Year two of the horrendous, sheer utter hell nightmare.
The year of:
The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal hearings and so-called "determination" from which the impact was a reduction of nearly 70% on the global sum demanded - from £736,206 (US$1.3 million) to £236,000 (US$416,000)
Suffering extreme torment and anguish from the actions by West London County Court and Wandsworth County Court, as well as injustice
'Suffering appalling treatment from Piper Smith & Basham, solicitors, as well as professional misconduct by Mr Gallagher ('Allegedly' as my complaints have not been upheld by the Law Society and the Bar Council - nor by the Legal Services Ombudsman) (Subsequent note: NO 'allegedly': Gallagher- Summary of events)
The 'offer' by Steel Services of £6,350 (US$11,200) + interest (!!) (the initial demand was £14,400) (US$25,400)
The battles with the lawyers
Harassment and intimidation by Kensington & Chelsea police
The continuation of the bullying, intimidation, harassment and blackmail tactics by Andrew Ladsky et. al. and their aides
2 January 2003
On my return from holiday, I find an '"Expert Witness" report, dated 13.12.02 , written by Brian Gale, MRICS, Andrew Ladsky's surveyor, to the London LVT, in which, in effect, he calls me a liar as he claims on page 6 that I have been issued with a detailed costing of the specification. This report was delivered post the 17 Dec 02 deadline, and therefore in breach of the directions set by the LVT. (See Brian Gale and LVT sections)
I also find a letter dated 16.12.02 'from' Joan Hathaway', MRICS, Martin Russell Jones. (Comparing this letter with others sent by Ladsky / 'Steel Services' i.e. 25.01.01 , 02.01.02 and 14.11.01 , I conclude that it has most probably been written by Ladsky).
This letter is a work of fiction , riddled with lies and in which 'Hathaway' in effect calls me a liar.
3 January 2003 - 11h30
sense that somebody is in the corridor
very close to the door to my flat.
When I open the door in order to
leave my flat, it is Andrew Ladsky -
no doubt trying to listen in.
He immediately goes down the corridor
but, as this does not lead anywhere,
he turns back. He ends-up
walking barely a metre behind me
and, as he is doing this, says, I
am going to get you this year" with
a lot of venom in his voice.
c. 17 January 2003 - 'The tribunal' refuses my request for a postponement
One or two days earlier I had received a reply from the London LVT to my 12.01.03 letter in which I requested a postponement of the 5 Feb 03 hearing. I gave as reason the fact that I "still have not been supplied with the priced specification and cannot therefore instruct an expert witness to determine the reasonableness of the cost of specific remedies and thus determine specific items of dispute for the trial" (i.e. as per the directions set by the LVT).
Please not that in my 18.12.02 letter to the LVT, I had already highlighted the breach of the tribunal's directions by Martin Russell Jones - and consequently my inability to implement actions as per the instructions). The LVT refused my request . (See LVT # 2).
So, in addition to West London County Court ignoring, so far, two letters from me ( 10.12.02 and 17.12.02 ), as well as my Defence, I have the tribunal which also opts to ignore the contents of my correspondence.
It leads me to the conclusion that both the court and the tribunal consider me as a non-entity and that I might as well have been writing in invisible ink. (See below, 'end January')
In the case of the tribunal, I kick myself for my naivety in believing in a claim made by a government department; in this instance, John Prescott's Office given that it covers the LVTs.
Indeed, the LVTs are positioned as a forum for resolving residential leasehold problems "without the need for professional representation" .
That is proving to be definitely not true. I am going to need 'professional representation' - and fast!
It leads me into a frantic search. I do not know where to turn to. I go back to the LEASE site which lists pages of solicitors claiming to be specialist in landlord-tenant disputes. (Several months previously, I had visited the site from which I identified two solicitors I met with. One of them refused to give me an idea of cost saying that this kind of dispute is unpredictable. Equivalent to saying: 'write me a blank cheque').
I take a leap of faith and select a solicitor. From a list of four names that he supplies me with, I end-up selecting a surveyor. Hence, another leap of faith.
Then starts the writing of correspondence to brief the solicitor and surveyor on events to-date, provide clarification, as well as copying of documents. More evenings spent doing this - added to all the other evenings, as well as weekends that this nightmare has so far robbed me off.
23 January 2003
I receive a copy of a letter, dated 20.01.03 'from' Joan Hathaway, MRICS, MRJ, to the LVT (following my (above) request for postponement of the 5th February hearing) in which she, in effect, calls me a liar claiming (like Brian Gale did in his 13.12.02 report) that I have been supplied with the priced specification. (See below, 5 Feb 03, for proof that BOTH LIED)
(Subsequent note: Yes, MOST DEFINETELY LIED - e.g. see, in addition to London LVT, Major works)
25 January 2003 - c. 12h40
As I had come up the stairs to go out of the building, Andrew David Ladsky was about to get into the lift. On seeing me, he says: "Better luck next time!" followed by a sarcastic laugh.
I conclude he is referring to the forthcoming 5 Feb 03 LVT hearing where he is clearly counting on getting the case closed.
(Subsequent note: I had guessed correctly: in addition to below events, see London Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, and 'its' 'summary of the case' ; Overview # 2)). I told him to 'f*** himself.
Having provoked me, he immediately run to his mates at Chelsea police to file 'a complaint' against me: Police page # 2
(Note that 3 weeks previously, on 3 Jan (above), Ladsky had told me: "I am going to get you this year!")
In reply to my two letters (10.12.02 and 17.12.02 ) and my defence in December in which I highlighted that the same action had been referred to the London LVT and consequently requested that the action be stayed (suspended), West London County Court tells me in its 24.01.03 letter that I should ask CKFT whether it agrees to this. Unbelievable! As a Litigant in Person (i.e. not represented), and considering events to date i.e. CKFT's Silverstone letters of 07.10.02 and 21.10.02, I conclude that there is no point my doing this.
I also find it extraordinary that West London County Court does not see that it has a role to perform as a result of being informed of an abuse of process of court - committed by an officer of the court - which is what a solicitor is. (NB: There most definitely is an abuse of process.
Not only have LEASE and another solicitor said this to me, the following two letters provide further proof of this: Lisa McLean's letter of 09.04.03 to my then solicitor and the 12.12.02 letter from one of the leaseholders' solicitors to CKFT). Of course, as with every other government departments I have been in contact with: up to me to sort it out!
30 January 2003 - A "Crime Investigator" at Chelsea police officially records a so-called 'complaint' made against me by Andrew Ladsky
I receive a letter from Neil Watson PC 206BS, Kensington & Chelsea Police , dated 27.01.03, stating:
"The police have been informed by a Mr Andrew Ladsky that you verbally abused him in public over some sort of dispute revolving around your premises. Indeed, his version of events have been confirmed by a witness....
Of perhaps greater importance is the fact that any further such outbursts may result in charges of harassment being made against you, as this initial complaint has been fully recorded by the police. I wish to make it clear that my role in this is purely neutral at the moment....".
He warns me that I had better shut up and not challenge 'Dear Mr Ladsky' "or there may be further consequences".
( NB: Timing is just before the LVT hearing of 5th February 2003)
I laugh on receiving this letter as I visualise the scene: a (short) man, standing in a police station, saying,
"Mr Policeman, a woman swore at me"
(Or was it just a phone call to Kensington and Chelsea police?)
I am most definitely not going to phone him. The 2002 events (Feb-March and May-July) are still very fresh in my mind. I opt to ignore it and to wait and see what the next instalment brings.
(See Kensington & Chelsea police # 2 for detail of events - as well as what it capured - and failed to capture - on the police system in relation to this so-called 'complaint')
Letter from Lanny Silverstone , CKFT, dated 04.02.03 , to me stating " .has come to [their] attention from Mr Ladsky, tenant ( !!!) of flat 35. you shouted abusive and foul-mouthed remarks at him . in front of a guest.
We further understand not first incident of this description. incidents have been reported to police... Mr Ladsky or the police may take action against you ...
your behaviour constitutes breach of covenant... any repetition or further complaint our client will take injunctive steps prior to other proceedings being formalised to restrain you.
To date you have made quite improper and defamatory allegations regarding the probity of our client company and also of Mr Ladsky.
The due process of law is under way to claim the perfectly proper service charges that are due from you".
For Ladsky's racketeering mafia's definition of "proper service charges due from you", see: (i) 21.10.03 'PART 36 offer' ; (ii) My Diary 22 Nov 08: Threat of forfeiture (copy) (and bankruptcy) = FRAUD TOOLS - and contrast that with (iii) the 17.07.02 demand (My Diary 22 Jul 02 , Summer 2002), and (iv) 07.10.02 threat of forfeiture if I did not pay immediately (My Diary 10 Oct 02)
(NB: Ditto in terms of timing: calculated to arrive on the day of the LVT hearing). (Well, Ladsky did say to me on 3 Jan 03 "I am going to get you this year!" )
Before the start of the LVT hearing, my Counsel 'grills' me on previous events with the LVT, showing some irritation. I break down in tears. The stress of the last 12 months is taking its toll. The last thing I need is my Counsel also 'getting at me'. However, on the upside, we determine that, in sending me a copy of 'Steel Services' 07.08.02 application, the LVT had NOT included any of the supporting enclosures (LVT # 3 , # 10.3)
My brother arrives to give me moral support. (Not a blood brother, but a brother in every other way).
When we arrive in the main reception area upstairs, Joan Hathaway, MRICS, Martin Russell Jones is there. My Counsel introduces himself. Then my surveyor and solicitor arrive. This is followed by the arrival of Andrew Ladsky who looks at my party and goes to talk to Hathaway. Until the start of the hearing, Ladsky spends the time on his mobile phone. He looks very animated. (Internally, I have a good laugh. About time!)
Very clearly, he had not expected me to turn up with professional advisers. In fact, considering the atmosphere and eye contacts at the beginning of the hearing, nor have the members of the panel. (Until then, there had not been communication on my behalf from a professional adviser). The beginning of the hearing is decidedly 'frosty' - leading my Counsel to make a remark to the Chair.
At the hearing, Ladsky (who was a member of Steel Services party throughout the hearings) says to the Chair,
" Will Ms Rawé pay the £250,000 (US$441,000) of additional costs that will be incurred as a result of the delay in the start of the works due to hearing?"
The Chair replies that I am perfectly within my rights to challenge the application made by Steel Services.
This is captured in the 17.06.03 LVT/SC/007/120/02 report (ref. #992 on the LVT database) under point 64 "Although she is in the minority, the Respondent's legal right to challenge the Applicant's proposal, as she has done, cannot be fettered"
(NB : Both, Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor and Martin Russell Jones, subsequently accused me of being responsible for the LVT action (Case summary # 1.2). Please note that it is 'Steel Services' - not I - who filed the 07.08.02 application to the LVT.
For example, in the case of CKFT, Silverstone's 25.06.03 letter to me ".without going through the costly LVT process which has now resulted in a percentage uplift in the contract figure and a significant delay in the project" .
Ayesha Salim, CKFT, 'PART 36 offer' of 21.10.03 "Your client's decision to challenge both the LVT decision and to continue to defend these proceedings is her own. Her decision to do so has caused inconvenience and expense to all the lessees of the building"
Please note that it is 'Steel Services' that kept challenging the LVT report, not I - as evidenced by the statement in the 21.10.03 'offer' "our client has once again (NB: !!!) reviewed the revised apportionment dated 24 June 2003" . Note also that if 'Steel Services = Ladsky' was unhappy with the LVT report, the proper channel to follow was to refer it to the Lands Tribunal.
In relation to Martin Russell Jones, see Barrie Martin, FRICS,'s false accusations in his 04.08.04 letter to me - and my reply of 11.08.04 )
As to Hathaway's previous claims (e.g. 'her' 20.01.03 letter to the LVT) that I had been supplied with a copy of the priced specification, initially, she vehemently asserts this claim yet again during the hearing, by saying: "the porter has confirmed that Ms Rawé has looked at them" . She then contradicts herself in reply to a question from my Counsel, by saying: "Oh!, there are so many reports in the porter's lodge, he would not know which is which!"
This is captured under point 14 of the 17.06.03 LVT report
"Ms Hathaway (of Martin Russell Jones), on behalf of the Applicant, resisted the application for an adjournment. She maintained that Ms Dit-Rawé had seen the specification... but was unsure as to whether this had been a priced version"
The same damning evidence is found in Brian Gale's 24.02.03 report, under point 2.04: "the un-priced or priced Specification...has been. freely available for all lessees to view" ).
See also LVT # 2.2 , # 3 ; Brian Gale and Martin Russell Jones for further evidence, namely letters from other leaseholders to Hathaway and the LVT - LVT # 1.4)
When my counsel raised the issue of the missing enclosures during the hearing, the Chair turned to the clerk asking him to confirm this - to which he replied: "Not all the residents were copied on the enclosures"
The outcome was that, while the LVT had denied my 12.01.03 request for an adjournment of the hearing, it was finally granted at the 5 February hearing - as captured under point 16 of the 17.06.03 LVT report: "In the interest of justice, the Tribunal agreed to an adjournment."
"In the interest of justice" (!!!).
Why had there not been 'justice' before?
I attribute this change of position by the LVT to the fact that I was represented.
Why was it necessary for me to spend a very significant part of my life-savings to employ a barrister (and concurrent solicitor) to repeat what I had already said to the LVT on numerous occasions previously? (See LVT # 3 for more detail)
11 February 2003 - I receive another letter from the "Crime Investigator" at Chelsea police
I receive another letter from Neil Watson PC 206BS, "Crime Investigator", Chelsea Police, dated 06.02.03 - again asking me to contact him.
The only communication I am prepared to have with Kensington & Chelsea police is in writing.
I write a reply, dated 11.02.03, in which I ask for very "precise details - in writing - of the accusation against me" and send the letter recorded delivery.
He ignored my letter. For subsequent events, see police section 2
(NOTE : As detailed previously, in 2002 (in relation to the handling of my complaint by Kensington & Chelsea police), I eventually escalated my complaint to the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, asking for his assistance in my letter dated 05.05.02 .
After some chasing, I received a reply, dated 11.07.02, in which he wrote, among others "...the police must act only on the basis of established facts" .
Compare this with the 27.01.03 letter from Neil Watson PC 206BS following Ladsky reporting me for "swearing at him"
" Of perhaps greater importance is the fact that any further such outbursts may result in charges of harassment being made against you, as this initial complaint has been fully recorded by the police."
Very clearly, no concern here about: "acting only on the basis of established facts"
And, obviously, another of the Chair's comment in his 11.07.02 letter that I must ".appreciate that officers have to act with consideration for resource and time expenditure when investigating a case such as this" did not apply in this instance either.
I concluded my 04.08.02 reply to the Chair by stating: ".my dealings with the police in recent months, have led me to totally - and for ever - lose my confidence in the British police" . The above events in 2003 only served to reinforce my feelings. (And have led me to my current thinking that, if I am attacked, there is no point my contacting Kensington & Chelsea police)
(The 07.08.02 reply from the Chair's Office to my 04.08.02 letter, once again stresses the need for evidence for the police to act)
Additional food for thought: it seems that if Ladsky was 11 years old, I and the other residents would have been able to get an ASBO (Anti-social behaviour order) placed on him. The attached Daily Mail article of 6 Jun 05 reported such a case "The... order...prohibits (the child)...from harassment that would cause alarm." .
Why is it that landlords and their aides are free to terrorise leaseholders?
(The Evening Standard article of 3 Dec 03 , headed "Left homeless for £25" (US$44) indicates that a leaseholder had a similar experience:
"neither the police nor Hastings borough council will act" )
13 March 2003
First day of the substantive hearing at the LVT. I feel very nervous and stressed, partly because of all the recent events, and partly because I have at the back of my mind Mr Ladsky's question to the Chair on 5 February "Will Ms Rawé pay the £250,000 (US$441,000) of additional costs that will be incurred as a result of the delay in the start of the works due to hearing?" .
I also remember one leaseholder who wrote me in her 1 November 2002 letter
".Mr Ladsky acted like a petty tyrant, and I am not afraid to put on record that I believe that he is capable of any unscrupulous actions in order to achieve his aims" .
I also know what he and 'Steel Services' i.e. him, did to the Head of the Residents Association, the Elderly Resident, Other Residents and Nucleus .
At the hearing, the opening statement from Mr Warwick, Steel Services' Counsel , is that "the reason [I have] been challenging the service charge demand is because I did not want to pay it" . (Although it very clearly was not his meaning), damn right I am not going to pay £14,400 (US$25,400) without justification. (= same vermin as his client). (I repeat my Comments under Persecution (1)(4))
(NB: See LVT # 5.4 for the Ladsky mafia numerous other lies to the tribunal - to which it turned a blind eye)
to the hearing, I had received a
copy of Mr
Brian Gale 24 February
2003 " Expert
Report /Proof of Evidence " to
the LVT. Sections 2 and
5 of this report can only be described
as 'a pack of lies' .
March 2003 reply to Mr Brian
Gale's section 2 and 5 was handed
by my Counsel to the LVT Panel
and Steel Services party on 28
April 2003 (third and final day
of the LVT substantive hearings).
Gale for further detail)
And Mr Gale certainly proved to be a
In his 13
December 2002 "Expert Witness" report to the LVT, Mr Gale
wrote under Section 4 -1.4
"I am able to categorically state
that the Specification makes NO provisions
for any construction of an additional floor
nor any future requirement in the building
to create a penthouse flat"
In fact, when the works started in September
2004, so did the construction of the penthouse
Evidently, such as the 'incidental' cost of building a penthouse flat and significant works to the flat below. Of course, as Mr Gale wrote in his February 2002 report
"...the roof had exceeded [its] modern life span" and there was ".water ingress" to "some of the properties" , "replacing the asphalt roof" "needed to be dealt with as a matter of urgency" .
It was so urgent, that the works were started 2.5 years later in September 2004. See Brian Gale section for further detail.
As can be seen in his letter of 19 October 2005, Mr Gale continued to misrepresent the works undertaken to the very end:
"...Mansells, the contractors undertaking the works.have now completed the external redecoration" .
"The external redecoration" ?
How about the construction of the penthouse flat?
How about the conversion of flats resulting in the addition of three other flats?
These works resulted in 39 flats v. 35 flats at the start of the works. (For evidence of 35 flats at the start of the works see, for example, point 7 of the 17 June 2003 LVT report).
Mr Brian Gale proved to be a liar, like Ms Hathaway:
Her letter to me of 26 March 2002: "Your suggestion that the appointment of professional advisors is in any way connected with any planning application is incorrect"
Her 30 August 2002 letter to me: "We are informed that there is no intention to build the penthouse at the current time"
Her 4 March 2003 letter to Brian Gale (which was supplied as part of the evidence during the tribunal hearings in March-April 2003):
"...regarding the proposed penthouse...although the planning permission was granted it was subsequently found that the scheme was not a viable proposition...there are no plans to build the penthouse at the property"
And their 'dear' client, Mr Andrew Ladsky:
In his letter to me (and other leaseholders) dated 25 January 2001: ".the costs of any additional floor on the property will NOT be borne by the residents. All tenants are of course protected by the Landlord and Tenant Acts to ensure those carrying out any works do so reasonably."
(For other examples of their lies see Note to "Major works")
As to how the contractors, Mansell Construction Services and / or Mr Brian Gale, describe what they did to the roof (from the " description of the works " , headed with: Principal Contract: Mansells Construction)
"General repair and refurbishment of the main structure of Jefferson House, 11 Basil St, to include cutting out of spalled and defective brickwork and replacing to match, replacing asphalt roofs , redecoration externally, redecoration of internal common areas, replacement of lift"
Very clearly, Mansell - Mr Gale have a very unique interpretation of "replacing asphalt roof" ! Maybe it's a question of economy with words as they headed this "Brief description of work".
18 March 2003
For the second time now, I set-up another 'Keep
safe' facility with the post office because my
regular postman is going on holiday.
24 March 2003
I receive a notice of a Charging Order hearing, dated 21 March 2003, stating that it is due to take place on 4 April 2003 (This amounted to giving me a 7 working day notice. Typical of West London County Court that has consistently demonstrated the most amazing haste in responding to Steel Services i.e. Mr Ladsky et. al's / CKFT's requests for hearings).
I am in a state of shock and panic, as I have absolutely no idea what a Charging Order hearing is. It leads me into a frantic search which includes phoning the Department for Constitutional Affairs i.e. Lord Falconer of Thoroton 's department. The person I speak to says that she does not know the answer. (But she offers to send me a complaint form (!!!))
to the court on 25
March 2003 highlighting the
fact that the LVT had specifically
told leaseholders to not pay the
service charge demanded until it
had reached a decision - and it
had therefore been implemented
(we were given a leaflet to
emphasise the point - see page
5) (LVT # 1.4 ; # 1.5 )
In spite of this letter, West
London County Court still
persists in telling me, in its 27
March 2003 letter, that
the 4 April 2003 Charging Order
concerns me "Please note
that your request will be considered
at the hearing on 4th April
I leave messages with the solicitor acting for
me at the time, and send a fax. He does not return
my calls. The next day I receive a letter from
him telling me that he is advising me in relation
to the LVT - not the court action. Hence, I need
to pay £2,000 (US$3,500) in
advance to receive advice. In other
words, at the time, in order to get a reply to
what is a straightforward question for a solicitor.
(By then, I had already paid him c. £9,000
(US$15,900) in fees)
wits end, on 30
March 2003 , I send a letter
to the members of the LVT Panel
- on which I copy the District
Judge stating, among others:
"...I requested (once again)
that the action be stayed explaining,
among others, that: 1. at the
LVT pre-trial hearing on 29 October
2002 Mr J.C. Sharma JP FRICS
had in effect told the residents
to not pay the service charge
demanded for the major works
until the LVT had reached a decision. [LVT # 1.4 ; # 1.5 ]
How can it be that two government
departments - who have been made
aware of a conflict as a result
of actions they are concurrently
undertaking - have no line of
Minutes away from giving an extra £2,000 (US$3,500) to my solicitor because I cannot determine what a Charging Order is (24 Mar 03, above), through my network of contacts, I am told that a Charging Order implies that a judgement has been entered against me. Has a judgement been entered against me? I reply that I have not received any communication to this effect.
Armed with this information - in particular the 'correct' terminology - I phone West London County court, now for the third time. Having said (at a very slow pace) "there cannot be a charging order against me because there has not been a judgement against me" , at this point I am put through to somebody else who, I believe, is the court manager.
Following my repeating the same thing (again very slowly), I get the reply: "No, the charging order is not against you, it's against other residents".
through days of hell, and nearly
spent another £2,000 (US$3,500)
of my life-savings, to finally be
told that the action has nothing
to do with me!
And do I get an apology from the
court? Of course
not! (And not
even following my 29
June 2004 'cry for help'
Falconer of Thoroton. In fact, the 23
August 2004 'reply' from HM Court Service implies that I am a liar! (Falconer # 1)
My follow-up to the court on this is captured in my 1 April 2003 letter. You will see my statement that I attribute events to among, others, mismanagement.
Although denied by Lord Thoroton when challenged on this by the media, there appears to be a widely held perception of gross incompetence and mismanagement of the courts. Indeed, even a judge was reported in 2001 as holding this view ( District Judge used the term "gross incompetence" in relation to administrative staff in a Magistrates Court).
(Subsequent note: In the light of my experience by then, and subsequently (Kangaroo court), I change my attribution of the reasons to: conniving and corruption).
And more was yet to come from the courts. on four other occasions. (See 16 June 2003, 31 March 2004, 28 May 2004 and 12 June 2004)
During my conversation with the court manager on 1st April (NB: Events started on 24 March, above), he tells me that although the hearing does not concern me, there may nonetheless be benefit in my attending. Not knowing what to expect, I ask my surveyor to accompany me.
When we arrive at the court, we are informed that the hearing had been cancelled. A consent order relating to the 7th Defendant, dated 2 April 2003 , had been faxed to the court by CKFT.
Of particular importance: the document states "Judgment against the Seventh Defendant dated 28 January 2003...." THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE! SUCH INJUSTICE!
In addition to my surveyor's fees of £600 (US$1,000) , it also cost me half a day of my annual leave. Added to the other days of my annual leave I had so far been using up - and would need to use (e.g. LVT hearings), I am not going to have much holiday left for the year.
As I am returning to work from West London County Court, when I arrive on the corner of [ ] and [ ], close to the KPMG building, I notice a man standing on the corner of [ ] and [ ]. He is looking at me. Aged in his 30's, he looks like a bouncer. Short dark hair, heavy features . He is wearing a suit.
I turn left into [ ] and cross to the other side of the street in the direction of [ ]. Before going into [ ], I turn round. The man is still looking at me. I purposely hold his gaze. He turns away and walks in the direction of [ ]. I stay where I am and keep looking at him. When he is at the height of the post office, on the corner with [ ], he turns round and looks in my direction. I stand there, looking back at him. We stay like that for c. 1 minute, at which point I go into [ ].
Subsequent note: CONCLUSION: What took place since 24th March (above) was a set-up organised by the Andrew David Ladsky mafia - with its devoted corrupt flunkeys in West London County Court only too happy to (continue) providing support to the extortion - hoping to get me to capitulate through a process of attrition.
As to the goon monitoring my return to the office: he was one of many more who have since crawled out of the sewers to do the same thing...and more!
Easter break 2003
There is no heating and no hot water for 5 days from Good Friday 18 April 2003 until Wednesday 23 April 2003. Mr Ladsky is away during that weekend.
is nothing the residents can do :
the porter cannot be reached (the
'emergency number' diverts to an
answer machine in his cubby-hole);
there is no emergency number for
it is impossible to access the
boiler - even if residents knew
where it is - it is likely to be
While this event may be a coincidence,
I very much doubt it.
The difficulty of keeping track of when my regular
postman will be away, added to the unreliability
of the 'Keep safe' service, leads me to set-up
a PO Box.
Doing this requires my needing to go to the
sorting office some way down the Kings Road to
get my mail. This is very inconvenient, but my
only option for ensuring that I get my mail.
Note at 2005 and 2006: At least, that is what
I was expecting. In reality, the service has
proved to be particularly unreliable leading
me to file several
complaints, eventually to
the CEO - to whom I wrote yet again, in March 2006.
(Another example of being 'trapped' as there
is no alternative. At least, I now have a 'direct
line to the top' to which I report my complaints.
End of May 2003
May 2003 application for a
Case Management Conference to West
London County Court written by
Mr Silverstone, CKFT, stating:
"As you are aware we are solicitors
for the Claimant. The
Claimant has obtained judgment or
settled proceedings against all
Defendants, except the following". The
list states the 1st , 2nd ,
5th and 7th Defendant.
But the LVT has NOT issued
its determination. (It dated its
June 2003 and I only received
it on 22 June 2003) (see this
date for further detail)
As there were 11 leaseholders listed on the 29
November 2002 claim, it provides incontrovertible
evidence ( "has obtained judgement" )
London County Court was instrumental
in making seven leaseholders
pay before the LVT issued
Hence, West London County
Court totally ignored the fact that
leaseholders had very specifically been told
by the Tribunal to not
pay - until it had issued its determination - and
it had been implemented .
For further evidence that it did this, see earlier
on my 25
March 2003 letter to the court in
which I had - yet again - brought attention
to the ongoing LVT action, as well as
reporting - very clearly - that we, the leaseholders,
had specifically been told by the LVT
to not pay the service charge. (LVT # 1.4 ; # 1.5 )
See also earlier on: (1) its 27
March 2003 reply, insisting that the action
concerned me; (2) my 30
March 2003 letter to the LVT Panel -
on which I copied the District Judge - and
in which I again repeated what we had been
told by the LVT; (3) my being finally told,
as a result of phoning the court on 1 April
"there cannot be a Charging Order against
me because there has not been a judgement against
At this point I was told "No, the
Charging Order is not against you, it is
against other residents" (as
captured in my 1
April 2003 letter to the court). (The
fact that a Charging Order can only be
issued once a judgement has been entered
was also confirmed by the Court
Service in its 23
August 2004 reply)
(NB: Remember also that between December 2002
and March 2003 I wrote four letters to
County Court highlighting the
LVT proceedings and consequently requested
that the action be stayed. I had also referred
to the LVT proceedings in my
defence to the claim dated 17 December
As just explained, in two of my letters, 25
March 2003 and 30
March 2003, I had made specific reference
to the fact that the LVT had specifically
told leaseholders to not
pay the service charge demanded)
is so, so MORALLY WRONG. SUCH INJUSTICE.
Indeed, (jumping the gun here
a bit), consider the above events
in the context of point 64, on
page 15 of the 17
June 2003 LVT report:
and other tenants (NB
not be forced to contribute
in the case of improvements
and/or works not determined
as reasonable by the Tribunal..." (See
below, 22 June 2003, for further
During the 24
June 2003 hearing, the judge told Mr Lanny
Silverstone, CKFT, that he was "wasting
my time and the court's time. The LVT report
has just been issued. You need to give the
Defendants time to review it" (leading
the judge to award
costs to me (and the other leaseholders
Consider the latter part of the judge's comment
in light of the above.
Consider also the LVT's 21
July 2003 reply to Mr Silverstone's letter
"It is not the duty of the Tribunal to
assess the particular contribution payable
by any specific tenant but only to
determine the reasonableness , or
otherwise of the service charges as
a whole to go on the service charge account from
which no doubt you can assess the proportion
for that particular tenant "
Fair minded, reasonable visitor
to the site: can you see why in the introduction
to the site, I stated that there is 'no avenue
open to me for justice and redress'?
16 June 2003
I receive a Notice
of Hearing from West
London County Court dated 12
June 2003. (WLCC # 7) It states that
the hearing is due to take place
on 24 June 2003. (Again, barely
one week notice)
I have not received a copy of
the LVT "determination" (as it signed
it on 17
June 2003). I consequently
see myself as, yet again, being
hounded by the court.
In fact, I feel that 'persecuted'
is by now a more appropriate description.
17 June 2003
In my 17
June 2003 letter to the District
London County Court (WLCC # 7), I
state, among others:
are you asking me to attend a hearing?
Why aren't you instead asking
me whether the LVT has reached
Better still, why
are you not communicating with
For the second time now your
court is causing me untold torment,
anguish and distress.
Why is your court putting
me in this situation of needing
to get very costly legal advice
when in fact I have yet to hear
from the LVT?
Why is it that your
court is not waiting for this
decision? Until there
is a decision from the LVT, what
can you enforce?
But maybe I am going
through this hell for nothing. Maybe
this is a repeat of what happened
in March. i.e. has nothing
to do with me. Is that the
22 June 2003
I receive the 17 June 2003 LVT/SC/007/120/02 LVT so-called "determination" (ref. #992 on the LVT database).
It is a damning report (which endorses my surveyor's
assessment of 24
February 2003) but it does not include
a summary of the impact of the determination
on the global sum demanded.
Hence, the LVT failed to perform its
legal remit, under s.19 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (LVT # 4).
(Evidence that this was its
remit, is captured under point 1 of its 17
June 2003 report and was also confirmed,
for example by the LVT Clerk on his voicemail
message to Piper Smith Basham ".the tribunal
is looking to determine the reasonableness
of the global figure that's attributable
to the whole block" - as captured in
Ms McLean's 9
April 2002 letter. It is also evidenced
by the LVT's 17
July 2003 reply to Mr Silverstone)
(See LVT # 5.2 for my follow-up actions - IN VAIN
with the Head of the LVTs: she twice refused
my request to have a summary included. See also Mr John Prescott # 1.3 , # 1.4 )
(As an introduction to the next few paragraphs,
please note that my surveyor, Mr Brock, LSM Partners,
is a Chartered Surveyor, member of the RICS.
To which I will add: a highly professional surveyor,
with the utmost level of integrity)
Based on my surveyor's
assessment (as the LVT, 'conveniently'
for Steel Services, failed to provide a 'global'
assessment), the outcome of the LVT determination,
in relation to the original global sum
demanded of £736,206
(US$1.3m) (£564,467 excl. VAT
and 11% management fees) is:
Amount disallowed by the LVT because
improvements: £169,498 (US$299,000) (£129,958
excl. VAT and fees) = 23% of
the global sum demanded (point 48, 29
Amount for which the LVT could
not make a determination due to lack of
specification = £188,784 (US$333,000) (£144,745
excl. VAT and fees) = 25.6% of
the global sum demanded (point 48, 29
A view supported by the LVT (*) ,
considering the terms of the lease,
as well as Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
best practice, that the reserve fund should
be used as contribution: £141,977
(US$250,000) - or 19.3% of
the global sum demanded (point 48, 29
August 2004 )
Leaving an amount that can be charged of £235,947
(US$416,000) - or 32% of the original
In other words: £500,000
the sum demanded was NOT considered
My share of this at 1.956% equals £4,615 (US$8,140)
(vs. the £14,400 (US$25,400)
originally demanded and for which a claim had
been filed against me on 29
November 2002 with a Statement of Truth endorsed by Ms Hathaway.
Hence, it provides overwhelming evidence
that the original demand was extortionate.
Without a summary, I foresee that that the battle
with Mr Ladsky et. al. is going to continue.
(I subsequently asked the Head
LVT, to include a summary - as evidenced
by my letters of 6
September 2003 and 6
October 2003 . Her initial refusal was
in her 12
September 2003 letter, the second
in her 26
November 2003 reply.
In between, I received a 6
October 2003 letter from Mr
Prescott's Office (on which I had copied my 6
September 2003 letter) stating ".unfortunately,
the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal is unable
to re-open your case"
(*) In the £500,000
(US$882,000) I have included £141,000 (US$249,000)
of contingency fund. My Counsel raised
it as an issue during the hearing as Steel Services
Russell Jones had not used it
as contribution towards the costs - and were
refusing to do so, in spite of, among others,
having stated this in the 7
June 2001 letter. (This is captured under
point 34 of the LVT determination). (But
it subsequently did in my case - see the 21
October 2003 'offer'. I believe this
to be because, among others, I had
the 7 June 2001 letter from Ms Hathaway)
Although the LVT said to not have the jurisdiction
to force Steel Services to use the contingency
fund, considering Clause 2(2)(e) of the lease (captured
under point 59 of the LVT report), under
points 62 the LVT quotes from the RICS
Code. (As you can see at the beginning
of My Diary - Year
2004, as well as under
the RICS section this 'so
called' code is a complete and utter joke)
22 June 2003
As I have now received the LVT so-called "determination",
June 2003, I write another letter to District
Judge Wright in which I highlight, among
others, that, "The judgement remains open
to appeal to the Lands Tribunal." (WLCC # 8)
Well, in spite of this, the judge decides to
nonetheless hold the hearing on 24 June 2003.
24 June 2003
A combination of costs and time factor (due
to West London
County Court's 'jumping' at CKFT's
requests, as well as crass incompetence) lead
me to represent myself at the hearing (WLCC # 8).
It is a scary, intimidating experience.
I have never set foot in a court in my life.
In addition, Mr Lanny Silverstone, CKFT, hands me in the court's waiting
area, 10 minutes before
seeing the judge , a Draft
order and Case summary , neither
of which I have seen before .
I tell him that there is absolutely
no way I am going to comment on
these given the situation in which
the documents are given to me.
He mumbles something in agreement
but, clearly intends to produce
them during the hearing.
With these documents, Mr Silverstone also hands
me a schedule of " Major
works apportionment, revised" on Martin
Russell Jones headed paper. Relative to the
amount on the claim, the sum demanded of me
(and five other leaseholders) has been reduced
by 24.19%. Mr Silverstone does not supply me
with any documentation, or indeed explanation,
as to how this reduction has been achieved (WLCC # 8).
While we are waiting to see the judge, I also
say to Mr Silverstone that I find it absolutely
outrageous that the court has been instrumental
in making seven leaseholders pay before the
LVT had issued its determination (see CKFT 23
May 2003 letter to the court). He replies, "they
made a commercial decision" . Yes,
model had worked - yet again!)
District Judge Wrightstarts by saying
that the court has received "a useful letter" from
me. At this point, I give a copy of my 22
June 2003 letter to the court to all those
present. She turns to Mr Silverstone and asks
him why he has asked for a hearing. Put on
the spot, he looks very ill at ease, like a
school boy being told off.
She continues, "you must give the residents
time to look at the LVT determination" .
(NB: How about the other leaseholders
who were made to pay BEFORE the
LVT issued its report? (as discussed
THIS IS VERY WRONG.
While I ended-up being the only leaseholder
challenging the application (and none of
the other leaseholders have contributed to my £32,000
(US$56,500) LVT costs), it does not alter
the fact that the determination applies
to the WHOLE block.
Indeed, this is captured under point 64 of the 17 June 2003 LVT/SC/007/120/02 report (ref. #992 on the LVT database) under point 64: ". the
Respondent and other tenants (NB
!!!) could not be forced to
contribute in the case of improvements and
/ or works not determined as reasonable by
reprimands Mr Silverstone by saying "You
are wasting my time and the court's
Great, how about my time?
And why is it that no notice was
taken of my request to cancel the
hearing? (My Diary 16 June 2003 ; 17 June 2003)
Oh! but of course: who
am I relative to a solicitor?
She orders that Steel Services pays my costs
for the day (and that of other leaseholders present) - and
obviously, refuses Mr Silverstone's demand that
I (and the other leaseholders) pay his client's
costs for the day. (This was captured in an Order
June 2003 )
Given these events, I hold the view that the
hearing should not have taken place. What
Steel Services-CKFT wanted out of the day was
the opportunity to put more pressure on me (and
the other leaseholders) to pay what it demanded
- and the judge obliged (wasting
taxpayers' money in the process).
(If you consider the cost of all the court and
tribunal hearings connected with landlord-tenant
disputes, the leasehold system is costing
everybody in the UK a lot of money.
(Consider that Steel Services only paid £500
(US$880) to file the 29 November 2002
11 leaseholders). Money that could be
spent on hospitals, increasing 'senior
citizens' pensions, caring for children with
disabilities, providing homes to the homeless,
facilities for the visually impaired, etc,
sickening. All to help a minority line
their pockets at the expense of the majority)
15 July 2003
I send a letter to the judge at West London
County Court, dated 15
July 2003, highlighting the
findings from the LVT determination and that
Steel Services-Martin Russell Jones have
not implemented them (WLCC # 9).
Sunday 27 July 2003 - Around 13h00
window is open indicating that I
am in the flat.
Mr Ladsky holds
a conversation with some people
for c. 15 minutes while leaning
against the railing immediately
in front of my window.
I view this as harassment and
attempt to intimidate.
(NB: I reported this (and the 27 August 2003
event) in my 28
August 2003 letter to Ms Lisa
McLean , Piper
Smith Basham, by then,
my newly appointed solicitors. In her 1
September 2003 letter she wrote that
she had "noted my comments about Mr Ladsky" .
While in her 4
September 2003 letter she wrote "The
references to Mr Ladsky are, I feel, a separate
issue. If his actions (and of course it would
have to be proved that they were his or his
agents actions) amount to harassment and intimidation
then you could consider injunctive proceedings.
These would be entirely separate and as you
can imagine not inexpensive. The matters you
refer to are not sufficient (unfortunately)
to justify an injunction being brought" .
While Ms McLean did not ask me whether other
incidents had occurred, on 19
August 2003 I had supplied her with, among
others, a copy of the 4
February 2003 letter to me from Mr Lanny
Silverstone, CKFT, containing false accusations,
as well as the fact that Mr Ladsky had reported
me to Kensington & Chelsea police.
It is worth noting that I encountered
the same kind of attitude from Mr Gallagher,
counsel, when I reported, at the 28
October 2003 meeting with him, that
I had suffered on-going harassment and intimidation,
as well as assault from the time I challenged
the true nature of the works.
Commenting on this under point 29(14) of his 9
June 2004 reply to my complaint, Mr Gallagher
"Though I was virtually certain
that NKDR did not have a viable
claim against the landlord"
This comment (among others) led me to write
a 7-page reply in my 29
August 2004 response (under points 106 - 117)
highlighting all the instances of harassment
and intimidation I and other residents, as
well as our local Citizen Advice Bureau had
Evidently not expecting that I had this
comprehensive amount of evidence against Mr
Ladsky, in his 11
October 2004 reply, under point 4(7)
Mr Gallagher wrote "the allegations of
harassment by Mr Ladsky and Mr Ladsky's complaint
to the police etc - these are not matters
that appear to relate to the allegations
against me and were not matters discussed
in conference, save for a very summary overview"
Funny how Mr Gallagher initially had an opinion
that I " did not have a viable claim against
the landlord" and then changed tack claiming
that it was only briefly discussed. As I wrote
under point 22 of my 31
October 2004 reply, "Mr Gallagher
is underplaying my reply to his point 29 (14)"
9 August 2003
I write another letter to the judge in
County Court, dated 9
August 2003 (WLCC # 10) - stating, among others:
"There are no side deals to be
made with the Claimant . costs
must be totally clear and transparent - to
ALL lessees . What each lessee is
required to pay is clearly defined by means
of a fixed percentage (see the attached list
of percentage for each of the 35 flats supplied
by SSL-Martin Russell Jones in their 7
August 2002 application to the LVT"
Nowhere does the lease state that the share
of the service charges payable by individual
lessees is dependent on:
(1)Their amount of 'backbone' and courage
to challenge a demand for money they do not
(2) Their resistance to prolonged harassment
(3) Their determination to persist in the
face of adversity and their ability to handle
the resulting torment, anguish and distress"
In between CKFT's application for a hearing
on 26 August 2003 and the 24 June 2003 hearing,
it had sent me three letters ( 25
June 2003 , 24
July 2003 and 7
August 2003 ) in which it used what
can only be described as bullying, blackmail
and intimidation tactics in an attempt
to force me to strike a deal. (No, I am
not going to write 'allegedly'. I believe
the evidence speaks for itself)
be seen under Mr
Gallagher , he held
the view that the fact I did not
want to 'strike a deal' with Steel
Services was one of the factors that
worked against me
"consider the fact
that NKDR had not accepted previous
invitations to attend discussions
on settlement in the light of
the LVT determination" (point
June 2004 ); [I] "expressly
rejected CKFT's offers of a
round table." (point 15, 9
June 2004 )
In other words, Mr Gallagher
held against me the fact I have
strong moral principles that
prevented me from being treated
differently from the other leaseholders
i.e. striking a deal on terms
other than those specified in
As you would expect, my
lease (Clause 2(2)(c)(i) of) makes it
abundantly clear that there is a set and equitable
manner for the allocation of the service charges
among the leaseholders. (Other evidence includes:
(1) Ms Hathaway's 30
August 2002 letter to me "The amount
demanded is as the terms of the lease.
There is no separate list. Details of the percentages
are included in the schedules to previous
sum demanded is based on the percentage
of your lease, which is 1.956%..."
(2) These percentages were
supplied by Steel Services-Martin
Russell Jones with the 7
August 2002 application to the LVT. They
are also clearly evidenced, among others by
the documents supplied to the court by CKFT,
for the 24
June 2003 hearing and the 26
August 2003 hearing.
(3) The LVT's 21
July 2003 reply to Mr Silverstone, CKFT,
letter of 17
July 2003 ".duty of the Tribunal..
to determine the reasonableness, or otherwise
of the service charges as a whole to go on
the service charge account from which
no doubt you can assess the proportion for
that particular tenant " .
This clearly demonstrates that the LVT views
the calculation of the service charges
payable by individual lessees as being based
on a fixed
global sum to which the relevant fixed percentage
share is applied - as the norm/
understands the terms of the lease
as such - which
indeed it is.
Mr Gallagher knew full well from the 28 October
2003 meeting with my surveyor, as well as documents
he had been provided with, that Steel Services
had not implemented the LVT
determination. Hence, Mr Gallagher held
against me the fact I had obeyed the instructions
given to me by the tribunal at the 29
October 2002 pre-trial hearing to not
pay the service charge demanded until
it had issued its determination and it had
therefore been implemented).
Yet again, in my 9 August 2003 letter to the
judge, I emphasise the findings from the LVT
determination - and the fact they have not been
16 - 19 August 2003
a letter I send to all the major
newspapers (e.g. The
Guardian), as well as Newsnight
(BBC2), the BBC Radio 4 programmes 'You
and Yours' and 'Face the facts',
Private Eye, etc.
A dozen letters in total. Every
time I supply a substantial number
of enclosures in support of my
Two or three show some initial interest but,
in the end, only one, the Sunday
Telegraph, pursues the story in its 19
October 2003 issue, heading it "My property nightmare - Extortionate
service charges" . Generally, it seems
to me that the majority of journalists want 'easy
stories', those that do not require time to
understand and can be encapsulated into little
Landlord-tenant disputes do not fall into this
category as, while the root cause which seems
to me to be pretty consistent across the board
is very straightforward to understand: ' rip-off ',
the details of the case can be voluminous and
consequently appear to be complex. Only an investigative
journalist of the calibre of Anthea Messy who
wrote the Sunday
Telegraph article, has the competence
to treat this kind of story (very clearly,
she invested the time to ensure she understood
the details of the case).
In addition to the 'multi-event' nature of landlord-tenant
disputes which require time to understand, I
suggest that conflict of interest is likely to
be another factor that prevents reporting of
cases such as mine in some media. Newspapers
that generate significant advertising revenues
from property developers are, I venture, less
likely to run stories that risk killing the 'golden
goose'. Likewise with newspapers that generate
significant revenue from legal appointments ads
by the private and government sector, etc.
Furthermore, for some media I am guessing that
there are probably concerns that an attack on
the leasehold system amounts to, in effect, attacking
the very core of the British establishment given
the profile of the biggest freehold owners in
the U.K. - and they do not want to find themselves
in a 'difficult situation' for the sake of highlighting
the terrible misery suffered by 'nobodies' such
as myself. However, to be fair, some of the more 'enlightened'
press does occasionally write quite critical
(and justly so) articles on leasehold-related
With every letter I send to the media, I also
copy several ministers - including
the Prime Minister. (In my
introduction to the site I state that "nobody
can plead ignorance' of my case, nor of my
views". You see what I mean).
It seems that the various departments forward
my letter to Mr
John Prescott's Office. It includes,
for example, my letter to the Home Office as
evidenced by the 27
August 2003 reply. (Note that in my letter
I refer to events with Kensington & Chelsea
police. Evidently, the Home Office does not
consider that this matter comes into its court.
A hearing takes on 26
August 2003 following a 6
August 2003 application, signed by Ms
Ayesha Salim, CKFT - under a Statement
of Truth - "We CKFT
intend to apply for an Order that (1) There
be Judgement for the Claimant against the
Second Defendant and Fifth Defendant...(2)
The Defendants do pay the Claimant's costs
of those proceedings - Because The Claimant
believes that the Second (and Fifth) Defendants
have no real prospects of successfully defending
the Claim and the Claimant knows of no other
compelling reason why the case should be
disposed of at Trial"
It also states that "Following the decision
on 24th June 2003, MRJ issued a revised
Major Work Apportionment setting out the revised
estimate for the works and calculation
of the percentages due from each of the tenants"
This is not true as, among
others, the documents include a " Major
works apportionment 24th June 2002 revised " issued
by Martin Russell Jones. Compared to
the version issued for the 24
June 2003 hearing, this one lists all
In each instance, the sum
demanded has been revised down by 24.19%
same amount as for the 24
June 2003 hearing (a document
which had been handed to me by Mr
Silverstone, CKFT, at the 24 June 2003
hearing - with
no supporting evidence). The
only difference is that in this instance
the document covers the 35 flats
(which was the total number of flats at
Consequently, given the blatantly obvious (supported
by my surveyor's assessment of 31
July 2003) that the LVT determination
had not been reflected in
the document produced for the 24
June 2003 hearing (and, in any case,
a Section 20 Notice had not been issued
following the determination), it follows
that what Ms
Salim's claim - under a
Statement of Truth - IS
(And it is not the only false
claim made by Ms Salim - under a Statement
of Truth - in her 6 August 2003 application
to the court - see CKFT # 6.6)
judge did not
challenge Ms Salim on the claims contained
in the 6
August 2003 application.
This is in spite of my 22
June 2003 , 15
July 2003 and 9
August 2003 letters
in which I related the main
points of the LVT determination - and
to the latter, attached,
among others, a copy of my 31
July 2003 surveyor's
assessment of the LVT determination - which
clearly demonstrates that
the LVT determination has
not been implemented.
In other words: I might
as well have been writing in
As I had found the 24 June 2003 hearing experience
quite harrowing due to my lack of knowledge and
experience, for this hearing, I opted to appoint
Piper Smith Basham to represent me.
In my 21
August 2003 letter to Ms McLean (PSB # 2), I had
made it very clear that I was not prepared
to 'strike a deal' with Mr Ladsky et.
" About CKFT's offer "to discuss" with
them i.e. try to strike a deal. I am
not prepared to do this. This would be a very
unwise move as it would allow them to get away
with the need to redraw the specification,
thereby leaving me exposed to further demands
at a later stage which, I can guarantee, would
be made (letters from MRJ of 26
March 2002 and 15
July 2002 ).
I also added " By forcing them to do this,
it will put a line under the costs i.e.
they will not have any comeback and,
if they do come back, I will be in a much better
position to challenge them. Last but not least,
I am also hoping that by doing this they
will give up on the block as I am taking away
their opportunity to illegally charge works
to the residents " (How
naïve of me! This scam had been in the
making for years)
to seeing the judge, a conversation
took place between Ms McLean, counsel
and Ms Salim (I did not join this
Given my position, it resulted
in 'an understanding' to get me
to pay the costs I had recognised
in my 9
August 2003 letter to the
court. (NB: Although note that
the demand was in breach of the
terms of my lease).
During the meeting with the judge, Ms Salim's
explanation for the fact that her application
referred to the full amount when, in fact, now,
the sum proposed was less than what she claimed
in her application, she replied: "it was
a clerical error" . And this was
accepted by the judge without the blink of an
At the hearing, I agreed
to pay the sum of £2,255 (US$4,000) (26
August 2003 order). Yet, I did
not owe a single penny because
the demand was not compliant with the terms
of my lease as it was not supported by certified
accounts - as I had stated in my defence
to the claim. In addition, it was in breach
of statutory requirements defined under sections
20 and 21 of the Landlord & Tenant Act
Indeed, not only was the 15 July 2002 demand
not a Section 20 Notice, following the LVT report
Steel Services-Martin Russell Jones has not issued
a Section 20 Notice .
prompted me to agree to this payment
(1) the realisation
that fair and just treatment of
the case was evidently not on West
London County Court's agenda - and
that the dice were, in my view,
heavily loaded in favour of Steel
(2) I had been
told by my solicitor and barrister 'acting
for me' on the day that, if I did
not make a payment, it would be
likely to be held against me. I
Yet, this very action was highlighted
Gallagher as a factor that
worked against me "consider
the fact that. summary judgement
had already been entered on part
of the claim" (point 66, 9
June 2004 )
27 August 2003 - 22h45
As I return from work at 22h45 and I am about 30 metres from the main door to the block, I pass Mr Ladsky on the pavement. He is accompanied by a blond woman. As I go by, he says to me: "Loser! "
(I assume he told his companion that he had won the previous day in court (26 Aug 03, above). It can be argued that he did, but lost on getting his costs. A token of justice for me!).
31 August 2003 - Around 22h45
Somebody makes very loud, thumping noises with their feet in the entrance corridor. The level of noise is such that it is clearly intentional. The lift is activated for a long time.
I can only conclude that it is Mr Ladsky. Why would anybody else do this? In addition, he knew from my 9 August letter to the Court (WLCC # 10) that I can hear if noise is made in the entrance corridor.
4 September 2003
As explained, in my 21
August 2003 letter to Ms McLean, Piper
Smith Basham (PSB # 2), I had made it very clear
that I was not prepared to 'strike a
deal' with Mr Ladsky et. al. Well, as can
be seen in her 4
September 2003 letter, she and CKFT
were not giving up on the idea:
"Incidentally (NB !!!) ,
I took a call from CKFT today and, in view
of the costs being incurred by both sides they
asked whether we would be amenable to any deals (NB
I said that I had noted that you had previously
refused to deal with them but in the event
that they wished to make an offer (NB
!!!) I was, as they well know,
obliged to put it to you (NB !!!)
They intimated that they will make a Part
36 offer (NB !!!) The
relevance of this is that if they make an offer
which is rejected and, following trial the
judge makes a determination that is no better
than the offer that they had made then you
will have to pay their costs from the time
the part 36 offer had been made up until the
trial" (NB Please note
Note the "incidentally" . This made
it the second time in the space of three days
that Ms McLean was trying to push me into making
a deal with Mr Ladsky et. al.
I reply as follows on 9
"I maintain what I said: the situation is
the result of Steel Services/Mr Ladsky and
MRJ's doing - not mine (nor indeed that of
the other residents).my position has remained
unchanged: 'No' as this does not achieve
my objectives "
As the below events in October - December 2003
show, the machinery would go into full gear with
the aim of getting me to 'strike a deal'
During September, I go through hell with Ms McLean and Mr Twyman, Piper Smith Basham, as I battle with them in relation to my 20C Application to the LVT (to stop Steel Services from putting its LVT related costs on the service charges). My reasons for wanting to go through with it are captured, for example, in my 19 September 2003 and 23 September 2003 faxes to Ms McLean.
Ms McLean and Mr Twyman claim that I cannot make a 20C Order Application for the whole block.
They both emphasise this most strongly at a meeting I have at their office on 22 September. I argue that their advice is incorrect given that my previous solicitor had, on 7 April 2003, informed the LVT of my intention to file an application - an action confirmed by my Counsel at the 28 April 2003 LVT hearing. (Ms McLean attended this last day of the hearing on behalf of another/other leaseholder/s Piper Smith Basham was acting for at the time).
am in a dreadful state and break
down in tears .
As I explained in my 19
September 2003 fax, I envisage
leaseholders knocking on my door
when they see LVT related costs
in the accounts for the block.
(Although not related, I particularly
remember Mr Ladsky's question to
the Chair at the 5 February 2003 LVT hearing: "Will Ms Rawé pay
the £250,000 (US$441,000) of
additional costs that will be incurred
as a result of the delay in the
start of the works due to hearing?" )
I imagine that I am going
to be ruined. This
leads from tears to sobbing as
I contemplate what I will do
I no longer trust Piper Smith Basham,
especially as I subsequently remember the fact
that before I became a client, Ms McLean had
written to my then solicitors on 23
"Are you able to confirm whether or not
your client. will be proceeding with her application
under section 20C of the Landlord and Tenant
Act 1985. We note your client's views previously
but we simply wish to know whether or not your
client is making the application" .
Not doubt here: HER application.
Very clearly, she did not ask out of concern
for my welfare.
As I wrote to the Law Society's caseworker in
June 2004 reply (under points
20 - 30) (in the context of my 16 March 2004) complaint against PSB:
"Isn't this extraordinary? When Piper Smith & Basham
is advising 2 other residents they hold the
view that I can - by myself - make a 20C Order
application for the whole block. However, when
I become a client, they change their view in
the totally opposite direction by saying that
I cannot - on my own - make an application
that will apply to the whole block - and, in
the process, do their absolute damnest to ensure
I do not proceed with my application. This
begs the question: WHY? "
I contact LEASE who confirm my view and point
me to the Lands Tribunal case' Langford
Court v Doren Limited in support
Smith Basham # 7.18 , as well as
CKFT and Martin
Russell Jones # 43 for further detail)
Sunday 26 October 2003 - At 19h30
A friend of mine and I leave
my flat to go to a shop on Brompton Road. As
we are walking along the back of Harrods, I feel
somebody walking very closely behind us. I confirm
this by looking in the Harrods windows. It is
a man. He is c. 4 metres behind us.
After walking down c. 20 metres into Walton
St , by the church, I turn round and see the
man who is Caucasian, c.1.70m, late 20s-early
30s, wavy hair, strong, middle-eastern nose. It
seems to me that he might be of Jewish origin. He
is barely 4m behind us. When I turn round
he stops and pretends to look (in an admiring
way) at the building closest to him - which is
the church. (It is night time!).
my friend that the man is following
My friend does not share my view.
I tell him okay, let's put it to
We cross the road. The man immediately
follows us. We walk about
5 metres then cross the road again
and look at him.
He is looking at us with an expression
of surprise on his face.
We cross Pont Street and continue on Walton
St . We then cross the street again to
go into Ovington Square. I know there
is a deep recess on the southwest side
of Ovington Square where we hide in the shadow.
wait c. 45 seconds. This leads my friend
to say, "See,
I told you. He is not following us" . I
reply that we should wait a little bit
longer. I barely finish saying this when
the man walks by without seeing us. We
let him walk for about 15 metres then start walking
quietly behind him.
It is clear that he thinks we have gone up the
square using the other side as, when he gets
to the top of the square and he does not see
us, he turns round. On seeing us, he crosses
over to the other side of the street.
by then we have reached his height, my friend
says to him "Good evening. Alright
then, yes?" The man becomes clearly
embarrassed and disorientated, not knowing what
to do. He walks back down the square, using
the way he had come. My friend
agrees with me: the man had definitely been following
us. Thank you I say. It is not
the first time this has happened, and I know
I am not imagining it.
22 October 2003
Ms McLean informs me that CKFT has faxed a " Part
36 Offer " the previous day. This 'offer'
is for £6,350 (US$11,200) + interest
(!!!). (The original demand was £14,400)
Aside from the audacity of asking for payment
of interest, this 'offer', written by Ms Ayesha
Salim, starts with "Our client maintains
that as a result of the LVT decision dated
17 June 2003, it is entitled to payment from
your client of the sum of £10,917.27" (US$19,250). Which
is totally untrue.
Among others, she also blames me for the LVT
proceedings ".and to continue to defend these
proceedings is her own. Her decision to do so
has caused inconvenience and expense to all the
lessees of the building..." . (As captured
under point 64 of the 17
June 2003 LVT report, "Although she
is in the minority, the Respondent's legal
right to challenge the Applicant's proposal,
as she has done, cannot be fettered" )
21 October 2003 was the date set by West
London County Court in 26
August 2003 directions for the exchange
of witness statements. The witness statements
HAD to be in court by 16h00. Ms Salim faxed
the offer at 17h43, hence nearly two hours
later - and there was no witness statement.
I hold the view that the trigger for the offer
is that, from liaising with Piper Smith Basham,
CKFT and its client realised that I was prepared
to go to trial over this action: I had written
Statement and was appointing a barrister. The
last thing they wanted to do was proceed to
I of the opinion that Mr Ladsky et.
al. wanted to avoid proceeding to
In my view, because a trial
results in an official record
of evidence available in the
public domain - unlike
when the leaseholder accepts
/ is made to accept 'an offer'
which allows the rogue
landlord and his equally rogue
aides to come out 'smelling of
roses' (and with their coffers
substantially fuller than they
Furthermore, I suggest that this
consideration is even more important
in the case of a defendant like
me who has an overwhelming body
of evidence against the landlord
and his aides.
As evidenced by Ms McLean's letter of 4
September 2003 , this had been the intention
all along (i.e. from the very beginning of
my relationship with Piper
" Incidentally (NB !!!) ,
I took a call from CKFT today .but in the event
that they wished to make an offer (NB
!!!) I was, as they well know,
obliged to put it to you (NB !!!) They
intimated that they will make a Part 36 offer (NB
28 October 2003
A meeting takes place with Mr
Stan Gallagher (the Counsel 'I' selected), Ms McLean and Mr
Brock, my surveyor, to discuss the reply to Steel
Services' 'offer' of 21
October 2003 .
there is a palpable lack
of support for my case from Ms McLean
and Mr Gallagher .
Ms McLean spends a substantial
part of the time focusing on the
negatives - placing strong emphasis
on potential threats - instead
of ensuring that I receive a balanced
view. (As I captured under point
18 of my 16
March 2004 complaint against
It feels to me as though they are
both overlooking the circumstances of
my case .
In an attempt to summon support, I emphasise
that I have ended up in this situation
through no fault of my own. All that
I did was dare to ask the question
"You want £14,400 from me, what are
you going to spend it on?"
I add that we are in the year 2003, not medieval
times. Yet, not only am I put in this situation
because I have dared to ask the question, I have
also, as a result, suffered extensive harassment
and intimidation, as well as assault, resulting
in my being constantly in fear for my life. I
add that, among others, this is a breach of my
Human Rights. (Some of my comments were captured
by Ms McLean in her 28
October 2003 attendance memo)
They are not considering my lease.
In a landlord-tenant dispute of this nature,
it is paramount to look at the terms of the lease.
(Consider that both claim to be specialist in
It amounts to a continuation of my experience
with Ms McLean as she previously ignored three
requests from me to consider the terms of my
lease (my letters of 3
September 2003 , 9
September 2003 and 21
September 2003 )
( NB: The issue about Piper
Smith Basham not considering my lease is captured
under points 23 - 27 of my 16
March 2004 complaint. It is worth noting
that the Law Society did
not pick-up on the reply from Mr Skuse, Piper
Smith Basham , in his 1
July 2004 letter
"There is certainly no evidence on our
file to suggest that this was a regularly
raised topic" (!!!)
In particular, asking Piper Smith Basham why
it (1) expects clients to identify the issues;
(2) expects them to do this repeatedly; (3) and
still not take action. I replied to this under
point 12 in my 30
November 2004 correspondence to the Law
process of forcing Mr Gallagher and
Ms McLean to consider my lease, I
take from my file a copy of the 21
September 2003 letter I sent
to Ms McLean, from which I read
some of the extracts.
I feel they are both uneasy at
my bringing this up. Instead of
considering, what I view as the
relevant points, Mr Gallagher launches
into a discussion on the rateable
value and the arbitration clause.
He then dismisses both points
as not worth pursuing (as evidenced
in Ms McLean's attendance note
October 2003 ).
Yet, 50% of the 13
November 2003 reply to the 'offer' he
drafted relates to the clause on the rateable
value. It barely touches on the real issue
as the only comment he included in relation
to my lease is "The absence of due compliance
with the service charge certification provisions
prescribed by the lease" ).
(This is captured, among others, under points
2.1, 26 - 33 and 64 of my 5
April 2004 complaint against Mr Gallagher,
and under point 19 of my 25
March 2005 reply to the Bar Council.
In these documents, I have described what
Mr Gallagher wrote as 'unobjectionable padding').
(I communicated the issue to Ms McLean e.g.
in my 26
November 2003 letter)
As to the 17 June 2003 LVT/SC/007/120/02 determination (ref. #992 on the LVT database), although
a significant part of the time is spent discussing
my surveyor's assessment of the ' offer ',
I also feel that insufficient weight
is given to the LVT determination .
It is a very damning report: the impact
was to reduce the sum demanded by nearly 70%
from £736,000 (US$1.3m) to £235,947
(US$416,000). In other words, £500,000
(US$882,000) of the sum demanded was not
considered as "reasonable". (See 22 June
2003 for further detail). Surely, it should be
held most strongly against Steel Services.
How much more damning evidence is required?
This also amounts to a continuation of the battle
I have been having with Ms McLean. Indeed, from
the time I appointed Piper Smith Basham, I have
been emphasising / explaining / pointing out
to Ms McLean the issue / implications of the
LVT determination at least 8 times (e.g. my letters
August 2003 , 28
August 2003 , 3
September 2003 , 12
October 2003 ).
Eventually, in her 3
October 2003 letter, Ms McLean wrote:
"We had also discussed CKFT to prepare
proper specification so that the
items that were insufficient could be properly
This was a follow-up to my wanting to contact
the LVT to ask for a summary of its determination
(see LVT section for further detail).
Ms McLean also wrote "I accept that you
had asked repeatedly for the specification.
Where does this point take us now?"
It must also be noted that Ms McLean
had attended the last day of the LVT hearing
on 28 April 2003 ; had a copy of the
17 June 2003 LVT report and of my surveyor's
assessment , as well as my letters to
the court ( 15
July 2003 , 9
August 2003 ).
Furthermore, in her 23
June 2003 letter to my then solicitors
"There would seem to be a fairly substantial
reduction in the sums claimed by the applicant." .
While in her 9
April 2003 letter, also to my then solicitors - (which
was therefore before the
LVT had issued its determination), she wrote,
"...we have spoken to a surveyor whom we
had instructed. His preliminary view
is that the service charges seem high."
Contrast the above with what Ms McLean wrote
in her 28
October 2003 attendance note:
" ...they had sent her a demand for £14,400
which it now seemed was an incorrect
(I remarked on the "seemed" in
October 2003 letter Ms McLean - and also
captured this in my complaint)
(Likewise, the Law Society caseworker
opted to ignore this point in my complaint.
In my 6
June 2004 reply to her 2
June 2004 letter I wrote, "... you
have omitted.the findings contained
in the 17 June 2003 report by the LVT
which were persistently ignored by Ms McLean
and Mr Twyman over a period of 4 months -
during which time I emphasised / explained
/ pointed out the issue to them at
least 8 times" .
The caseworker replied in her 8
June 2004 email: " I note
the amendments you have suggested. For
the time being, I have not discussed these
with the solicitors, but will do so at a later
stage, if necessary" . As I highlighted
under points 38 and 103 of my 30
November 2004 reply, she never
raised this .)
the meeting, I also feel under quite
a lot of pressure to not argue and 'get
it over and done with'.
On two occasions, Ms McLean repeats
what she has already told me 2-3
times previously: "If
you go to a hearing and the Court
decides that the amount you have
to pay is just £1.00 more
than the offer, then you will have
to pay for Steel Services costs" (e.g.
October 2003 letter
As on these previous occasions, I reply that,
because of the lack/insufficient specification
identified by the Tribunal, it cannot be determined
what, if any of this amount is actually due by
leaseholders. Consequently, if the Tribunal could
not determine the reasonableness of the sum demanded
for these items, how could the Court rule that
I owe even £1.00 more?
In my view, the reply ought to be handled differently
but both my lack of experience of this type of
situations, as well as lack of knowledge of legal
matters (not to mention the obvious opposition
I am facing) prevent me from challenging the
Yet, my gut feel is that I am right. My lease
may be 'heavy going' in places, but it does not
require a PhD to understand it - and certainly
not the sections that are, in my view, of particular
relevance. In addition, in relation to the LVT
determination, not only are the findings clear,
there is also the assessment from my surveyor.
Likewise, I have the mental ability to understand
the requirements stated under Section 20 of the
L&T Act 1985. It is not rocket science.
need to get another opinion but,
who to turn to?
The difficulty is finding another
solicitor who not only specialises
in this area but, of paramount
importance, that I can trust.
There is also the issue that a
lot has already taken place on
my case. The stage I am at, it
is unlikely that another solicitor
will be willing to step in.
If I do find one, I am going to have to explain my case from scratch. It means that I am going to have to take more time off work (preparing file, etc). It is going to be difficult as I have a lot going on at work. Last, but not least, the solicitor's learning curve is going to be very costly. By now, I have already spent over £45,000 (US$79,500) of my life savings (£32,000 (US$56,400) of this related to the LVT hearings)
Ms McLean is evidently aware of the dilemma I am facing as, during the meeting, when I say that I am going to consult another solicitor, she says to Mr Gallagher, "so much has happened on this case" . In other words, she is not too worried about my going somewhere else.
As you will see below from other events, Ms McLean and Mr Twyman tried to - ' allegedly ' - capitalise on my situation.
You will see that they are not averse to resort to psychological tactics, more precisely, bullying and intimidation to achieve their objectives. (I compiled what I view as a dozen examples of the use of these tactics under points 2 - 19 in my 17 June 2004 letter to the Law Society). (My ' alleged accusations ' as the Law Society does not share my view).
(Subsequent note: NO 'allegedly' as McLean, Twyman and Gallagher were in fact batting for Ladsky - see Gallagher-Summary of events)
While it is highly unlikely that I will find another solicitor to take on my case at this stage, I decide that it still does not stop me getting another opinion on specific areas. In the meantime, I also do some desk research in order to get a better, more balanced - and more accurate - assessment of my position.
1 November 2003 - C.A.R.L. AGM
There is an AGM for C.A.R.L. (Campaign
for the Abolition of Residential Leasehold) and
the Chair has given me a 15-minute slot to talk
about my case. Two other people will also
talk after me about their case.
About 60 people have turned up. The first speaker
is Kevin Cahill. He has undertaken a major
research project on land ownership in the UK, and published his findings in a book entitled
'Who owns Britain?'
The most shocking of his key findings is that,
currently, 0.6 per cent of
the British people own 69 per cent of the land - and they
are mostly the same families who owned it at
the beginning of the 19th century. However, apparently, ownership of c. half the country is not registered ("Who owns Britain? Biggest landowners agree to reveal large scale of holdings", The Independent, 9 Apr 07)
In one of the numerous press articles written
following the publication of the book,
a journalist wrote:
"Why does the Queen and eight of her immediate
family need one-quarter of the land available.?"
"Why do 189,000 people own 88 per cent of
the land, receive £4 billion [US$7
billion] a year in subsidy, yet pay no
tax?" (Related article - "Plots of money - Why are the richest landowners beneficiaries of huge public subsidies? asks Kevin Cahill", The Guardian , 20 Aug 03)
See C.A.R.L.'s newsletter, The Leaseholder, (1) Spring 2003 -Issue 9 for a reproductioon of the Daily Mail article "Isn't it time to overturn this unfair law?" ; (2) Autumn 2005-Issue 15 "Land reform long overdue" ; (3) Member's 'Letter to the Editor', Spring 2008-Issue 23.
- 28 Apr 12, Evening Standard article - "Wealthiest share £414bn fortune", reported that "the Duke of Westminster's central London property empire worth an estimated £7.35bn")
It helps understand why this island
still has the archaic, feudal leasehold
system in the 21st century.
(And they are exporting their medieval method of operating e.g. Duke of Westminster's acquisition of two famous flea markets in Paris who, within one year, announced rent increases of between 35% and 70% ("Siege of the people's castle - This British aristocrat cannot be allowed to destroy Parisians' beloved flea markets", The Guardian, 17 Oct 07)
It is my turn to speak. My emotions are raw
from what I am going through, like a bucket continuously
on the brink of overflowing. On 2-3 occasions,
I have to make a big effort to fight back the
tears. My throat constricts. I find it difficult
to speak. Deep breath in, and I can continue.
However, it is good to be able to share this
horrendous nightmare. 'Share' because I know
that the majority of the audience has similar
stories to tell. I know from some of them that
theirs is worse than mine is. As I look at the
audience, I think that their combined suffering - which
is the direct result of the leasehold system - is
of monumental proportion.
rogue landlords and their equally
rogue aides - and the system that
actively supports and helps them - is
a very traumatic and extremely lonely
Knowing that other people are
going through similar battles is
(sadly) a great moral booster.
I am not alone. We cannot
all be wrong in our assessment .
As I am speaking, I spot somebody from LEASE
in the audience. He leaves the meeting the minute
I finish talking.
I leave my 'friends in arms' feeling better
than when I arrived.
4 November 2003
I meet with a new solicitor (following the above 28 Oct 03 meeting) (who
very kindly gives me 1.5hr of his time free of
charge). Among others, he endorses my
view that, given the circumstance of my case,
I ought to be claiming my costs against Steel
In the evening (always the evening!), I start
to compile a letter to Mr Twyman and finish it
over the following two evenings in between doing
more desk research.
In this letter, which I had biked over to Piper
Smith Basham first thing on 7
November 2003 , I highlight various points:
(i) false statements in the ' offer '; (ii)
the fact that the lack of specification identified
by the Tribunal has not been addressed, which
I calculate results in an overcharge of £1,735
(US$3,000); (iii) non-compliance with
the terms of my lease. I also do not agree
to the payment of interest (thereby re-stating
what Mr Gallagher had said at the 28 October
The main difference relative to what had been
discussed at the 28 October 2003 meeting is that
I am disagreeing with a term of the offer,
namely that "each party pays for its costs" - asking
instead that Steel Services pays for my costs.
At the end of the letter, I ask Mr Twyman to
liaise with Mr Gallagher and emphasise that I
want to review the draft.
Thursday 6 November 2003
I try phoning Mr Twyman around 13h00 to let
him know that I will have my reply hand-delivered
to him first thing the following day. As I cannot
talk to him, I leave this message on his voicemail.
Friday 7 November 2003
The courier's log shows delivery of my 7
November 2003 letter at 9:02 a.m. This
leaves five full working days to the deadline
of 13 November for the reply to the 'offer'.
Tuesday 11 November 2003
minus 48 hours to the deadline and
I have not heard from Mr
I phone him asking about the status
of the situation.
He is extremely curt with
me and refuses to discuss my
reply - other than
say "you have rejected
their offer" .
When I try to explain, he says
that he does not have the
time to discuss .
I do not understand the implication of what
he said, "You have rejected their offer" . It
worries me that I am doing something that will
have serious consequences. Very clearly, Mr Twyman
is playing on my lack of knowledge and experience
of this type of situation - as well as the fact
that I am 'trapped' (no chance of finding another
solicitor). I view this as an abuse of
the fiduciary relationship.
He tells me that he has "just sent your
letter to Mr Gallagher" and that he "hope [s] that
he will have the time to look at it" .
As forwarding of a letter is an activity that
can easily be handled by an assistant, I view
this and his appalling response as a psychological
game intended to gain control / dominance by
causing fear, anxiety, confusion and insecurity.
In other words: bullying and intimidation aimed
at making me do what he wants (as I captured
in my 17
June 2004 letter to the Law Society).
Events over the next 48 hours further confirmed
Anxious, insecure and confused all accurately
reflect the way I am feeling now. The psychological
game is working but, bruised and battered as
I am, I am also a fighter. The benefit of a childhood
that has entailed, among others, spending time
in an orphanage, has given me a very strong character
In the evening, I continue doing desk research
on Part 36 Offers. A friend looks at the Civil
Procedure Rules and identifies the ruling by Lord
Woolf on the requirements for the working
of Part 36 Offers in the Ford v GKR
Construction Ltd  1 All ER 802. I stumble
upon it as well in the course of my research.
Among others, the ruling states: "...the
parties must be provided with the information
which they require in order to assess
whether..to accept that offer."
I have not been provided with
this information - given that the LVT determination
has not been implemented - and a Section 20 Notice
has not been issued. Indeed, I have repeated
this several times to Piper Smith Basham e.g.
my letters of 21
August 2003 , 3
September 2003 , 12
October 2003 and 7
November 2003 .
I have a near sleepless night.
Wednesday 12 November 2003
Given my telephone conversation with Mr Twyman
the previous day, I try to speak to him
again today. I am told that Mr Twyman is "out
of the office all day" . I try to
speak to his secretary. She is unavailable. I
leave a message asking her to phone me
does not. Equal continuation of the psychological
am in a state of extreme distress
and anguish :
I do not know whether Mr Gallagher
has looked at my reply of 7
November 2003 nor do I know
whether Mr Twyman will again
Another near sleepless
night. What am I going to do?
I decide that, given the state of 'incommunicado'
I am being placed in, I am going to come to the
office very early tomorrow morning and write
a letter I will fax to Mr Gallagher.
13 November 2003 - Deadline for replying to
the 'offer' (See Gallagher-Summary of events)
As planned, I get in the office very early.
I write a letter, 13
November 2003, I address to Mr Gallagher
in which I explain my reason for contacting
him directly. Among others, I state that the 'offer'
is in breach of Civil Procedure Rules and include
extracts from Lord Woolf's ruling. I also ask
him to ensure that I see the draft of the reply.
As the attachments to my 13
November 2003 letter demonstrate, I send
the fax to Mr
Gallagher at 9h11 and to Mr Twyman
at 9h26. (I also faxed it to my surveyor).
When I open my emails, I find one from Mr Twyman
sent at 8h40 ,
which states "Please see urgent advice attached.
May we please have your clear and unequivocal
answer - will you accept their offer as advised
or do you wish to refuse it? This must
be dealt with today"
So, Mr Twyman gives me this ultimatum in the
context of the fact that, during the preceding
four working days during which he has had my
letter of 7
November 2003 , he has point blank refused
to discuss my reply.
Below his email, is an email sent the previous
day at 17h09 ,
by Mr Gallagher to Mr Twyman. (Note that Mr Twyman
has not commented on this email when he forwarded
it to me at 8h40). Mr Gallagher's email
makes my blood boil as it includes a number of
points with which I am very unhappy for a number
For example, the claim that my "surveyor's
calculations had demonstrated that this sum
could not be bettered". This
is simply not true. (I pointed
this out to Ms McLean in my fax of 20
November 2003 ) (Following my including
this in my 5
April 2004 complaint against Mr Gallagher
(under points 2.3 and 50 and 51 under which
I disprove his claim), in the subsequent
correspondence, I had a running battle
on this with Mr Gallagher as he has maintained
this position. (As can be seen from the
summary I captured under point 41 of my 25
March 2005 reply to the Bar Council).
In the course of this exchange of correspondence,
I resorted to contacting my surveyor. He confirmed
what I had said (and I communicated this to the
Bar Council). My surveyor did not say
this . And he could not have
said it (see Mr Gallagher for further
detail - including the LSO who supported Mr Gallagher's
claim, resulting, in effect, in both of them
calling my surveyor a liar).
of another comment from Mr Gallagher
that makes my blood boil is
"...I can only repeat
my advice, and that of Ms Mclean,
that if this offer is not accepted
and the matter proceeds to trial
it is virtually certain that
the Clamant will beat it and
Ms Rawé will be ordered
to pay the Claimant's costs" .
the circumstances of my case!?
It represents one of many others items over
which I battled with Mr
Gallagher following my 5
April 2004 complaint - as can be seen
from the summary I included under point 45
of my 25
March 2005 reply to the Bar Council.
point, it is probably useful to relate the
key elements of Mr
They came to light - post the
28 October 2003 meeting - in three
emails at the time of reply (17h09 on
12 November 2003; two emails on
13 November 2003, one at 10h12 and
the other sent at 15h32 to
which he had attached the draft
reply and draft consent
as well as his 9
June 2004 initial reply
to my complaint which represents
follow-up comments / explanations
for his advice / position / actions.
They are discussed in detail under Mr Gallagher
. Among others, they included an assessment
that I was in a "very weak position" as
I had "no technical defence to the
claim" (29(5), 9
June 2004 ) . In particular because:
(1) "The LVT determination was a
mix bag" . (point 21, 9
June 2004 ) I replied (point 72, 29
August 2004 ) "Really? In what
way? " I also added, "Given
that the LVT determination is the crucial
element in the resolution of the dispute,
isn't it rather telling that, out of
his 29 page reply, it is the only comment
that Mr Gallagher has made about the
As a result of my challenging him on this (points
August 2004 ) by providing evidence that
the outcome of the LVT determination had the
effect of reducing the sum demanded by nearly 70% (a
reduction of £500,000 (US$882,000) from £736,000
(US$1.3m) down to £235,947 (US$416,000)
(see 22 June 2003 for further detail) , Mr
Gallagher replied (point 4(1), 11
"I accept that the outcome was a significant
reduction in the amount due from the tenants" (point
8) "I accept that it is possible that,
given the level of the sums disallowed by the
LVT and the criticisms that could be made about
the landlord's conduct, a Court may have been
persuaded to make no order for costs" (point
6) UNBELIEVABLE, especially when you
consider what Mr Gallagher's views were in
relation to my position on costs (see below)
Mr Gallagher then adds (point 4(1), 11
October 2004 ):
"At the time I did not consider that the
course of the proceedings before the LVT was
likely to carry much, if any, weight on the
question of costs in the county court proceedings"
In my 25
March 2005 reply to the Bar Council (point
37) I wrote: "At the time". I read this
as an admission that Mr Gallagher had not acknowledged
the evidence supplied to him. (Which is obvious)" .
(2) "The landlord had substantially
complied with the statutory consultation
procedure" . My reply entailed
quoting extensively from the LVT report which
powerfully proves otherwise. It also included
highlighting a comment made by Mr Gallagher
"The acceptance letter did not include a
reference to the inadequate specifications of
the major works...there was no need to
get into a criticism of the inadequate
way in which the works had been specified
or tendered " (point
June 2004 )
(3) "My surveyor had demonstrated" ,
this then changed to had "said that
the offer could not be bettered" and that "was
a central point" . (Briefly discussed
(4) "The "Part 36" Offer
was not a pre-action offer" I
argued that it was (point 103, 29
August 2004 ) "I disagree. The
offer qualifies as 'a pre-action
offer'. the LVT could not make a determination
due to the lack of specification" .
(Please note that in his 10h12 email,
in reply to my fax of 13
November, Mr Gallagher does not make any
comment in relation to my identifying the ruling
by Lord Woolf in the Ford v. GKR Construction
case in relation to the working of Part 36
Offers. And nor did Mr Twyman)
(5) "I had refused opportunities
to strike a deal ("not accepted invitations
to attend discussions") . Among
others, I replied that the LVT determination
had not been implemented. Consequently, I
had obeyed the instructions given to me (and
the other leaseholders) by the tribunal at
the 29 October 2002 pre-trial hearing, supported
by a leaflet to not
pay (page 5) the service charge demanded
until the tribunal had issued its determination
and it had therefore been implemented.
I also highlighted " This is all I wanted:
to pay my 1.956% share of what residents are
truly liable for - and in a manner compliant
with the terms of my lease. I did not want 'an
offer'. This is not the basis on which the
service charges operate, doing a deal with
one resident, another deal with another, and
(I had made my position very clear that I did
not want to 'strike a deal' - See 26 August 2003
and 4 September 2003 above)
Consequently, Mr Gallagher, and concurrently
Ms McLean (as well as Mr Twyman) held against
me the fact I have strong moral principles.
It should be noted that they are not alone in
doing this. The courts can do this as well,
including ignoring the directions given
to defendants by another jurisdiction,
as evidenced by events previously discussed
under: 24, 25 and 30 March 2003 (which
culminated in my being told by West
London County Court on 1
April 2003 "No, the Charging
Order is not against you, it is against
other residents" ;
Fair minded, reasonable visitor to the
site: can you see why in the introduction to
the site, I stated that there is 'no avenue
open to me for justice and redress'?
(6) I had "only
paid £2,255" (US$4,000)
In actual fact, I did not owe this amount
(see 26 August 2003). Likewise, this amounts
to Mr Gallagher holding against me the fact
that (at least for as long as I could) I
had obeyed the instructions given to me by
(The claim was filed against
me (and 10 other leaseholders) on 29
November 2002 . Hence, one month after
the tribunal had told us to not pay.
The tribunal signed its determination seven
months later, on 17
June 2003. By the time of
the 24 June 2003 hearing, it had not
been implemented, nor by the time of
the 26 August hearing (as explained earlier
on). In fact, the LVT determination has
never been implemented .
In this context I highlighted Mr Gallagher 's
comment (point 23, 9
June 2004 ) "I am currently
writing a book for Sweet & Maxwell on
litigation in the LVT - Leasehold
Valuation Tribunals: Practice & Procedure - and
would be pleased to expand on the practical
difficulties that the LVTs limited and overlapping
jurisdiction formerly lead to and, to a lesser
extent, continues to do."
(He was indeed writing a book, ' Leasehold
Valuation Tribunals: A Practical Guide' which
states that it " Sets
out all the powers, responsibilities and
jurisdiction of the LVT ". While
I have not read it, this suggests that Mr
Gallagher ought to know "the jurisdiction
of the LVTs" )
(7) A "summary judgement had been
entered against me" (see above,
26 August 2003)
Given Mr Gallagher's assessment that I was in
a "very weak position" I
consequently "could not ask Steel
Services to pay for my costs" .
In fact, I should be very grateful that
Steel Services had made me an offer without costs.
In his emails of 17h09 on
12 November 2003 and 10h12 on
13 November, pressed the point seven times in
total, with the 17h09 email 'loaded to maximum'.
" .the show stopper is Ms Rawé's
instructions that each party bear their own
costs is unacceptable and that any compromise
is to be on terms that C pay her costs. I am
bound to say that it is not a realistic assessment
of the strengths of the parties' respective
positions." ( 17h09 email,
12 November 2004)
"I can only repeat my advice and
that of Ms McLean that that if this offer is
not accepted and the matter proceeds to trial
it is virtually certain that the claimant will
beat it and Ms Rawé will be ordered
to pay the Claimant's costs" . ( 17h09 email,
12 November 2004)
In any event, as Ms Rawé has only
paid £2,255 (US$4,000) , it
must be accepted that she is on risk for C's
costs at least down to this figure at trial" ( 17h09 email,
12 November 2004)
As "the balance of risks was all
against me" , if I did not
accept this "life line" and
the matter proceeded to trial, I would live
to repent / learn my lesson when "in
the likely event that the defence fails" I
would be faced with a "final
bill" and be "reminded
that the disastrous outcome was in accordance
with the original advice given" (point
June 2004 )
Under point 135 of my 29
August 2004 reply, I wrote "Here we
go again, now for the 8th time in Mr Gallagher's
reply: the invocation of 'the costs' - and
this time, Mr Gallagher 'really goes to town'
with this. This is just a continuation of the
only thing I have heard throughout: the
threat of 'the costs'. It further supports
my claim that the advice has been totally biased
and unbalanced. The LVT determination
has been totally ignored"
From the point of view of the 'entertainment
value', in addition to the above, I also
draw your attention to the following (point
49 of Mr Gallagher's 9
June 2004 reply) that he "and Ms McLean saw
the Offer , with its terms that each
party pays its own costs as offering
something of a life-line that NKDR
would be ill-advised not to accept"
Seeing this comment made my blood boil, leading
me to write a seven-page reply. It started under
point 106 of my 29
August 2004 response with: "Steel
Services was "throwing me a life-line"? Oh
dear! How ungrateful of me, I did not
send a 'thank you' note.
Whilst I was at it,
should I have perhaps fallen on my knees and
asked for forgiveness, saying something along
those lines: "O' Great One, member
of the sacrosanct landlord sect so revered
in this country. Thank you for trying
to defraud me of £10,000 (US$17,600) ,
while clearly having the intention of coming
back and asking me for even more money not
due and payable. Forgive me for challenging
you and thereby making you incur costs ."
It took-up seven pages because I captured the
harassment, intimidation and bullying that I,
other residents, as well as Nucleus Citizen Advice
Bureau had suffered. I concluded the reply under
point 118 stating: "I must say O' Great One,
you certainly appear to have a penchant for harassing
and intimidating women, or men if they are elderly
I also draw your attention to these:
"it was unrealistic for NKDR to
seek an order for costs in her favour : each
party paying their own costs (to
the date of the offer) was
as good an order on costs as NKDR could possibly
get (point 66, 9
June 2004 )
[I] "was virtually certain to lose if the claim
went to trial and costs would be awarded against
her and certainly would not be awarded in her
favour " (point 63(1), 9
June 2004 )
"Having reconsidered this conclusion for
the purpose of preparing this response, I
do not resile from in any way" (point
June 2004 )
"I remain firmly of the opinion that my
very pessimistic assessment of NKDR's prospects
was correct . PSB were similarly
pessimistic before instructing me to advise
and my advice reinforced their opinion" (point
June 2004 )
"I therefore gave advice to that effect
in clear terms both in conference and
in my email of 12th and 13th November
consider that advice to be correct and
that it was my duty to give it" (point
June 2004 )
ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE! (See
Mr Gallagher for further detail, including the dismissal
of my complaint by both, the Bar Council
and the Legal
Services Ombudsman who wrote on
page 3 of her 30
August 2005 reply "The outcome of
the (LVT) determination was largely
favourable for your landlord" ( NB
!!! Evidently Mrs Manzoor has a problem reading )
From reading Mr Gallagher's emails on 12 and
13 November, it becomes clear to me that 'my
advisors' do not consider that breach of my lease,
statutory rights and Civil Procedure Rules, a
damning report by the LVT, filing of a false
claim against me in court, etc, etc, qualify
as sufficient reasons to challenge the 'offer'.
Fair minded, reasonable visitor to the
site, I think you will agree that the above
amply supports the statement I have made in
various sections of this site that, in the
case of a service charge dispute of this nature,
model heavily relies on leaseholders
being made to strike a deal with the landlord - in
breach of the terms of their lease and of their
I am now in a state of extreme stress
and anguish :
have a solicitor who is refusing
to talk to me - (and has done so
I have a barrister
who, in his email of the previous
day, misrepresented events, as
well as overlooked facts which
I believe are highly material.
In his 10h12 email Mr Gallagher
talks of a "counter-offer" but:
(i) I do not understand what this
means in practice;
(ii) Mr Twyman's does not want
to discuss this with me;
(iii) the impression he and Mr
Gallagher are giving me is that
it could have very serious consequences
for me if I were to opt for this
I must get on with
my work rather than spend my time
on personal matters (It happens
to be a particularly demanding
day for me as I am making a presentation
in the afternoon)
I speak to Mr Twyman mid-morning. I draw
his attention to the fact that my reply had been
hand-delivered to him by 9:00 am on Friday 7.
Also, that I had left him a voicemail message
at lunchtime the previous day to forewarn him
of this. Hence, this last minute rush could have
been avoided as it gave a total of five working
He angrily replies, "When was it that you
met with Counsel?" and asks whether I
think he has nothing else to do other than
deal with my case. Equal, continuation
of the psychological game. Needless
to say that he does not give me any feedback
on the fax I sent him earlier on. Hence, among
others, no comment on what I have identified
in relation to the working of Part 36 Offers.
Although I have all these reservations, I am
reassured by the fact that in his 10h12 email,
Mr Gallagher wrote: "...accept the
offer, subject only to the possibility
of tweaking it as discussed in conference.."
Mr Twyman and Mr Gallagher's
tactics work as in I end-up relinquishing
on some of my key objectives...
...one of which is claiming
my costs back from Steel Services
i.e. Mr Ladsky et. al... in
spite of holding the ABSOLUTE
belief that I am totally justified
in expecting Mr Ladsky et. al. to reimburse me of ALL my costs.
Bearing in mind that I do not have the time
to reply as comprehensively as I would like,
at 12h26 I
send an email to Mr Twyman and Mr Gallagher.
I record that ".I find some of the comments
difficult to reconcile with events/facts. Although
my views and wishes as to what 'should be said'
and 'should happen' remain as expressed in my
communication of 7 and 13 November - I am accepting
your advice: to accept the offer..Can
you please thus, be kind enough to draft a reply
for my review - with the 'tweaking' you detailed"
I hear nothing until sometime after 15h30 when
I see that Mr Gallagher has sent an email at 15h32 to
which he has attached the draft
reply and draft consent
I get very angry and experience unbelievable
stress from panic. It is the first time
I see these documents . I am making
the presentation at 17h00. My colleague is due
to arrive shortly. What is written does not reflect
what had been agreed at the 28
October 2003 meeting:
There is no reference to the fact
that the lack/insufficient specification
has not been addressed. What Mr Gallagher
wrote is "...your
client=s claim, as adjusted to take account
of the LVT=s determination remains proceedings."
The interest has been left in
The only reference made to the
terms of my lease reads "The absence of due
compliance with the service charge certification
provisions prescribed by the lease"
Two points which, it was agreed
at the 28 October 2003 meeting were not worth
mentioning, make-up 50% of the contents of the
Mr Gallagher also refers to a 16h00 deadline.
This is the first I hear of this. As I discovered
subsequently, it is nonsense. A 16h00 deadline
only applies in the case of the courts. In
this instance, office hours apply as evidenced
by e.g. the fact that CKFT faxed the 'offer'
at 17h43 on
Hence, it amounts to another
of Mr Twyman and Mr Gallagher's 'tricks'.
This time I am not going to say 'allegedly'
as I give the following as further evidence
in support of my claim .
As I am reading the documents sent by Mr Gallagher,
I receive an email from Mr Twyman, sent at 15h53 .
Hence, 21 minutes after Mr
Gallagher's email. He states "I confirm
safe receipt of Counsel draft and will be sending
it to the other side as drafted save with removal
of brackets at the end of the letter as he has
advised in the next 10mins or so"
the next 10 minutes?
The pressure tactic has
gone into overdrive.
It is abundantly clear to me that
the situation has been, ' allegedly
' engineered by Mr Twyman
to minimise the probability of
my being able to input into the
reply. (This is in addition
to taking prior events into consideration)
(Subsequent note: NO 'allegedly' - see Gallagher- Summary of events)
Again, please bear in mind that it is the first
time I see these documents.
Given the unbelievable pressure under which
I am being placed, the best I can do is to handwrite
two key points on the documents .
On the draft consent order, next
to 'interest': "On 28 October - Mr Gallagher
said "no because works had not started" .
On the notice of acceptance' "+
Non-compliance with Section 20 for some items,
as a consequence of which the LVT was unable
to take a decision" .
It is only much later on that I noticed that,
as drafted, the consent order leaves
the door wide open to Steel Services to come
back and ask me for another contribution for
the major works, and so on, and so on. Why?
What had been agreed at the 28 October 2003
meeting is, as captured in Ms McLean's 28
October 2003 attendance note , that the
reply would state: "..that this payment
was in full and final settlement of the current
What was captured in the Consent Order is very
different from what was agreed, in particular
the fact that it states: "under this
claim" and "to which
this claim relates" . In the Particulars
of Claim , the sum for the works is described
In his 9
June 2004 reply (point 29(7)(ii)) Mr Gallagher
wrote " To tweak the offer by stipulating that
it was in full and final settlement of
NKDR's share of the totality of the
costs of the major works "
I pointed out (point 89, 29
August 2004 ) what he had written was very
from what he was then claiming.
(NB: I subsequently agreed to the following
consent order: "The Claimant having received
the sum of £6,350.85 [US$11,200] from
the Second Defendant, this action has been settled
following the determination by the Leasehold
Valuation Tribunal of an identical claim, in
a report dated 17 June 2003" . It was endorsed
by the court on 1
July 2004 .
of this, it has
not protected me from further demands
as, three months later ,
I received from Martin
Russell Jones an invoice dated 21
October 2004, for £14,500 (US$25,600) - without
any explanation whatsoever. I did
Another invoice followed one month
later, dated 16
November 2004 , for £15,500 (US$27,300) - likewise,
with no explanation whatsoever.
I did not acknowledge them and,
consequently, did not pay anything.
(Please note that in my letter
December 2003 i.e. nearly one
year previously , I
had informed Ms Hathaway that
I had accepted the offer and
paid the sum to CKFT).
I view this as an act of vengeance by Mr Ladsky et. al. for my challenging the service charge demand)
More than one year later, in January 2006, I received another invoice from Martin Russell Jones, dated 9 January 2006, this time stating a "Brought forward balance" of £5,625 (US$9,900). Yet again, no explanation provided (Overview # 6).
Obviously, CKFT was very keen to have this Consent Order endorsed by the court. In her 19 November 2003 letter to Piper Smith Basham, Ms Salim wrote, "Would you please endorse the draft Consent Order and re-submit the same to us with your cheque in the sum of £15 representing half the court fee. We shall then submit it to the Court." (It took another seven months of fighting before I obtained a Consent Order endorsed by the court. ( See West London County Court section)
As to the Notice of Acceptance drafted by Mr Gallagher and sent by Mr Twyman to CKFT, it does not challenge a single statement in the ' offer '.
I fax the documents with my annoted comments to Mr Twyman and Mr Gallagher at 16h29 - in other words, within less than one hour of receiving them.
In light of the following events, it is worth noting that I use the same fax machine as I have done in the morning when I sent the fax at 9h11 to Mr Gallagher and at 9h26 to Mr Twyman. Because the fax machine has not been reset to wintertime, it records the time as 17h29 (instead of 16h29).
I leave my desk at c. 16h50 to go to the meeting room where I am making the presentation. I do not hear anything from Mr Twyman.
14 November 2003
I receive a letter from Mr Twyman, dated 14 November 2003 , attached to an email, stating: "I sent you an email yesterday regarding transmission of Counsel's draft indicating that the same would be sent by approximately 4pm. In accordance with that direction understanding this to be you instructions (NB: !!!) the same was sent at that time. At 17h37 (NB: !!!) a fax was received here with your comments on it which on the face of them are inconsistent with a request for inclusion in any event.." (NB: !!!)
I view this letter as absolutely appalling and a continuation of the treatment I have received from Mr Twyman throughout.
letter contains two lies (No
need for me to include 'allegedly')
What he sent were not my
instructions. When, in my 12h26 email
of the previous day I wrote "I
am accepting your advice: to
accept the offer..Can you please
thus draft a reply for my review
- with the 'tweaking' you detailed" I
was obviously referring to what
had been agreed at the 28 October
2003 meeting. And this had been
confirmed by Mr Gallagher in his 10h12 email: ".accept
the offer, subject only to the
possibility of tweaking it as discussed
In addition, I had
annoted (as best as I could given
the time pressure) the draft documents
with what had been agreed.
The second lie is
the claim that I faxed my reply
at 17h37. I was able to
prove this by the fact that Mr
Gallagher had sent a 10h12 email
in reply to my fax of 13 November
for which the transmission recorded
the time as 10h11.
In its 1
July 2004 response to my complaint, Piper
Smith Basham maintained that I sent the fax
In her 3
August 2004 reply, the Law Society caseworker
wrote "The solicitors state that they are
unable to comment on the timing of the fax
machine (NB !!!) .
It is not relevant whether the fax was sent
at 4.37 pm or 5.37 pm as Mr Twyman left the
office between 4 pm and 4.30pm".
To this I replied, under point 146 of my 30
November 2004 correspondence "So,
when Mr Twyman sent me the email at 15h53 saying "I
confirm safe receipt of Counsel draft and will
be sending it to the other side.as he has advised
in the next 10mins or so" in fact, what he
did, was to send it immediately (if it had
not already been sent!) . And how,
equally fascinating to see your response: "Even
if the fax had been sent at 4.37 pm.". "Even
if"? Look at the evidence"
The above events are captured in my 2
December 2004 letter to Mr Richard Berns,
Senior Partner and Mr Ian Skuse, Complaints
Officer at Piper
Smith Basham. I think you
will agree that it is an extremely generous
letter given the treatment I had received from
Ms McLean and Mr Twyman.
stress of the battle I am having
with Piper Smith Basham to get them
to send a substitute reply to CKFT
affects me so much that I
lose 5kgs (nearly a stone) during
the month of November .
(I am not overweight).
I can barely eat.
Most nights, even though I go
to bed at midnight, or later, I
wake up by 4 - 5 a.m. unable to
get back to sleep.
I get some very concerned looks from many colleagues at work. Somebody tells me that I "look like death". I think to myself, what would you say if you saw me without make-up?
I certainly feel absolutely awful: weak, extremely tired and, at the same time, in a constant state of terrible turmoil, extreme anguish, anxiety and distress. I think I am heading for a nervous breakdown.
My brother recommends some over-the-counter remedy to help me sleep. The first night I take three times the recommended dose. It makes no difference whatsoever.
The following night I increase the dose to five times the amount. Still no effect.
18 November I see
my doctor to get some
At last, I am able to sleep.
But I do not want to take a sleeping
pill every night. Among others,
I am concerned that I must be able
to react quickly if something happens
during the night - because I
certainly cannot call on the police
to come to my assistance (see
Dealing with all of these battles, combined
with the fact that I am in full time employment,
places me under an unbelievable amount of stress
as I have the worry of not letting my work suffer.
On some days such as e.g. 13 November 2003, dealing
with this and 'keeping up a front' at work, requires
what feels like, a super-human effort. The
pressure is horrendous.
Latter part of November 2003
morning, as I am in the entrance
corridor, on my way out, Mr
Ladsky greets me in an arrogant,
smug tone (in front of the
Bearing in mind the history of
harassment, intimidation, as well
as, on one occasion, assault, I
suffered from him, why should he
be greeting me on that day?
Evidently, the reason is that he is delighted
with the reply to 'Steel Services' 'offer' of 21
October 2003 sent - without
my consent - by Mr Twyman on 13 November
2003. He obviously believes that he
has "got me" (The comment he made
to me on 3 January 2003).
This further reinforces in mind the
belief that the reply drafted by Mr Gallagher
and sent by Mr Twyman on 13 November is to
Steel Services benefit - not mine.
(Subsequent note: Twyman, McLean and Gallagher were batting for Ladsky - see Gallagher-Summary of events)
(I captured this under point 143 of my 29
August 2004 reply to Mr Gallagher.
This was in his response to point 78 of his 9
June 2004 reply that ". the
strategy that I advised on worked: the
tweaked offer was accepted." (NB!!! Clearly,
Mr Gallagher's interpretation of "tweaking" is
to say 'amen' to everything! CKFT's client "accepted" the
reply. What a surprise! )
one of my many, near sleepless nights, it
suddenly clicks: I don't need Piper
Smith Basham, or any other solicitor. I
handled my case quite well by myself
before, and for a long time.
I decide to take back
control of my case and
immediately put this into action
by getting my laptop out at 3:30
a.m. and start
to write my 'own' version
of the Notice of Acceptance, dated 19
December 2003 , to
I agree to everything - except payment of interest
(£143) (US$250) - and include full payment
with my reply. Clearly, I do not consider
that this reply gives me the justice and redress
I believe I deserve.
Among others, I know that under the Landlord & Tenant
Act 1985, I do not owe this sum ,
as a Section 20 Notice was not issued following
the LVT determination.
I know, I previously stated that I was not prepared
to be treated differently from the other leaseholders
i.e. strike a deal on terms other than those
specified in my lease.
However, I am - literally - near collapse and
my priority is to protect myself from further
demands. Fair minded, reasonable visitor to the
site, you saw the actions of West London County
Court. I am not going to get just and fair treatment
in the courts.
be seen from events in 2004 (Overview # 6) ,
I should have known better
that what I was hoping to achieve
is like trying to take a bone
away from a dog - and an extremely
vicious one at that
As can be seen from my summary of events under My 19 Oct 03 Witness Statement: Introduction ; (1) Events - my
taking back control of my case 'threw
a spanner in the works', upsetting
the game plan. Indeed,
in her 12
December 2003 letter, Ms McLean, wrote: "One
final point to make is that whilst there is
a current complaint against me personally and
the firm it would not be appropriate for me
to continue acting for you, our relationship
having broken down"
While in her 21
January 2004 letter (i.e. six
weeks later), she
wrote: "There is also of course the outstanding
issue of the concluded agreement. Once again
if you wish to discuss the matter with me at (sic) the
telephone I am happy to do so"
Her strategy had backfired (as
I captured under points 3.4, 103 and 104 of my 16
March 2004 complaint to the Law Society). Indeed,
I view the 12 December letter as an attempt
to bring me 'back into line' by withdrawing
support - and thereby cause anxiety, fear
of the psychological game in order to force
me to endorse the reply. (Again: no ' allegedly' here
as I believe that any reasonable person considering
this evidence would endorse my view).
I believe that any reasonable
person when considering the evidence
will understand why I view the
21 January 2004 letter as a 'last
ditch attempt at concluding the
deal' (whatever this
As to CKFT, it evidently waited to see what
would happen following the 21 January 2004 letter
from Ms McLean. In fact, it allowed one week.
At that point, Ms Ayesha Salim wrote in her 27
January 2004 letter "We
have now located two of your letters dated
19 December 2003".
(Please note that I had sent the letter by 'special
delivery next day' (as can be seen in the attached 19
December 2003 ) and had received
confirmation from the post office that it
had been delivered.
Please note also that the lack of response from
CKFT had led me to get a firm of solicitors to
send, on 16
January 2004 , a copy of the
documents I had sent to CKFT on 19 December
My reason for doing this was that,
given CKFT's modus operandi, I could not
exclude the possibility that it might claim
it had received post from me on 22 December
2003, but that it was just an empty envelop).
(These events are captured in the summary of
my 16 March 2004 complaint against Piper Smith
Basham under point 3.4 and under points 102,
104 in the main
body of my complaint. There are also captured
under point 155 of my 30
November 2004 reply to the Law Society)
Fair minded, reasonable visitor to the
site, I think you will agree that the above
amply supports the statement I have made in
various sections of this site that, in the
case of a service charge dispute of this nature,
model heavily relies on leaseholders
being made to strike a deal with the landlord - in
breach of the terms of their lease and of their
am, quite literally, near collapse,
I cancel my plans to visit family
and friends at Christmas and, instead,
book myself in a centre in France
for stress related treatment.
The doctor diagnosed that
I had low blood pressure .
While this break helps me to 'recharge
the batteries', it amounts to my
plans being yet again ruined because
of this horrendous nightmare.