Today we publish our latest report and update on the activities of Mr Brian Ashworth of The Orchard Centre, Bilston, West Midlands. Read the full report and update here
Since 1994, Brian and Jeanie Ashworth have operated in the area of representation for benefits and benefits appeals, largely for the ME and CFS patient community. Mr Ashworth also involves himself in casework relating to education issues, child protection and MSBP casework and in other cases where there has been involvement of social services with families. Mr Ashworth is also known to undertake immigration casework and work of a general legal nature; he also describes himself as a “private health practitioner”, a “complementary health practitioner” and a “trained counsellor”.
Some of Mr Ashworth’s clients have placed their advocacy and representation work with him on the understanding that he is a “lawyer” but Mr Ashworth is not a solicitor, a barrister or any form of legal executive. Since 2006, Mr Ashworth has also operated under the name of B & J Legal Services.*
Over the past three years, we have been gathering information about the activities of The Orchard Centre. We have identified significant concerns surrounding Mr Ashworth’s modus operandi and the standard of service he provides to his clients.
How can you help us?
To assist in taking things forward, we need to hear from anyone who has an outstanding case with Mr Ashworth in any field of advocacy and representation work – immigration, applications for benefits, benefit appeals and tribunals, housing, social services, educational, MSBP, Family Courts, matrimonial and general legal work and particularly, cases taken on since 2005 onwards.
We need to hear from those who have not been charged by Mr Ashworth for his services as well as from those who have paid money to him, however nominal, or have made “donations” or contributions towards his admin, travel or general expenses.
We need to hear from anyone who has been approached by Mr Ashworth seeking donations towards specific clients’ legal costs or for him to take up their case or for specific ventures such as “research projects” or for the running of The Orchard Centre, generally, whether as a client or otherwise.
We also need to hear from you if your casework has been concluded but you weren’t happy with the way in which your casework was being carried out, either at the time or subsequently, or if you consider you experienced misrepresentation by Mr Ashworth relating to the progress of your case or the outcome of a benefits appeal. We would also like to hear from you if you consider that Mr Ashworth has misrepresented his academic or professional qualifications to you or if you had been told that your case was part of a “class action”.
We need to hear from you if you have letters, paperwork, “Form of Authority” documents or electronic documents where Mr Ashworth has used the letters “LLB” after his name or if you had placed your representation work in Mr Ashworth’s hands on the understanding that he was a lawyer or a barrister, or a retired barrister or some kind of legal professional or if Mr Ashworth had been referred to you by others on that basis.
We also need to hear from anyone who has been given to understand that Mr Ashworth was a “trained counsellor”, a “complementary health practitioner”, or if he has “diagnosed” or “confirmed” medical or psychological illnesses or conditions using questionnaires or carried out “neurological tests” or carried out complementary health care treatments or consultations. Or if he has recommended or arranged for medical tests to be carried out by private laboratories and subsequently recommended treatments on the basis of his interpretation of the results of private or NHS tests or if he has advised or sought to advise your medical practitioner or your child’s medical practitioner on medical issues or on medications.*
Last but by no means least, we would like to hear from you if Mr Ashworth has sold you vitamins, minerals and other food supplements or complimentary health care products, and the claims he made for the efficacy of these products and if your experiences of his services were satisfactory or not.
*Neither Mr nor Mrs Ashworth are medical practitioners and they are not qualified to make or confirm medical diagnoses or produce medical assessments for their clients or for the agencies involved in their cases.
Bilston Resource Centre
Complaint to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
“Law degrees” and the continued use of “LLB”
New cases brought to our attention over the past year
“Class actions” and “the barrister in London”
The finance of class actions
Evidence of gross misrepresentation
Contact details for Trading Standards
How can you help us?
Contacting organisations who have referred on to Mr Ashworth
Regional ME/CFS support organisations
National ME/CFS patient organisations
Change of contact details for The Orchard Centre
Contact details for Suzy Chapman & Ciaran Farrell
How to contact
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in our statements or discuss your own experiences or if have any information which may assist us please contact us, in confidence:
Suzy Chapman & Ciaran Farrell
Email: Suzy Chapman
Tel/FAX: 0207 485 3404
28 Headcorn, 25 Malden Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 3HZ
Contact Suzy Chapman if you would like a PDF version of Statement 12.
For further information and copies of our previous statements click here
*Mr Ashworth and his wife, Jeanie Ashworth, have used a variety of Trading As names for their operation, none of which are registered companies, registered charities, registered charitable organisations or any form of voluntary organisation.
The Orchard M.E. Centre
The Orchard M.E. Centre Benefits, Pensions and Appeals Service
The Orchard M.E. Centre Benefits & Appeals Service
The Orchard M.E. Centre Benefits & Appeals Advice
The Orchard Centre
The Orchard Centre Advocacy
The Orchard Centre for Fatigue Illnesses
The Orchard Centre for Fatigue Illnesses Benefits and appeals advice
The Orchard Fatigue Centre
The Orchard Centre Study of Fatigue Illnesses
The Orchard Centre Study of Fatigue Illnesses Education Service
The Orchard Study
The Orchard M.E. Study
The Orchard Study Centre
The Orchard Trust
The Orchard Centre for Training Coun [sic] [thought to be abbreviation of “Counsellors”]
The Orchard Centre Services
The Orchard Centre Services Appeals, Pensions & Legal
The Orchard Centre Services Appeals & Benefits Education & Legal Advice
B & J Legal Services