This was flagged back by myself and Anthony over on Irishcorruption.com back when the scandal first broke. It was again repeated by Anthony in a post last Thursday where he noted that there were likely millions stolen by solicitors. Be that as it may, the Sunday Independent report today that there are likely to be hundreds more cases of ‘overcharging’.
The legal profession has been hit with another double-charging scandal – this time the clients making the allegations are former soldiers who were successful in their actions against the State for deafness.
Defence Minister Willie O’Dea’s department paid an estimated €100m in legal fees on behalf of all successful litigants. But this does not seem to have stopped some legal firms from billing their clients for costs they have already been paid by the State.
The Minister has forwarded 30 complaints to the Law Society for investigation.
He said yesterday he was “staggered” at the level of complaints from former members of the defence forces who questioned their legal bills, following revelations, earlier this year, that some lawyers had charged twice for representing abuse victims at the compensation hearings of the Redress Board. “I imagine the cases will snowball,” the Minister told the Sunday Independent yesterday.
Are newspapers continuing to refer to it as ‘overcharging’ or ‘double-charging’ purely for legal reasons? Can we not call it theft? Is taking this money not a crime? Can we call stealing ‘overcharging’ from now on?