Complaint against barrister Tim Pitt-Payne

On 24 February 2006 I wrote to Tim Pitt-Payne's chambers 11 King's Bench Walk with the following complaint.

Dear Mr Goudie

I am writing to complain about the conduct of a member of your Chambers, namely Tim Pitt-Payne, during hearings in 2003 before the Information Tribunal. Mr Pitt-Payne was instructed by solicitors Bates Wells Braithwaite to represent me before the Tribunal, but apparently had his own agenda which did not coincide with the interests of his client, but rather of the party he was employed to oppose. I am writing to you because you are joint head of Chambers and because also you were present at the relevant Information Tribunal hearing in November/2003. Attached to this letter is an article describing MI5's continuing actions against me, and a recording and Mr Ginsberg's transcript of the incident on 17/November/2001 when MI5 tried to have me killed.

I am simultaneously bringing a complaint before the Bar Council on the same grounds. The complaint is beyond the usual 6 months time limit; I wanted to bring a complaint against Pitt-Payne much sooner, and I wrote to BWB's solicitor Simanowitz on 15.3.04 that TPP's conduct had been improper. I have complained several times to solicitors, and each time Simanowitz has refused to action the complaint against TPP. However BWB are no longer accepting my instructions, so they cannot stop me complaining about the barrister.

Because of the seriousness of the charge of corruption against Tim Pitt-Payne, I request that you investigate this complaint even though time has elapsed since the incidents complained of.

I am unhappy with the lawyers who conducted the appeal to Information Tribunal in 2003, because they would not allow the complaint substance to be brought up at the hearings; instead at Simanowitz's insistence the hearings were on technical points only, which cost me 20,000 which was a complete waste of money with everything back at square one. Also the lawyers kept re-targeting the appeal to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which always finds against plaintiffs, and which I wished to avoid because of its track record.

Pitt-Payne left the case at short notice on 21/August/2003 the day before a deadline was due for submission of appeal documents. He set me an ultimatum that the case must go before Investigatory Powers Tribunal, otherwise he would leave; and when I disagreed, he abandoned the case. He had been hired to bring the case to Information Tribunal, not IPT; and by leaving so abruptly, he was guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Because TPP insisted on targeting the appeal to IPT against my instructions, he was also guilty of corruption, and acting against a client's instructions and best interests, because he was deliberately seeking to advantage the opposition by choosing a tribunal which statistically would be expected to find against us. Further, TPP claimed the Information Tribunal did not want to hear my case, but the opposite was true; at the Nov/2003 hearing they were keen to find out the complaint substance, which was their reason for holding the Nov/2003 hearing.

TPP discontinued instructions on 21/August/2003 and re-accepted instructions just before the Nov/2003 hearing with the express purpose of closing down the appeal without its grounds being heard. He tried to close down the hearing the day before it was due to take place, by arrangement with the other side, again to prevent its grounds being heard. I was very upset at the hearing because I could see Pitt-Payne was behaving corruptly in preventing mention of the complaint material. A different barrister would have challenged MI5 to deny their activities, as Norman Baker managed to get a substantive complaint into his 28(4) appeal.

Further, TPP was seriously rude to me at the Nov/2003 hearing. He joked with his friend MI5's counsel Tam about "daft and bad" points Tam was making; then they turned to look at me, because they both realised TPP had just been seriously rude to his client.

It was clear at the Nov/2003 hearing that TPP and Tam had arranged its outcome before it ever took place; that the appeal would be dismissed without costs, so that the Government was not seen as taking my money after they had tried to kill me. Also TPP took very little fees from the case, which again reflects his apprehension that a complaint against his conduct would follow. If he had charged regular fees then I would have ignored BWB's advice to not complain against TPP sooner. At the Nov/2003 hearing TPP asked Tam just before the hearing for it to be dismissed without costs; Tam "thought" for only the briefest moment before agreeing; their main purpose was to prevent the substance being heard. The Treasury Solicitor was at that time trying to do exactly the same, by threatening me with a costs order if the hearing went ahead.

Please consider this through your Chambers' complaints process. I am very disappointed that a barrister from reputable Chambers has behaved as has Mr Pitt-Payne and I request for his behaviour to be scrutinised by your Chambers' complaints procedure particularly considering that MI5 have been continuing their activities towards me during the intervening period and are still harassing me currently.

Yours sincerely,

The response from John Cavanagh was as follows;

Essentially he exonerated Pitt-Payne of all charges. Mr Cavanagh is, shall we say, economical with the truth in his reply. He says "You chose to disinstruct him and lodge the appeal yourself" which is not correct because it was TPP who left, against my instructions and my wishes. He says in complaint paragraph 1 that there is no basis for a claim that TPP had his own agenda; whereas it was clear at the time that TPP's purpose was to close down the appeal without its grounds having been heard. In complaint paragraph 2 he whitewashes TPP's avoidance of the compaint substance. In the following paragraphs Cavanagh continues to whitewash TPP's insistence on the complaint going to Investigatory Powers Tribunal, where everyone always loses. He even denies that Pitt-Payne was seriously rude to me, which he should not be able to deny, because the claim is obviously true.

Concurrently with the complaint to TPP's chambers, I wrote to the Bar Council, using their form, in terms similar to those in the above letter to chambers. Their response was as shown in the following multipage TIFF;

The Bar Council stated that the complaint was out of time, so they could not investigate. This despite TPP being able to remember (to Mr Cavanagh) the details of the case, and my own notes and recollections. I was not pleased with the Bar Council's refusal to hear my complaint, so I wrote to the Legal Services Ombudsman, who replied as follows;

Essentially the Ombudsman agreed with the Bar Council that the complaint was out of time, which means I had reached the end of the road as far as possibilities for complaint exist.