You may decide to change solicitors for various reasons. It may be that you question the quality of the advice that you have been given. You may be unhappy with the standard of service that you are receiving. It may come down to nothing more than a clash of personalities. Whatever the reason, the important thing to remember is that you have the right to instruct a solicitor of your choice.
If you are unhappy with your solicitor, it may well be that the problem can be resolved by discussing it with them. Your solicitor should never forget that it is a privilege for them to have you as a client. If this discussion does not succeed in resolving matters to your satisfaction, then changing solicitors is usually relatively straightforward.
However, there are a couple of issues to consider.
First, how do you choose a new solicitor?
You may rightly worry that you could be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire! A good starting point is to check whether the solicitor is accredited by the Law Society in a particular area of the law. The Law Society issues specialist accreditation to solicitors who are able to demonstrate expertise in a particular area. Go to:
and click on “More search options”. Select the appropriate area of the law in the drop down list, add your postcode or location and click “Search”.
You will be given a list of firms, starting with the closest to your home. It is important to remember that the accreditation is of the individual solicitor, not of the whole firm.
Once you have identified a potential new solicitor, give them a call. Chat through the situation with them. Ask them about their experience in dealing with other similar cases. Have they heard of your medical condition? This should give you a good initial “feel” for the solicitor concerned. If you decide that they could be right for you, why not ask to meet them? Only face to face can you really decide whether you are likely to be able to form a good professional relationship with this person. Most solicitors will offer you a free initial meeting. Ask them if you are not sure.
The second issue to consider is that of legal costs. Your existing solicitor is entitled to hold on to your file of papers until their costs are paid. However, particularly in personal injury cases, this issue is usually dealt with by the new solicitor offering a costs undertaking to the former solicitors. This is an agreement whereby in return for the papers being released, the new solicitor agrees to preserve the former solicitor’s costs position, so that the former solicitor is able to recover their costs in the usual way at the conclusion of the claim.
One particular concern that is often raised is whether you will have to speak or write to your former solicitor, to tell them that you are intending to change solicitors. The simple answer is “no”. Your new solicitor will usually ask you to sign a form to confirm that you have instructed new solicitors and requesting that the former solicitor release their papers. Your new solicitor will then deal direct with your former solicitor.
If you are considering changing your solicitor, please feel free to call us on 01225 462871 for a confidential, no-obligation discussion.