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Should I complain about solicitor

  • Rachel49
  • Rachel49's Avatar Posted by
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10 May 16 #477993 by Rachel49
Topic started by Rachel49
I''m getting divorced in Scotland and started proceedings around April 2015. My Stbx is a police officer due to retire in about 6 years. We were sent a redacted CETV showing only the monetary value only. My solicitor accepted it saying it was just a bad photocopy. I have consistently questioned having an actuarial report carried out as I''ve read that uniformed service pensions are often undervalued, but I also contacted the SPPA about the redacted CETV and they couldn''t send me the copy without my Stbx consenting but assured me it was not sent out to him like that.

I kept getting told that the value would be correct and that courts in Scotland wouldn''t accept an actuarial report in my lawyers opinion therefore no point having it done.

I eventually got the clean copy around March/April 2016 and Peter from BDM kindly carried out an EPV for me and spoke with my lawyer.
The valuation came back with a substantial difference. I understood that the law differs between England and Scotland but the report was based on Scottish law ie for time of marriage until date of separation.

My lawyer told me that he had ultimately accepted the CETV on the court papers and was unable to amend them. If I wanted to challenge the CETV figure now then he could no longer represent me.
This happened on either the Thursday or Friday and I had a pre proof hearing scheduled a few days later on 3/5 with the proof hearing scheduled for 18/5.

I phoned around other lawyers but couldn''t get anyone to see me at short notice so my ex lawyer contacted someone he knew asked him to represent me at short notice and inform the court I was changing lawyers. Ultimately the proof is postponed again to allow the new lawyer time to go over my case to date and prepare for the final proof hearing.
I''ve now received the bill from the new lawyer for carrying out emergency work and I''ve been asked to set up a standing order to also be paid this month. This is well over £1000
The ex solicitor had put in an amendment to the pleadings a while ago but my stbxs lawyer missed the first deadline to respond and was given an extension, he also missed the 2nd deadline claiming he was waiting to hear if I was going to accept/reject the offer on the table so now has his 3rd extension granted.

Ultimately do I have any recource with my first lawyer, who would I contact or make a complaint to if so.

  • s59
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15 May 16 #478242 by s59
Reply from s59
Frankly the answer to your main question "should I complain about my solicitor" is almost certainly yes, unless Charles or RubyTuesday are representing you!

Follow the process as defined by the SRA / Legal Ombudsman - formal complaint to the sol (there''s a template) then escalate to the independent bodies. Good luck!

  • rubytuesday
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16 May 16 #478250 by rubytuesday
Reply from rubytuesday
As Rachel is in Scotland, complaining to the SRA/LeO wouldn''t be any use, she would need to follow the complaints procedure set out by the Law Society of Scotland - information can be found here - Making a complaint against a solicitor .

I really do think it would be wise for Rachel to obtain a second (or even third) legal opinion before considering making a complaint - if the further opinions counter the advice given by the intital solicitor then there are questions to be answered by the orginial sols. However if the advice given by further solicitors is similar to the advice given by the orginial sols then that is something to digest before taking any further action.

PS S59, I''m not a solicitor ;)

  • s59
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16 May 16 #478254 by s59
Reply from s59
I know you aren''t RubyTuesday, you''re far more competent than any solicitor I''ve met :)

In terms of the process, all solicitor firms will have an internal complaint process so if she''s unhappy Rachel49 might as well go down that path as 1. the firm might resolve the complaint to her satisfaction (unlikely) or 2. if she takes things further, she will be expected to have followed the complaint process with the sol first anyway. Better to try this first rather than spending money on another sol and getting yet another opinion IMHO!

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