Two solicitors have today been struck off & banned from, er, soliciting, for ripping off thousands and thousands of miners. They were charged with several counts of serious misconduct by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal.
I first reported on Jim Beresford & his company back in May 2007. His company handled the compensation claims from nearly 100,000 miners after the government set up a compensation scheme to pay miners for illness & injury suffered during many years of their employment down the mines.
Beresford & his partner went from earning around Ã‚Â£180,000 a year in 2002 toÃ‚Â getting Ã‚Â£23million a year in 2006. Tricks they employed included creaming off large percentages of miners’ compensation as a ‘success fee’ (despite the fact that the government had agreed to pay claims and all that was required of the solicitors was to fill in forms). They also made claimants take out expensive insurance with a company owned by Beresford’s wife, in the 100 per cent unlikely event that a claim failed and the government charged the claimants. Beresford went from obscurity in a small office in Doncaster to being the country’s richest solicitor.
So good news in that they are now out of a job. Surely, it is only right and proper that they face criminal charges & are forced to repay the millions and millions they have pocketed from the ill health (and often deaths) of nearly 100,000 victims.