Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust Legal Appeal

The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust states that the reason they taking further legal action is because the executors of the Estate, National Westminster Bank took too much money from the estate – £500,000 and without authority – serious charges. The Trust wants the Estates money to go to claimants, or to beneficiaries of the estate (including the Trust) rather than lawyers. [I reproduce the whole of the Press Release from the Charitable Trust below this article]

The Charitable Trust, some details of which are here [1]  controls £3.7 Million and is separate to the Saviles Estate which originally had £4.3 Million [4]. The Trusts argument is also that they want the estates money to go to the claimants (victims) or the beneficiaries (including the estate) not in legal fees.

I have learnt to trust neither bankers nor lawyers, and from the limited information I have so far, it is difficult to ascertain the exact situation as to the legal arguments between various parties lawyers about money in an imperfect and complex judiciary system.

Under the previously agreed settlement scheme, abuse victims will be able to claim against the BBC, the NHS and the Savile estate. This further legal action is delaying payments for claimants some of which can only claim from the Estate.

The Trust claims “The current scheme gives the claimants’ lawyers an automatic right to claim fees of about £14,000 per claimant, irrespective of the amount the claimant receives. This could mean a claimant receives only a fraction of the amount paid to the lawyers” .

This would appear to be the case and it is a fact that in child abuse cases the lawyers often receive more than the victims of child sexual abuse. Attention should be brought to the unpalatable fact that a lawyers fees are often more than a victim receives for having undergone child torture. A debate should be started about how this can be the case, as it is not ethically or morally correct, and needs changing.

Attention is similarly beneficial when focussed on banks ripping off dead clients for which they act as executors, and this may also lead to awareness of the increasing widespread tactic of banks stealing peoples houses on false paperwork [3]. So Nat West should be made to forensically account for their fees and authority to take them. However this should be routine not a one off and shows a systemic problem.

I am not aware at present how the compensation scheme for claimants was arrived at. I am sure there could be fairer schemes for claimants. Why was this not done? What scheme would the Trusts lawyers think should have been implemented? Is there still time to change the scheme? If Nat West are removed as executors will this lead to a renegotiation?

The Trusts lawyers are hampered in taking an ethical or moral line as it is no doubt a legal strategy which may benefit their client and benefits them financially, as well as it holding up some victims payments. Time will tell whether more money is left for victims.

It does appear that the BBC article of 30 July 2014 [2] is misleading and only tells part of the story, and the headline “Savile charity ‘to fight against payouts for victims'” a travesty of the truth in the impression it gives. It is perhaps in the interests of the BBC to create a controversy between other parties than to concentrate on its own role in the Savile affair.

In the article the lawyer for 176 of the victims, Liz Dux, perhaps was influenced in her words by the £2,464,000 [5] that the firm she works for, Russell Jones and Walker (part of Slater Gordons), would get from the compensation scheme for the victims, rather than being influenced purely by the true wishes of the victims themselves if the true situation was fully explained.

There are many questions to all parties which arise from this limited amount of information I have. Any more information is gratefully received.

One thing is for certain, that there would be widespread support if lawyers all agreed to reduce their fees and let victims benefit.

Press release on behalf of the Trustees of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust

“We have recently been granted leave to appeal the refusal of our application to remove National Westminster Bank as executors of the estate of the late Jimmy Savile. We are appealing the decision for two reasons.

First, we remain concerned by the amount of legal fees that NatWest has incurred (over £0.5m to date). We are particularly concerned that NatWest’s lawyers took their fees from the estate without having any authority to do so at the time.

Second, we do not feel that the proposed compensation scheme for claimants is fair. The current scheme gives the claimants’ lawyers an automatic right to claim fees of about £14,000 per claimant, irrespective of the amount the claimant receives. This could mean a claimant receives only a fraction of the amount paid to the lawyers. It also means that a very substantial amount of the estate (perhaps over £2m) could be paid out in legal fees. We feel strongly that the estate funds should either go to the claimants, or to beneficiaries of the estate (including the charity).

It is our hope that we can protect the value of the estate by our application, so that more money is available to pay to those who have proper claims against the estate. As charity trustees, we also have an obligation to protect the funds that will go to charity, if there is anything left in the estate after paying the claims.”

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers. National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C] and Havoca [D]. Useful post on triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.

Links, Hyperlinks, References and Bibliography

[1] Open Charities – BBC Charitable Trust http://opencharities.org/charities/326970

[2]BBC  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28558442

[3] UK Column http://www.ukcolumn.org/topics/Guy%20Taylor

[4] Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226106/Jimmy-Saviles-4-3million-estate-frozen-trustees-expect-damages-claimed-BBC-stars-sex-abuse-victims.html

[5] This figure is calculated by multiplying the number of victims 176 by the figure of £14,000 quoted by the charitable trust as the amount taken by lawyers from each claimant.

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
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1 Response to Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust Legal Appeal

  1. Pingback: Goddard Inquiry Biased Against Survivors? Say it aint so, Lo. | cathy fox blog

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