Law Society

THE LAW Society has welcomed the end of the legal battle which it claims has been conducted “against a background of constant adverse and at times unpleasant publicity”.

Head of communications Walter Merricks says the coverage of the case, spanning three decades, has portrayed Peggy Wood as the poor pensioner taking on authority.

But Merricks points out that when the saga began, Wood was not a poor pensioner but a property speculator.

“She was gambling on the hope that she could make a killing by getting planning permission for property developments,” he says.

“The court has ruled in favour of what we have been saying from the start. Whatever the Law Society had done would not have altered the fact that she lost her home.”

“She lost her house because she didn't have enough money. Even if we had handled the complaint well, it would not have altered the course of events.”

Merricks says the authority is not anxious about the “duty of care” issue which the Court of Appeal chose not to consider.

New procedures, including recourse to the Legal Services Ombudsman, are now in place and complainants are unlikely to want to sue, he says.