From today's Times...
A former television presenter who became one of Britain’s highest-earning solicitors has been struck off for “disgraceful” misconduct in his handling of sick miners’ compensation claims.
Andrew Nulty, who earned £13 million from the claims in one year, joins a growing list of solicitors punished for their role in the coal health scandal.
This story takes some beating. The government created a £8 billion scheme, which was supposed to support miners suffering from injuries received while working underground. However, £1.2 billion went on fees to lawyers. In fact, it appears that scores of lawyers regarded this public assistance as nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme.
Last December, two solictors in a Doncaster law firm, Beresfords, were struck off for dishonesty and “conscious impropriety” involving miners’ claims. "More than thirty partners at a further ten law firms have been suspended, fined or disciplined for misconduct. An additional 16 misconduct cases, involving 75 solicitors, are yet to be heard by the tribunal."
I have a couple of questions.
How could this scheme end up being so abused? Why wasn't someone in the civil service watching over this money? Why was it left to a newspaper to expose this shocking misuse of public funds?
If lawyers were using deceit in order to obtain money from this scheme, then why haven't the police been called in? This sounds a lot like fraud to me. Leaving it to the Law Society is simply not good enough.
Finally, did the taxpayers get any of this money back? I somehow doubt it.
However, this scandal points to a deeper malaise. Scores of individuals, in what used to be an honourable and trusted profession, have been systematically scamming a scheme to help injured workers. This is morally reprehensible behaviour.
Yet, in Britain today, no one cares, there is no outrage. After all, these lawyers were scamming the state. It was only taxpayers money.