Beware of solicitors

The legal system is designed in the favour of solicitors.

The Law Society is funded by solicitors, how can it be viewed as independent.

There is a conflict of interest between solicitors and their clients

If a solicitor chooses to take advantage of their clients, it is straightforward to do so. When the rules and regulations are broken, in our experience, getting the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to understand the matter and act can be almost impossible. Their staff are generally not qualified or experienced enough to get the upper hand against an experienced solicitor.
It’s the same story with the Legal Ombudsman: most of their staff are not legally qualified and if you are successful the awards can be very low. They can also take years to deal with a case.

When a client initially instructs a solicitors’ firm, the client signs the client care letter, terms and conditions or a CFA agreement, also known as ‘no win, no fee’. Unless these documents have been clearly explained line by line to the new client, it must be obvious to any law firm that most clients do not fully understand what have agreed to. This allows solicitors to very easily take advantage of their clients with the protection of these signed contracts.

 

If a solicitor is being paid on an hourly rate, it is in the solicitor’s financial interest to charge the client as much as possible and in the client’s best interest to pay as little as possible. This is a conflict of interest.

 

If a solicitor is working on a CFA (no win, no fee agreement), it is in the client’s best interest to recover as much in damages as possible. However, it can be in the solicitor’s best interest to settle a case early in order to be paid their fees, and doing this normally means a reduced settlement for the client. Solicitors generally get paid at the end of each case. How a client is treated can depend on the financial position of the law firm, which a client would not know before instructing them.

When you are on a CFA, if you are advised to settle for an amount which is too low, you must still adhere to your solicitor’s advice, or you will be liable to pay their fees personally. You will have agreed to this in the contract you signed at the beginning. The solicitor therefore has full control, and you are relying on their good character to treat you fairly.

 

Instructing a solicitor is a risk.

 

Make no mistake, solicitors are there to profit from you, even though the regulations state solicitors must put their clients first.

 

It is hardly surprising that law firms institutionally overcharge their clients. In most other industries it would be categorised as fraud. It is either fraud or negligence as there is no other alternative. In our experience, when legal fees are wrong, they are usually wrong in the right way for the law firm not for the client.

 

The SRA should not allow law firms to pay their staff a bonus for the more hours they charge out as this encourages overcharging. But they do.

man edited

There is no “JUST ” in justice.

Litigation is a game of winning and losing and the legal profession always wins !

woman edited

Always think very carefully before making a solicitor an executor of an estate. If the solicitor is the executor, they are also technically the client. This means they can charge the estate exorbitant fees, which are very difficult to challenge. We have seen estates depleted completely by the solicitors’ fees and on one occasion an estate was left with a large tax bill to the HMRC which could not be paid by the beneficiaries.

 

On another occasion we experienced a client who had £340,000 extracted from him by the solicitor, when the firm could not have possibly done that amount of work on his case. This was a contentious probate case, where the client successfully settled for £900,000 at a mediation. Immediately after the mediation the solicitor requested fees of £210,000 on condition, he agreed it immediately. Not surprisingly he wanted time to consider the matter. A few weeks later she received a demand for £340,000 and was advised if he did not pay within 7 days the full amount would be £556,000. By the time he came to us he had already paid the £340,000 and been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The agreement stated he could not complain to the SRA or Financial Ombudsman or disclose any details of the agreement. We could therefore not assist him as he would have been at risk of having to pay the higher amount. The patten of how the money was demanded and forcing the client to sign a non-disclosure agreement is nothing less than extortion. This was a large corporate law firm.

 

It is possible for law firms to extract vast amounts of money from clients and then gag them with a non-disclosure agreement.

 

You must be very careful if you decide to make a complaint against your solicitor when you have an ongoing matter. They could very easily dis-instruct themselves using the excuse you have lost trust in them. In order to transfer your matter to another solicitor, you would require your case file. Normally the solicitor will not release this until you have paid them in full. Solicitors can see this situation as an opportunity to take advantage of their clients and furnish them with an exaggerated bill of costs in the full knowledge the client is unlikely to use them again and are desperate for their file.

 

It's amazing how evasive solicitors can be when their client is dissatisfied with them, and the client has come to the end of their financial usefulness.

 

We will consider most types of legal cases.

Please contact us if you believe you have a potential legal case against a solicitor or barrister

Contact Us

If a solicitors’ firm or barrister has been negligent causing you a financial loss, or you believe you have been overcharged legal fees, please contact us using our contact form.

Call: 01565 655034

Arrange a call back

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Please enter a valid phone number.
Please type your message.