What Are Instructions?
Once a person has decided they need the services of a solicitor, they will need to instruct the solicitor to act on their behalf. In essence this means the solicitor needs to be officially asked to represent the client. At the start of every case, a solicitor should send out what is known as a “client care letter” or “retainer”. This document sets out the contract between the solicitor and the client, defining the work to be done and how this is to be paid for. Once the client has agreed to this contract, usually in writing, the solicitor is said to have been instructed.
The role of the solicitor is then to advise their clients on legal matters, so each client can make informed decisions about their case. Clients will then need to “instruct” their solicitor as the case progresses on how they wish them to proceed. The solicitor will then act on those instructions, as long as they are both legal and within the rules of professional conduct.