Breast Surgeon Under Investigation for Unnecessary Breast Cancer Surgeries

During the period 2004-2007 hundreds of women had undergone botched and unnecessary breast surgeries. The surgeon Ian Paterson is now under investigation by the police and could face criminal charges. He has been suspended by the General Medical Council and the main reason for that  is that he misdiagnosed at least 450 women with cancer and applied unnecessary surgery manipulations to remove lumps.

Paterson is a breast cancer specialist, who had worked for the NHS for almost 20 years – since 1994. The surgeries in question took place in different UK hospitals during the period  2004 – 2007. Now about 90 of his patients are submitting compensation claims against the Heart of England NHS Trust and Spire Healthcare, because of the unnecessary procedures they have gone through.

Besides being accused of removing lumps without being necessary, he is also investigated for performing a mastectomy procedure which is not sanctioned in the UK, called “cleavage sparing”. Excess breast tissue was left behind for cosmetic reasons, which is against national guidelines.

The solicitor on the claimant side stated his client had to undergo a second surgery in order to remove the excess tissue.

The national head of clinical negligence for Thompson Solicitors –Ms Kashmir Uppal said the case was the largest one she had ever dealt with. She also added: ”[These women] deserved the best medical care but have been let down by Mr Paterson.

“What we’re trying to do is secure some compensation for them to move forward with their lives.”

Spire Healthcare is working closely with the NHS Trust and the GMC on the investigation related to Mr Paterson practice.

A spokesman for the group said: “Supported by a team of independent consultant breast surgeons, we are reviewing the medical records of Ian Paterson’s patients who underwent specific procedures for benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions.”

You cannot protect your employees from the doctors, however you can find very useful Health and Safety Documents on our legal documents website.

Tax evasion – Highest Among Barristers

London barristers are said to be the high risk sector targeted for tax evasion.

HM Revenue & Customs recently launched a restriction on tax evasion for the lawyers in London which is anticipated to produce £3m. According to the HMRC, it is the Capital’s legal profession that is considered to be one of the trade sectors exposed to high risk and as such it will be scrutinized by tax inspectors. The 300 highest risk cases will be chosen and tax specialists will visit the firms to analyze and check the records as well as to conduct any further investigations if necessary.  Other sectors that will be examined by the HMRC include the grocery and retail (South and North Wales), hair and beauty salons (North-East), restaurants (South-East), and the motor trade (Scotland). According to the HMRC, the expected amount to be recovered from ‘tax dodgers’ could hit

The actions are result of the government £917m spending on tackling the tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. The government has also set a target to raise additional £7bn each year by 2014/15. Since 2011, the HMRC has officially set about 30 task teams which firstly focused on the restaurant trade. According to the exchequer secretary David Gauke, the government will no longer tolerate tax evasion and will make sure that everyone who breaks the rules will take responsibility. He also added that it is not fare to the hard-working people to industriously pay their taxes and others to avoid paying what they have to.

As announced by a Law Society spokesman, the HMRC team forces will collect the due taxes not only in the legal sector but also elsewhere. The investigations will be conducted in confidence until they are resolved and complete.

It was announced that the legal profession is the one at high risk, but Michael Todd QC said that the Bar Council does not give any clear reason so as to why the London barristers have been target as failing to meet their tax obligations. According to him, barristers are the one who bring billions in revenue for the UK and keep the country’s renowned reputation for excellent justice system. Todd’s predecessor Peter Lodder QC had invited Gauke last December in order to discuss why barristers need to pay taxes on work that is done and yet no fees were paid by the government. Todd announced that Gauke has declined the offer to meet, and only yesterday it became apparent that HMRC had special concerns about the lawyer’s tax affairs. He also said that HMRC should use ‘the channels of communication with the relevant professional bodies, which have always been open.’


The Legal Ombudsman Publishes a List of Decisions

An online list of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman, related to complaints from consumers has been published today. It includes 770 lawyers and law firms from England and Wales.

This report contains information, about the legal services` providers, which have been a subject of complaints submitted to the ombudsman and faced a formal decision. This report will be published every three months, with the first part including information from April to July. Now this list contains about 920 decisions for cases resolved in the stated period.

The list includes facts such as: the number of decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman, regarding each of the firms, the area of law, the date, the nature of remedy awarded and of course, the reason for the complaint.

Adam Sampson-chief legal ombudsman said: What we are publishing is factual data, not opinion, and what we are trying to do with this policy is give objective information about the way the market is operating.’

This move aims to provide transparency on how the system works, to protect the consumer interests and to appeal for higher standards within the legal services area, including the online legal document templates. This report is a reflexion of a careful, detailed review of the profession and its duties, as well as other ombudsman schemes. The next list of decisions is due to be published I November.

Elizabeth France – chair of the Office for Legal Complaints said: ‘We hope this information will help manage consumer expectations of what the Legal Ombudsman can offer and encourage improvement in complaint-handling by lawyers.’

The list of decisions related to complaints from lawyers and law firms was planned to be released in august, however due to some administrative issues, it has been postponed. There were claims that the delay was caused by solicitors` complaints, however the ombudsman denied this.  In addition, he also rejected the statement that “publishing complaints constituted a “naming and shaming” policy”.

Last November, the idea for publishing such a list has been announced and soon after a decision was made. The Law Society opposed it by saying this will not be relevant to the public, but will harm companies with high work volumes, instead.