Firm fired after calling clients stupid
25 July 2014
A law firm has been dropped by a mining union after implying that its members were thick.
Barnsley solicitors Raleys advised members of the National Union of Miners on their claims for government compensation for vibration white finger (an industrial disease triggered by overuse of vibrating machinery). But in a recent case brought against it by an ex-miner, Ronald Barnaby, Raleys was compelled to disclose its training manual on how staff should handle the claims. Unfortunately for the firm, the hypthothetical miner in worked examples was named "Mr Thikas Toosh Ortplanks
||Amused miners on their way to Raleys' office yesterday
The case in question had already put Raleys in NUM's bad books, after Leeds County Court ruled that the firm
negligently advised Barnaby not to claim compensation for his vibration white finger. The firm's appeal against the decision was rejected by the Court of Appeal which said Raleys' cross-examination of Barnaby represented a “sustained and unequivocal
” attack on his character which was “misjudged
”. At least it didn't call him Mr Imaget Tingbadvibrations in open court.
Local MP John Mann accused the firm of "breathtaking arrogance
", while the NUM has taken its instructions elsewhere. It said that its long-standing, 90 year relationship with Raleys had "soured
Raleys managing partner
Mrs Whata Clanger
Carol Gill said, "The current management consider it was a poor-taste joke, which should not have been sanctioned. However, in this recent matter we were duty bound to disclose it to the court as relevant to the case. I believe it did not reflect the true, general attitude of Raleys Solicitors at the time, and it certainly does not reflect the attitude of any of our staff today