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Can I make a complaint about a solicitor...

  • agee86
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26 Apr 16 #477461 by agee86
Topic started by agee86
Hi everyone,

I would like to make a complaint about a solicitor however, it is one that I haven''t instructed. They are actually acting n behalf of my ex husband.

A little background info...
I was the original Petitioner of the divorce but, after my ex husband failed to comply and get in contact with the court regarding payment (he had already agreed to cover all costs in relation to the divorce) and then pressure from his solicitor to let them handle things, I agreed to become the respondent.

I know this was probably a bad move but, I just want it over and done with and thought, as promised by the solicitor, this would speed things up considerably.

I rec''d my AoS on 10th March and it was returned to the court on 11th March. A few days later, the solicitor was chasing me to check that I had sent it back. They then confirmed that they had rec''d it from the court and would prepare their paperwork to progress.

On 8th April I was informed by the solicitor that they had progressed everything there end and returned the paperwork for the Nisi.

I called the court this morning as I had not heard and was concerned it had been so long and they have confirmed that they have not received anything. There is a backlog, I appreciate, but they are currently working on docs received on 11th April.

I then contacted the solicitor and asked exactly when they had sent this back. It turns out, the solicitor had mislead me and lied - they hadn''t sent it back until the 14th April.

I wouldn''t mind but, I have been pressured into letting them handle all of this and then lied to. This is causing me untold stress.

Can I complain about this solicitor to the Legal Ombudsman, even though I haven''t instructed them? Does anyone know?

I''d be grateful for some advice.

I would happily get my own solicitor, I just cannot afford one. I wish I could because I know I''d be much better off and it would most likely have all been completed by now :(

  • LittleMrMike
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26 Apr 16 #477468 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Let us be quite clear, shall we ?

A solicitor cannot act for both parties in a divorce case.

Period. No argument.

No solicitor should accept instructions if he is already advising someone with an adverse interest.

If the solicitors pressurised you to let them act for you, they should not, in my opinion, have done so.

For what that''s worth.

LMM

  • agee86
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26 Apr 16 #477469 by agee86
Reply from agee86
LittleMrMike wrote:

Let us be quite clear, shall we ?

A solicitor cannot act for both parties in a divorce case.

Period. No argument.

No solicitor should accept instructions if he is already advising someone with an adverse interest.

If the solicitors pressurised you to let them act for you, they should not, in my opinion, have done so.

For what that''s worth.

LMM


Hiya,

Thank you for that. I think there may be some confusion in my post though.

The solicitor isn''t acting on my behalf. I was the original Petitioner and the solicitor put pressure on me to become the respondent and let them handle things on behalf of their client.

  • Bubblegum11
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26 Apr 16 #477472 by Bubblegum11
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I don''t think you can complain to the legal ombudsman as it''s not a solicitor who you have instructed. (I understood it as you are an unrepresented respondent and the solicitor only acts for your ex)

The SRA is a possibility - but to be honest, if the solicitor said it was actioned on the 8th (a Friday) and papers didn''t in fact get sent to court until the 14th. That is a delay of 4 days! I don''t suppose the impact on you would be that great to warrant such a complaint. Although I appreciate it is very frustrating. It could be possible that the solicitor did action it but the secretary did not pick it up until Monday and that is where the delay occurred. So could be an innocent mistake.

If you write to the solicitor seeking a simple apology, it would be sufficient rather than complaining to their regulatory body which seems rather extreme action.

In terms of the solicitor pushing you into changing from the petitioner to the respondent on the basis that he/she would be able to proceed with the divorce more speedily which you accepted doesn''t sound unreasonable unless they were particularly forceful.

What remedy would you expect a complaint to bring?

  • .Charles
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27 Apr 16 #477493 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
Being mislead and receiving incorrect information are completely difference things. It is common for a solicitor to think one thing e.g. a letter went in the post, only to later find out that a secretary left early for the day and the letter remains in a post basket.

Is there any loss or distress caused by the delay? I doubt it.

Charles

  • agee86
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27 Apr 16 #477499 by agee86
Reply from agee86
Bubblegum11 wrote:

I don''t think you can complain to the legal ombudsman as it''s not a solicitor who you have instructed. (I understood it as you are an unrepresented respondent and the solicitor only acts for your ex)

The SRA is a possibility - but to be honest, if the solicitor said it was actioned on the 8th (a Friday) and papers didn''t in fact get sent to court until the 14th. That is a delay of 4 days! I don''t suppose the impact on you would be that great to warrant such a complaint. Although I appreciate it is very frustrating. It could be possible that the solicitor did action it but the secretary did not pick it up until Monday and that is where the delay occurred. So could be an innocent mistake.

If you write to the solicitor seeking a simple apology, it would be sufficient rather than complaining to their regulatory body which seems rather extreme action.

In terms of the solicitor pushing you into changing from the Petitioner to the respondent on the basis that he/she would be able to proceed with the divorce more speedily which you accepted doesn''t sound unreasonable unless they were particularly forceful.

What remedy would you expect a complaint to bring?


To be honest, I would just like an apology.

I wouldn''t say that the solicitor was ''forceful'' but, I most definitely was pressured with an email once per day for a week or so.

  • agee86
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27 Apr 16 #477500 by agee86
Reply from agee86
.Charles wrote:

Being mislead and receiving incorrect information are completely difference things. It is common for a solicitor to think one thing e.g. a letter went in the post, only to later find out that a secretary left early for the day and the letter remains in a post basket.

Is there any loss or distress caused by the delay? I doubt it.

Charles


Actually, yes, there has been a certain amount of distress caused. I admit, not a whole deal and I appreciate it could be worse but, due to the 13 working day wait to actually progress the paperwork, it has caused a further 4 week delay all round - according to the time scales the court gave me yesterday.

This is quite distressing because, although this isn''t the fault of the solicitor fully, I have been trying to get this divorce completed since September but, due to stalling by my ex husband, is not even at the Nisi stage. His solicitor assured me that allowing him to become the Petitioner would speed things up due to her having the ''legal knowledge'' I didn''t.

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