Solicitor Costs - Lousy Legal Representation

The following is an occasion when someone received lousy legal representation from their solicitors. The client asked us to take over his personal injury claim because he was unhappy with his current solicitors. Normally, as professional courtesy if nothing else, the solicitor passes the file to the new solicitor as long as that solicitor promises to seek to recover their costs for them at the end. In this case the solicitor decided to refuse to hand over the file until they were paid for all work done.

The Client was left with a choice of staying with an incompetent solicitor or having to find the money to pay them for the work. If he had paid them he would have then been left with a shortfall, almost certainly, between the legal charges he had paid and what the other side would pay at the end of the case.

We were asked to sort it out. We made inquiries and found out that the client was not being represented by a solicitor and had never been told. We wrote to the firm advising them to hand over the file or else. They responded with further demands for payment.

We took the matter to Court for the client. The judge agreed with us and held that the client had no liability to pay them anything. They were Ordered to hand over the file and pay our costs of dealing with the matter. They then asked us to seek to recover their out of pocket expenses as part of the costs of the claim. Needless to say, we declined.