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ARE YOU CONSIDERING USING BLANDY AND BLANDY?
You would think that going to see the senior partner Simon Dimmock of Blandy and Blandy solicitors in Reading would put you in safe hands.  When Danny Beach consulted the firm over a complex and harrowing planning issue with Runnymede Borough Council, he felt confident the firm would be acting in his interests.  The Council served Egham farmer Beach with 48 planning enforcement notices and at a cost of £1000 per notice to defend, he was looking at cost of £48,000 and only a month in which to prepare his defence.

Under these daunting circumstances, Beach appointed Blandy and Blandy. There followed a strange series of events in the run up to the 2009 Public Inquiry where it was not clear whether Blandy and Blandy were really acting in Beach's interests, or just operating a fee-generating machine.  Blandy and Blandy started a dialogue with a property investor who was interested in buying Beach's land.  They then appointed a barrister to represent him who was not only junior to the prosecuting barrister, but also in the same chambers.

After a 9-day hearing, Beach lost the case having been weakly represented by the inexperienced barrister appointed by Blandy and Blandy.  When he challenged the effectiveness of the legal representation provided by Blandy and Blandy, they denied having let him down or having a conflict of interest due to their dealings with the property investor who wanted Beach's land.  They refused to accept that their £200,000 bill was unreasonable and disproportionate to the degree to which they actually helped Beach.

But here is the basic difficulty in the legal profession: a solicitor (or barrister) is paid to act for you irrespective of whether he does so in accordance with your instructions; irrespective of whether he has a conflict of interest; irrespective of whether you win or lose your case.  And you will pay him by the hour.  And he has no incentive to win (or lose) your case quickly.  In fact, he has every incentive to drag matters out for as long as possible, because it makes no difference to him whether you win or lose. 
 

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