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Serco and T G Baynes


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More illegal legal threats

Our correspondent writes ...

For the last five years I worked on contract to Ford Motor Company in Essex through an Rochester-based agency called TIA. Although Ford's direct employees were getting annual pay rises, I hadn't had a rate increase for more than three years so I asked TIA for one since my outgoings were increasing just like everyone else's. Six months later, TIA told me I could not have an increase and Ford apparently stated I would not get one for the next three years. So I quit.

Although my other colleagues on the Ford contract were paid by Serco, who absorbed TIA in their organisation, I was always paid by TIA. Being pretty miffed by this treatment, I complained to the DTI as I had never had a contract of employment nor, as it turned out, had my Serco colleagues. I notified TIA that I would be seeking redress and the next thing I received was a letter from T G Baynes - a firm of solicitors in Dartford acting on behalf of Serco Medway Ltd.

This letter basically told me I had no rights to take an action against Serco (I hadn't planned to since I was never employed by Serco). It went on to warn that I was not to contact management and former colleagues at Ford Motor Company and that Serco would commence a common law action for malicious falsehood against me on the grounds that I was wilfully and intentionally causing damage to Serco without lawful occasion or excuse.

To avoid such action, I was to supply a written undertaking that I would not contact Ford management, or anyone connected with Ford Motor Company, at any time in the future and Baynes threatened to obtain an injunction if I did not confirm my agreement.

This is all very strange considering I never worked for Serco. Can they make such threats?

Editorial comment:

In answer to your question, of course they can.

You have to remember this is a firm of solicitors and solicitors believe they can do anything they want to do - regardless of any legal implications or true interpretation of the law. Such threats are usually issued on the understanding that most people will accept what the solicitor tells them and will be intimidated by the threat. And most of the time, solicitors can get away with this because they know there will be no repercussion.

They know you cannot complain to the Law Society because this august body is merely there to protects solicitors' interests. Complaints to the Law Society are a bit like wetting your trousers - you initially get a warm feeling but this is followed by immense discomfort when you realise you have achieved nothing.

This is not the first time the name of T G Baynes has come to our attention. We believe they will do anything to increase their revenue and the fact that your disclosures might have damaged Serco's relationships with Ford Motor Company, and indeed many other companies for whom they work, gives them a great opportunity to demonstrate that you are just one man trying to take on the might of a conglomerate.

Although Serco were never interested in you as an employee, even though you never were, you pose a threat that could jeopardise their business. And their business extends into many quarters, including government circles. They were responsible for the introduction of Gatso speed cameras and they carry out many functions for public authorities, often very badly and without comeback. But because such people automatically assume others will succumb to a threat of court action, what simpler solution than to get a firm of solicitors to issue a threatening letter.

In the circumstances, why don't you tell T G Baynes and Serco to get stuffed? On the other hand, don't forget every cloud has a silver lining. In trying to ban you from making contact with anyone connected with Ford Motor Company, Baynes and Serco have presumably prohibited you from going onto the forecourt of a Ford dealership. That means you have more chance of getting a decent car.


Visitors' Comments

Geine Pressendo, Chandlers Ford writes:

Just one small suggestion: Your text are hard to read because of the background colour of your website. Could you please kindly consider changing the background to the ordinary common white with black and blue font, hopefully a bit bigger too, size 12 maybe.

It's nice to read stories like that, but because the text is quite long it irritate our eyes reading from a black background and a red font.

Please take no offence. You've got a great site idea...


Editorial Comment:

We do try different combinations of colours and it is difficult to find one that suits all visitors.

Unfortunately, our most pressing engagement is to defend the action being taken against us in the High Court of Justice but we will bear your comments in mind for a later review.


Jay, Kingston writes:

Please change your background colour. Coloured lettering on a black background always looks naff. Black on white is best just like this message board!

Have just read about Serco in Private Eye (issue 1258 p31). Chris Hyman (Boss) is making huge profits from the British tax payer.


Editorial Comment:

Right. We've had a few comments about using a black background so we've now changed it to white.

I've never managed to figure out how it can be cheaper to outsource work to contractors unless it's a short-term requirement. As I recall, Serco was a company set up by a few ex-forces blokes to find temporary work for other ex-forces personnel.

This was mostly clerical but now Serco seem to be all things to all men. Their name appears everywhere - council depots, dockyards, rubbish tips. You name it, chances are they do it. They, like Capita, are the labour providing sector of the multitudinous quangos that cost our country so heavily.

Surely, you'd think someone would realise that when you introduce companies like Servo and Capita you introduce additional profits that someone has to pay for - usually Joe (Muggins) Public. But no, keep throwing the money away and even use some of it to hire those morons they call Civil Enforcement Officers (Traffic Wardens).



"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill


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