Dear Mr Shannon,
IN THE MATTER OF FREDERICK ANDREWS
Your client: Mrs Eileen Wright
I enclose copies of a letter which I have received at the beginning of last week from Mrs Wright and of my formal acknowledgement to her. I very much regret that our best efforts at the meeting held on 24 June last to resolve any questions about which she might have had legitimate concern (or any genuine misunderstanding) have proved to be unsuccessful. Her latest communication displays an unwillingness or inability to understand the careful and deliberate manner in which the lengthy agenda at the meeting was conducted.
Apart from the time taken at the outset to deal with personal and domestic matters (which I believe were covered satisfactorily) it was essential to deal quite separately with questions relating to the Chancery proceedings involving Mrs Betty Hamilton - as both you and Mr Fergie (of Messrs Alex Stewart & Son) fully appreciated.
I believe that much of Mrs Wright's present agitation, displayed in the first page of the letter, arises from her wish to support her sister in those proceedings - of which she does not have a full understanding. As to the main purpose of the meeting on 24 June, the response to questions of which notice had been given, I may simply declare that copies of my written replies were distributed to everyone who attended. It is clear, however, that the correspondence which has continued since the meeting has now degenerated into the all too familiar pattern of sweeping and unsubstantiated assertions which serve no purpose whatever and personal attacks which do not merit any comment.
The one question in the letter which, I believe, should be addressed at this stage is my own legitimate role in the case - the point touched on by Mrs Wright in the fourth paragraph on the last page. It is true that since the appointment of Mrs Bowers as Official Solicitor she has assumed full responsibility as Controller for (formerly Committee of the estate of) the Patient. My own continuing involvement in the case, as you will understand, has been necessary only in support of Mrs Bowers by reason of the detailed knowledge of the Patient's affairs which I acquired when I carried out my own investigations as Official Solicitor. In my present post I have no need to be directly involved in any of the matters about which Mrs Wright now complains.
I suggest that the time has come, therefore, when you should advise Mrs Wright that all correspondence relating to the Patient's affairs should be addressed to the Official Solicitor and not to the Master or to any members of the staff of the Office of Care and Protection. I will be happy at any time to discuss the case informally with you or to provide any information which may assist you in advising your client but in view of the tone of the latest communication I feel that any formal correspondence in future must have regard to the specific directions given by the Judge at the final review hearing on Friday 6 May 1986. On that date Mr Justice MacDermott (as he then was) informed Mrs Wright (and other members of the family who were present at the hearing with their representatives) that the Official Solicitor would not be required to re-open any of the matters which had been considered during the review unless any new or additional information was submitted to the Official Solicitor or direct to the Court. It was also explained that any party could, if so advised, bring a separate application before the Court for a review of any aspect of the case upon notice to interested parties.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Mrs Bowers for reference together with copies of the other correspondence.
F BRIAN HALL