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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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I have just been divorced. My husband contacted me before the

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I have just been divorced. My husband contacted me before the final hearing to try and come to an agreement, which we did. However, I now know that my solicitor has lied to me on more than one occasion. I was in fact persuaded by her to file for divorce, because she told me that my husband had a child with the woman he was denying he had an affair with. Initially I only contacted a solicitor to look over the initial agreement my husband I had put together. I agreed to petition against him with adultery as the grounds. At a later date my solicitor phoned me to tell me that not only had my husband refused to accept those grounds, but he had filed against me! This caused me a great deal of emotional upset and distress. I sacked my solicitor earlier this year when after talking to my husband I realised that for two years her only intention was to ensure that the case went to a final hearing. I also discovered that my husband had agreed to accept grounds of unreasonable behaviour and accept my petition against him. For two months his solicitor attempted to contact my solicitors asking when we were going to file. My solicitors were given three deadlines which were all ignored, which is why my husband filed against me. I was not informed about any of this, my solicitors told me they did not know why he had filed against me. My solicitors had several lump sums from me, all of my mothers savings, and then for the last year £400.00 every month that came from my mum's pension. They repeatedly ignored communication from my husbands solicitors, they failed to file information on time to the court on more than one occasion, and a few days before the second court hearing, I was again telephoned and told that the date had been changed, and my solicitor could not attend with me. I was given 24 hours to decide if I wanted them to appoint a barrister for me. When i tried to talk to the owner of the firm, I was told that she did not have time to talk to me and to tell her yes or no..I was also told that to go to court without representation was 'suicide'. Under duress i agreed. The court hearing was a utter fiasco! The barrister was not prepared in any way, he even did not know basic details about my case...and after the initial appearance before the judge, the barrister told me to go home! I did go home because i was so shocked, and of course this made me look bad. I had every intention of staying the whole day, i was led to believe that as long as i made an appearance i could go. I have since found out from my husband and his solicitor, that when asked where i was, the barrister said he did not know, I just said i was going!
There is much more. But now my solicitor is asking for another £5,000 which i have no idea what for! She is threatening me. I have already paid them about 15,000. What i would like to know, is do I have a case against them? I have been through untold stress and upset over the last two years, and i now know it was largely because of my solicitors handling of my case. My husband tells me that all in all there may have been 20 letters sent to his solicitor from mine, all his communications were mostly ignored. I do not know where £15,000 has gone! I would like to get all my money back, mostly to repay my mum. her entire savings went on this, she is 87. The main communications I got from my solicitors, were reminders that the money from my mother was late...which was never more than a day. Do I have a case against them?
Hello and thanks for your question.

I am so sorry to hear what a terrible experience you have had with the legal profession.

You have every right to make a complaint against the firm concerned. The first step is to make your complaint to the firm itself. Every firm of solicitors is obliged to have a formal complaints procedure, so ask them for a copy of their complaints prodecure - then follow the procedure set out (there's probably a named individual in the firm who has been allocated to deal with complaints.

If, 8 weeks after making your formal complaint to the firm, you feel that your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily, you are then entitled to take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. But they require you to complain to the firm first, and will only take up your case 8 weeks later.

The Legal Ombudsman is independent and impartial. This means that when they receive complaints, they will look at the facts in each case and weigh-up both sides of the story. They are not consumer champions nor part of the legal profession, and they are also independent of Government. Their service is free to use.

Here's a very helpful leaflet on how to complain to your solicitors:-

Here's a template letter that you can use, if you like.

Here's a leaflet about the work of the Legal Ombudsman:-

The Legal Ombudsman will not charge you - their service is free.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** to know if this would be classed as bad enough to complain about. Do I have to settle my bill with them in the interim?

Hi again

Yes it's definitely bad enough to complain about.

I would hold off paying while they consider your formal complaint - unless they are actually threatening to take you to court over non-payment. But see below as well.

Try and write out a time-line of what happened ie a list of key dates down the left side of the paper - with what happened (that shouldn't have happened) or didn't happen (that should have happened) down the right side of the paper.

You entered into an agreement for legal services - you feel you did not get those legal services. That would be your defence to any court claim they may make against you for non-payment. Plus in addition, if they caused you financial loss by wrong or bno legal advice or action, then that's a sum to add, in addition to breaching their agreement with you.

I do hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes..