Monday, September 22, 2008

Living Together consultation paper

I've mentioned previously Resolution's 'Living Together' campaign, as part of which a Private Member's Bill will be introduced in the Autumn to give rights to couples who live together. Resolution has now published a consultation paper setting out the main issues that they wish to address in the Bill, and their proposals for dealing with them. Alongside this, they have put together an online consultation survey which you can use to respond (by 13 October 2008) to the issues and questions raised in the consultation paper.


  1. Phhhhh
    I shall refrain from commenting until after the fringe meeting at the Tory conference, but the new media makes ALL of us accountable, even a 5000 strong group of solicitors. No more dual standards.
    As resrained as I can be ;-)

  2. I take it you're not impressed? ;-)

  3. I am all for change within the current system. I personally see no need for a revolution and to totally disregard all the experience and expertise that has led to this point, so a well founded initiative has to be a good thing. What undermines this particular initiative is one of the organizations that is talking part.
    Again I have no desire to put to the guillotines all practicing divorce solicitors and a grouping of 5000 solicitors to enforce standards can only be a good thing, the problem occurs when the management and complaints procedure are dysfunctional.
    Coming from the food industry I have a great deal of experience of complaints procedures, so when I first made a complaint in 2003 and having read the mission statement of Resolution, I was fairly optimistic that some kind of sanction would forth coming.
    We are now in 2008 and I have discovered that a professional organization of 5000 solicitors has complaints procedure that would be unacceptable to any of the major high street food retailers, the mere fact that complaints procedure consists of one person, has no complaints book and refuses to communicate is a pretty dysfunctional system in itself.

    My complaint was pretty straight forward, the solicitor I was complaining about had LIED about ALL of his qualifications. He had been initially investigated by the law society in 2004, when I had discovered that his claimed accredited mediator status was untrue. He and his employer argued that it was an oversight, but because there were more serious issues about his conduct I persisted only to find that ALL his claimed qualifications and endorsements were false. The Code of Practice relies heavily upon the honesty and integrity of the participating solicitors.
    Adherence to the Code of Practice is a much more subjective issue, so if, quite clearly a solicitors honesty and integrity has been undermined and the complaints procedure refuses to take any action what confidence can anybody have that a more subjective breech will be dealt with or even considered.
    The mere fact a member of Resolution argued for 12 months that all the family equity needed to remain with his client in order to maintain the family home, then 43 days after that agreement he takes instruction to OVERTURN the Cafcass recommendation of joint residence and move his client 150 miles away and separate the children, doesn’t seem to concern anybody, add to that he lied about all his qualifications, add to that I can prove in a court of law he concealed funds in excess of £40,000.
    The full breakdown is here and has been online in varying formats since August 2007.

    So no John, I am not impressed with anything that Resolution does. Personally I would not allow The Chief Executive and the Director of Standards to run the quality control of the Onion Bhaji line let alone the quality system affecting the children of this country.

  4. OK, so your complaint is against Resolution, rather than the Bill.

  5. Yes John, i am very patriotic and i do believe in continuous improvements and trust in the wiser minds involved in this area of the law.
    The resolution Logo is a bit like a red rag to a bull, anywhere I see it on the internet I start to implode with anger, and I will keep tagging it everywhere I see it. I think most people would be totally amazed that an organisation of 5000 solicitors doesn't conduct internal or external audits of their complaints procedure. The bed rock of the organisation is the Code of Practice and you accepted that its enforcement is a MOOT point, I have proved it is dysfunctional and this non conformance undermines everything they do.

  6. Maybe i am naive but i find the idea of resolution as a central driver to this bill very, very worrying. The bill should be anout the rights or cohabitees and changes in the law to benefit cohabitees.

    Resolution don't represent cohabitees - they represent solicitors. Their reason for being is as a marketing tool for solicitors. So their strong and clear incentive is to increase revenues for solicitors.

    It is awful to think what law we will end up with when the motives of the main driver of the bill is to extract as much money as possible from the cohabitees affected.


  7. It's pretty cynical to suggest that Resolution's sole raison d'ĂȘtre is as a marketing tool for solicitors. I agree that it is used in this way, but the whole ethos of the association is to promote settlement of disputes, something that will, if anything, take work away from lawyers. The fact is that they are well qualified to advise on new law, although I agree that the consultation should be as wide as possible.

  8. Not wishing to labour the point but.... "but the whole ethos of the association is to promote settlement of disputes".
    That ethos is summarised in the Code of Practice, which you agree the enforcement of is a moot point, and I say and can PROVE is dysfunctional, so that undermines any good intentions or ethos and renders the organisation essentially a commercial professional pressure group.
    The commercial implications of sanctioning Mr Blah Blah certainly seems to be a major consideration in Resolutions complaints procedure.
    I am not against the organisation per say, and it could make a useful contribution but as yet, for the end user it is totally dysfunctional.
    Publishing the complaints book would be a good start,they have defined the Code of Practice, now lets see the complaints file.
    Industry couldn't get away with such a non conformance without a gaagle of solicitors threatening financial oblivion.

  9. The fact that a solicitor can join Resolution with a completely FABRICATED online CV is further evidence of quality systems failures.

    I have e mailed this thread to the management of Resolution and invited them to put mind at ease.

  10. OK, I don't want to get involved in a particular case, but perhaps you would let me know their response.

  11. I have finally got a response from Resolution John. Not knowing how many people are still subscribed to this thread or the legality of my postings I will link that response rather than propagate everywhere in the blogosphere

  12. Thanks for that. I would be interested in the outcome of the meeting.

  13. You are so much in the Odyssey's admiration you can be assured that I will. The Odyssey actually looks forward to the day when he can be more constructive in postings on your blog.
    You and a few others have a excellent legal blogs which are dramatically changing the face of divorce and accountability and public understanding, now the news agenda is hands of the people.

    Brilliant Blog, thank you

  14. Thanks. Liked the Resolution logo! ;-)


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