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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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How many years are Barristers Chambers legally required to

Resolved Question:

How many years are Barrister's Chambers legally required to keep client's court files.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

I assume you mean that you instructed a Barrister directly yourself and did not have a Solicitor.

Alex Watts :

If this is the case then usually once the case is finished then papers are returned to you.

Alex Watts :

If any papers are kept then generally these are kept for 6 years as per the Data Protection Act requires someone to keep records for a reasonable period.

Alex Watts :

But generally papers are returned to the client.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

The papers were never returned to me. Yes I did instruct the Barrister myself. The papers are really important because they concern a court order against my ex for continued maintenance. The Barrister told me that if my ex died I would be first in the will. This is because I am his dependant and his new wife has no children--I have three-she has never left work and has a very high paid job.She is 14 years younger than him. They are all his children. He has never seen them for over 25yrs.Not even a card or any contact. He left everything down to me.

Alex Watts :

Then 6 years is usually the normal requirement.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

Have I any redress that the papers were never returned to me and destroyed without notice.They had been paid for with a Legal Aid Certificate.

Alex Watts :

When was the case?

Customer:

High Court 2002/3

Alex Watts :

Then sadly there is no obligation to keep it for longer than 6 years.

Alex Watts :

You need to check the client care letter to see what it says about keeping it longer than this or destroying the file.

Alex Watts :

It may say that after 6 years they are destroyed unless you day otherwise.

Alex Watts :

They would have only needed to keep them until 2009 -

Customer:

Thanks but this seems really unfair since Leicester County Court has also destroyed my file even though there was a live order on it.

Alex Watts :

Yes but a Court will generally destroy all records far quicker.

Alex Watts :

There is no obligation on the Court or Chambers to keep files beyond 6 years.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Do you think I should see a solicitor with the live court order of which I have a copy to clarity if if would finish if he died.

Alex Watts : You can try but I suspect it will not change the position
Customer:

Thanks

Alex Watts : i am sorry
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