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O Tempora O More*


Older readers may recall the saga of Charles Henry & Co (aka Legal Action. No, not that Legal Action), the pretend solicitors, run by Kevin Gregory.  See chronologically here, here, here and here.

That calamity is still playing out, with both Charles Henry/Legal Action and Augustine Housing Trust – Kevin Gregory’s other ‘legal’ charity – under Charity Commission intervention. Kevin Gregory’s appeals against those interventions failed last October.

In addition, Kevin Gregory himself and Charles Henry/Legal Action are subject to General Civil Restraint Orders, because of Kevin’s history of calamitously bad, appallingly run and totally without merit litigation. Let us not forget that Kevin Gregory is also subject to a section 43 order banning him from being employed in a solicitors’ practice.

When last seen, Kevin Gregory was trying and failing to fight off disclosure orders for his files, obtained by the SRA in order to see what the involvement of three solicitors said to have been employed by Charles Henry actually was. All three solicitors denied having anything to do with it. Remember this, as we will be coming back to it.

You might think, given all this, that a period of silence from Kevin Gregory would be wise. Kevin himself is of a different view.

Enter Thomas More Law, trading name of Thomas More Ltd. Thomas More Law offer ‘legal services’ (including landlord and tenant (!), lease extensions(!!) and judicial review advice (!!!)) from an address which just happens to be the same one as Legal Action and Augustine Housing Trust. Thomas More Law claim to be a ‘section 23 Legal Services Act 2007’ legal services provider – the same ‘not for profit’ loophole that Charles Henry used to both avoid SRA regulation and to claim to be entitled to conduct litigation. However Thomas More is not a registered charity. In fact, the amended Articles expressly provide:

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 20.47.28

The Articles are well worth a read. They are quite the most ridiculous Articles I have ever read. You aren’t supposed to giggle at company articles. Eg…Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 20.50.38‘New Testament’ being elsewhere defined as ‘means any or all of the versions of the New Testament’.

Or, amongst those who are to receive assistance, someone who:

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 20.49.57

Thomas More Ltd has as one of its two directors, Keith Gregory. Keith – sometimes suspected to be Kevin in judgments (para 7&8), but apparently his brother – has featured in previous Charles Henry farces describing himself as ‘practice manager’.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 21.27.30

It is therefore with a certain symmetry that we find Kevin Gregory working at Thomas More Law and describing himself as ‘practice manager’.

Those who have already delved through the Thomas More Law website will have noticed that it claims TM has ‘a solicitor’. A quick Law Society search reveals one solicitor employed by Thomas More – Roderick McCarthy.

This is a bit of a surprise because last time we saw Mr McCarthy he was telling the SRA that he had nothing to do with Charles Henry, where he was listed as employed, and ‘only attended when asked’.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 21.23.40

I would imagine the SRA will be quite keen for Mr McCarthy to also explain his relationship to Thomas More and what he does there.

It goes without saying that anyone even considering getting involved with Thomas More Law should have a close look at the history of Charles Henry & Co aka Legal Action. If they find themselves speaking to Kevin Gregory, they should recall that he is very much not a solicitor, has a general civil restraint order banning him from starting litigation, and remarkably so managed his charity Charles Henry/Legal Action as to get a civil restraint order made against it too (as well as Charity Commission intervention). Irony of ironies, Thomas More Law offer advice on charity law. I suppose those involved could be said to be getting practical, if painful, experience in charity regulation.

Yes, the SRA has been informed. If Roderick McCarthy is actually employed by Thomas More Law, he seems determined to find a way to end his career. If he isn’t, he should take steps quickly…

*Yes, I know, but I had to.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


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