they plan to lodge a motion in Glasgow Sheriff Court pertaining to the three, as of yet non-existent actions. Unfortunately, albeit they write enclosing the motion it is NOT contained in Robert Dobie’s files.
Robert Dobie’s 2 September 1988 file note is his record of his telephone call with Dorman Jeffrey’s Ian Cuthbertson, ‘who said why didn’t we all get round a table and see if a settlement could be reached before the matter blew up into a major litigation.‘ Dobie’s response, that he is ‘not sure if Mr. Mcnamara would be amenable to such a suggestion,‘ is bewildering given Dobie has NEVER spoken to my dad and given my dad’s earlier communication(s) with M&B suggesting just that course of action.
Robert Dobie’s 16 September 1988 letter to his Glasgow Agents (WJM) thanks them for their 31 August report and, while he on holiday, requests that WJM contact Dorman Jeffrey to enquire as to when they intent tabling their action. NB. There is no record in Dobie’s files of him informing my father, or anyone else, of the conversation he had with Ian Cuthbertson. (That’s because he didn’t tell ANYONE.)
WJM’s 21 September 1988 refers to Dobie’s 20 September letter to them (not contained in files – see the ‘Recovering Tods Murray’s Files’ page’ for details of ALL the documents missing from Dobie’s files) advise Dobie that all three cases ‘tabled on Wednesday, 20thy September’ and that they will lodge defences and will intimate same to Dorman Jeffrey.
WJM’s 4 October 1988 corrects their report above stating that Mclachlan & Brown v. Arakin Building Services Limited ‘has not yet tabled.’
WJM’s 4 October 1988 additional two reports to Dobie state that the MB actions against Annick and Tumac have been tabled and continued to the Adjustment Roll of 8th November.
Robert Dobie’s 7 October 1988 letter to WJM states that he imagines, ‘that in due course the pursuers will manage to table the above cause,’ and that when ‘this happens WJM should aqttempt to seek a continuation to the same Roll as the Annick and Tumac actions.
NB. Robert Dobie has now been dealing in my father’s affairs since July and on not one occasion has he, or any other partner from Tods Murray, seen fit to inform my dad that he was doing so. In the meantime, in the following letter, Dorman Jeffrey make it perfectly clear to Dobie that they are prepared to submit their fees to audit.
DORMAN JEFFREY/McLACHLAN & BROWN WANT A MEETING WITH ARAKIN
Dorman Jeffrey’s 7 October 1988 letter to Dobie states that their, ‘clients have indicated they would be prepared to have their files remitted to the institute auditor for an audit of their fees on a joint remit basis. Our clients will also be agreeable to a meeting between the parties and their legal advisers to discuss your clients alleged Counterclaim.’ It’s looking promising – I’m sure my dad would have been delighted by this approach – had he ever been told about it.
YOU’RE ABOUT TO WITNESS DOBIE’S INITIAL COMPETENCE FALL BY THE WAYSIDE;
WJM’s 12 October 1988 report to Dobie states the are still waiting for a reply from Dorman Jeffrey, who have of course, replied to Dobie directly.
Arakin’s 21 October 1988 letter to Tods Murray’s Michael Simpson demonstrates three things; 1. My dad was unaware that Dobie existed and was dealing in his affairs; 2. My dad did have some serious issues re M&B’s handling of his accounts; 3. My dad has not been informed of M&B’s positive responses to his initial offer of a resolution meeting.
DOBIE’S EVENTUAL LETTER OF INTRODUCTION TO MY FATHER
Dobie’s 25 October 1988 letter to my dad. Three cheers for Robert Dobie. Having been dealing in his affairs since July, having met Arakin’s new accountants, and so far, having steadfastly ignored all of Dorman Jeffrey/M&B’s attempts to send their fees to the auditor and to hold a resolution meeting, after 3 months Dobie, and Tods Murray, see fit to inform my dad of Dobie’s very existence. Worse – in his first letter Dobie makes no attempt to advise my dad that the action against Arakin has NEVER tabled or that Dorman Jeffrey have been in contact with him to try to arrange a meeting. There is a ‘Code of Conduct for Scottish Solcitors’ which Tods Murray and Robert Dobie have already breached by failing to keep their client fully informed of salient matters.
DOBIE’S WILFUL IGNORANCE CONTINUES
Dobie’s 4 November 1988 letter to WJM (his Glasgow agents) informs them that all three cases will call on the Adjustment Roll of 8th November 1988. In this letter he writes (with no record in his files) that producing anything more than skeletal defences is not possible because the report of the investigating accountants is, ‘being severely hampered by the fact that a great deal of relevant information is in the hands of the pursuers, who are claiming a lien over it and will not allow anybody to see it.’ He thereafter instructs WJM to seek a further continuation of four to six weeks. Remember the last report he received from WJM re Arakin had informed him that no action against Arakin has yet been tabled.
WJM’s 4 November 1988 response to Dobie’s fax above nevertheless confirms that they acknowledge the instructions re the three cases and will inform Dobie of the outcome.
Dorman Jeffrey’s 7 November 1988 fax cover sheet indicates that it is 1 of 7 pages however, as is often the case with Dobie’s files, the other 6 pages are not there.
PKF’s 9 November 1988 long awaited report on M&B’s conduct is addressed to William Simmons indicating that they too are unaware that Robert Dobie is dealing with the matter.
William Simmons 9 November 1988 internal memo to Robert Dobie expresses his disappointment that PKF’s report doesn’t contain the ‘hard facts and figures’ he had hoped could be used to draft a counterclaim. This memo demonstrates that Mr. Dobie’s partner was unaware of Dorman Jeffrey’s/M&B’s attempts to have a meeting and offers to remit their fees to the institutes auditor.
Arakin’s 9 November 1988 letter is addressed to William Simmons, my dad asking him to be in attendance with his first meeting with Robert Dobie.
WJM’s 14 November 1988 report to Robert Dobie informs him once again that Mclachlan & Brown v. Arakin Building Services Ltd. has not tabled and in addition the ‘pursuers’ have not yet lodged a motion for late tabling.
WJM’s 14 November 1988 additional report informs Dobie that the actions against Annick and Tumac have been continued to the Continued Adjustment Roll of 1st December and states they are checking the court sheets re the, as of yet, non existent action against Arakin.
Arakin’s 15 November 1988 compliment slip did originally, I presume, have a letter attached. The attached letter is NOT in Dobie’s files.
Dorman Jeffrey’s 15 November 1988 letter to Dobie is a reminder seeking a response to their letter to him of ’7th October’ re their willingness to remit their fees to audit and discuss Counterclaim issues with Arakin. (Dobie, you will note, has responded to none of their requests nor has he informed anyone be it his client, his partners, or his Glasgow agents, that he was receiving such requests. Remember that Code of Conduct ? It also expects a solicitor to act in his client’s best interests.
Arakin’s 21 November 1988 letter to Dobie demonstrates, once again, that my dad is still under the impression that he has an action to defend and that he remains in the dark in respect of M&B’s conciliatory approach.
Arakin’s 25 November 1988 letter to Dobie is in the same vein. My dad is providing Dobie with information Dobie has requested for the Counterclaim??? As far as Dobie’s concerned there IS NO ACTION – to counterclaim against.
Dobie’s 25 November 1988 file note states he is spending 6 hours drafting notes of adjustment and ‘also counterclaim in respect of Arakin action.’ Really? 6 hours – for which he was awarded a 60% uplift in fee rate I may add - drafting a counterclaim for a NON EXISTENT ACTION.
DOBIE’S ENJOYING HIMSELF NOW
Dobie’s 6 December 1988 letter to Arakin encloses his proposed Counterclaim in the NON EXISTENT action against Arakin which he has prepared following a meeting with my dad and his new accountants (PKF) while advising my dad that he thinks it would be a good idea to simply have the fees sought in the Annick and Tumac cases off to audit.
Dobie’s 6 December 1988 letter to David Jenkins of PKF also encloses the Counterclaim he drafted asking that David Jenkins checks it for any errors or omissions.
WJM’s 7 December 1988 report to Dobie informs him that the Annick and Tumac cases have been continued to the Continued Adjustment Roll of 25 January 1989.
Dobie’s 8 December 1988 telephone file note records my dad giving Dobie the info re Annick that he has requested.
Arakin’s 13 December 1988 letter to Dobie furnishes him with yet more info that he has requested. My dad is also expressing demur at the (unknown to him, unnecessary) costs he was incurring with PKF.
Dobie’s 15 December 1988 letter of instruction to WJM asks them to lodge a first note of adjustments in the Arakin action ( an action which DOES NOT EXIST), and to lodge the Counterclaim in the Arakin action. He also informs WJM that he has intimated these documents to Dorman Jeffrey.
DOBIE’S DEVIANCE BEGINS
Dobie’s 15 December 1988 letter to Dorman Jeffrey must have bemused, befuddled and bewildered them almost as much as it has enraged me. True to his word he encloses a note of adjustments in the (non existent) action against Arakin and his Counterclaim. NB. This is Dobie’s first response to Dorman Jeffrey’s requests for a resolution meeting before ‘this blew up into a major litigation.’ It would seem Dobie wanted that major litigation. Who would it benefit? I keep going back to that Code of Conduct and its declaration that a solicitor must work in their clients’ best interests NOT their own.
Dobie’s 15 December 1988 letter to Arakin is seeking yet more information relating to the Counterclaim for the non-existent action against Arakin. He copies this same letter to two other partners at Tods Murray because they hold information relating to Arakin’s properties.
Dobie’s additional 15 December 1988 seeking more information in respect of of the action against Annick. (Why do something in one letter when you can charge for two?)
Arakin’s 19 December 1988 is simply my dad furnishing Dobie with the information he requested. (My dad still hadn’t been told there was no action against Arakin – and he NEVER would be told they were only threatening to sue until Dobie gave his evidence-in-chief at the July 2012 proof in causa Tods Murray v Arakin Ltd.)
MAYBE I’M WRONG?
WJM’s 20 December 1988 report to Dobie. Oooops!! Maybe I’ve been wrong all along. This report confirms that Adjustments will be lodged in causa Mclachlan & Brown v Arakin will be marked up in the Process and the Counterclaim will be lodged.
Dobie’s 5 January 1989 letter to my dad is a reminder for the information he requested concerning Annick.
Arakin’s 9 January 1989 letter to Dobie is furnishing him with the requested information.
The 12 January 1989 internal memo to William Simmons furnishes him with the information Dobie sought on Arakin’s properties.
I DON”T THINK I’M WRONG
Dobie’s 24 January 1989 letter to WJM (his Glasgow Agents) confirms I am correct. Dobie writes that he has not yet had confirmation that Mclachlan & Brown v. Arakin has ever been tabled. What’s all the meetings, couterclaim preparation, and fees been about then Mr. Dobie?
I’M CORRECT – DOBIE’S BEEN FEEMONGERING
DOBIE’S SILENCE IS DEAFENING
Having been informed that McLachlan & Brown v. Arakin Building Services Ltd has never been tabled, what does Dobie do? Now is his opportunity to come clean with my father (and his partners) and admit his errors isn’t it? Will Dobie take that opportunity and stop this deception before it gets out of hand? Of course not – that’s why I’m writing about it more than 23 years later. Do read on (especially if you happen to be from the Law Society, the SLCC or even the Crown Office).
Dobie is so silent that Wright Johnston & McKenzie require to write again some 3 weeks later;
WJM’s 21 February 1989 reminder to Dobie reminding him of their 30 January letter above and looking forward to some clarification.
Arakin’s 27 February 1989 compliments slip appears to have been sent, once again, just for the sake of being friendly (there being no documents attached to it in Dobie’s file)
NOW THE PANIC SETS IN
Dobie receives this 27 February 1989 file note from his partner Michael Simpson;
DOBIE DIDN’T TELL HIS PARTNERS EITHER – BUT DID THEY CHECK?
Evidently Michael Simpson is under the impression there is an ongoing action.
Arakin’s 27 February 1989 letter to Dobie is furnishing him with yet more information he has requested ‘as discussed’. But where and when is discussed is not discernible from Dobie’s files. My dad expresses concern re the fees he is incurring.
WHAT DOES DOBIE DO?
He arranges another meeting with PKF of course according to this 7 March 1989 internal memo.
Dobie’s 8 March 1989 letter to WJM requests that they seek a further continuation on the Annick and Tumac actions.
AND HERE WE HAVE IT – THE ACTUAL MOMENT OF FRAUD
The lines, ‘Having considered the position further, including the continued inactivity of McLachlan & Brown/Dorman Jeffrey, I have decided that the preferred course is to raise our own action. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that, as pursuers we can exert greater control over the speed of the process than as defenders and countercalimers...’ are my absolute favourites.
BUT THERE’S MORE
There is more, much more in fact, another 6.75 files to be precise – and that’s only the files belonging to Robert Dobie. However, this one last letter’s first page and first paragraph, dated 13 December 1991, proves that Dobie knowing committed and maintained fraud against us. He lies in this letter about when defences and counterclaim were lodged just as he has continuously lied to all and sundry in regard to his dealings in our affairs. He has kept us in the courts for 16 years with the false Tods Murray v Arakin litigation alone (not counting the additional 6 unnecessary years he had us in court against McLachlan & Brown) and he has done so to avert the Law Society investigation of him that was under way over the course 1995/96. The Law Society of course have been his enablers….