Dishonest NHS ambulance chasing lawyer struck off

A dishonest ‘ambulance chasing’ solicitor who overcharged the NHS while pursuing clinical negligence cases has been struck off after a judge ruled that fining him £30,000 was too lenient.Andrew Good, who founded Rapid Response Solicitors in Hull in 2003, had tried to charge £400 an hour to represent patients suing the health service.The lawyer was fined last year after his fees were found to be “grossly excessive”. However, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) appealed the decision, and earlier this month a judge ruled in the High Court that Good be struck off the Roll of Solicitors after finding he had been dishonest.More than 150 cases involving Good’s firm were analysed at the original tribunal. In 22 of them, Rapid Response charged £400 an hour in fees. Despite the panel finding “most of the work” carried out should have been billed at between £111 and £146 an hour, it failed to make a ruling that he was dishonest.The company had also tried to claim £37,298 but was forced to reduce that by 91 per cent to an acceptable £3,330.Mr Good had insisted he had come up with the £400-an-hour rate after conducting online research.When the case came before the High Court earlier this year, Lord Justice Flaux ruled: “Even if Mr Good had a genuine belief that he was entitled to charge these rates, it is difficult to see how that could exonerate him from a finding of dishonesty.“In rendering the bills which he knew to be excessive or grossly excessive and artificially high, Mr Good was dishonest in the first place.”He added: “I do not consider that the public would regard it as acceptable that someone who breached that trust in the way in which Mr Good did should be allowed to act as solicitor.”NHS Resolution, the body which manages costs and disputes when treatment goes wrong, welcomed his dismissal.Helen Vernon, NHS Resolution chief executive, said: “We will not hesitate to take action where it is confronted with dishonest behaviour. This is public money and Mr Good’s actions were an attempt on funds which should be used for patient care.”Mr Good, who became a solicitor in 1998 and told the court it took him eight years to qualify, later released a statement saying he was “proud” of his work, adding that his charges had not cost the NHS money. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *