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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5993
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I was wondering whether it is possible to receive support. I

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Hi, Hi
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hi. I was wondering whether it is possible to receive support. I am a survivor of a chronic case of Domestic Violence. I suffered in silence for many years. My ex (denied all 5 charges), but was charged and convicted of 5 counts of common assault against myself and our 2 sons. It was a text book case of control and coercive behaviour, including financial abuse. Unfortunately, I am now in a situation where I am tackling my solicitor for poor service and representation during divorce proceedings. I am seeking legal advice and support in doing so.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: It is complicated but I had to ask for the the Decree Absolute to make the poor drafted order enforceable.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: I am seeking advice, support and representation against the solicitor who handled my case so poor without any consideration of the Control and Coercive aspect of the law.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: What rights do I have and the Legal Ombudsman to remove the CCJ that has been put on my house cuirrently jointly owned. due to the very poorly drafted order and lack of foresight by my solicitor, I am now struggling to get a mortgage in my name due to my ex's deception, money laundering and appaukling

Hello, my name is*****'m a barrister and will do my best to assist you today.

Please bear in mind as this is an email service and not live chat I may not respond immediately.

Can you set out what was in the order that you feel should not have been?

Can you set out what your evidence against the solicitor's conduct is?

Was the order made 'by consent' or following a court hearing and ordered by the judge?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi. Thanks for supporting me in this matter.
I thought it best to give you a brief overview of my situation to enable you to understand my situation and in order to receive accurate advice.
1. Solicitor’s Poor Service - Solicitor failed to apply relevant law on Control and Coercion (2015), despite my repeated efforts in raising this key area. (My ex’s conduct was gross and obvious, extremely violent and financially controlling). His final act of humiliation led to his dramatic arrest, subsequent criminal conviction of 5 counts of common assault against myself and our 2 sons who are minors).
2. Background to my grievance
As indicated above there should have been consideration for myself and our boys needs, (housing needs, future well-being including education, contribution from the non-resident parent and future financial needs). My solicitor repeatedly ignored these facts as well as my request for her to fully investigate my ex’s assests. I had been financially abused throughout the marraige to the extent that he had been receiving a pocketing the rental income from our jointly owned properties. I lived in total fear of him which is recognised in the in the police report and doctor’s notes. He tried desperately to conceal his assets and had not declared the rental income on his Form E which he alone was receiving exclusively from the jointly owned properties. This resulted in HMRC chasing me and I then had to pay penalties at source. Also he then denied paternity of our children causing further distress.
3. Departure form Equity - I felt that the gross and obvious conduct effectively bringing an end to the marriage, criminal conviction, money laundering, its devastating impact on our children and myself, financially, psychologically and negating all responsibility of our children should have been sufficient grounds for it to be considered ‘Inequitable to ignore’.
4. Set Aside – The solicitors are trying desperately to rail road me to pay for her corut appearance during the FDR of which I have not benefitted from. a) The Order was so badly drafted that it had to be ammended! b). The was no provision in the order in the event that my ex did not carry out the court order and gift me money within the given time frame. I therefore was forced to apply for the Decree Absolute to make the Order enforceable. The solicitors very hastily applied to the court to put a CCJ against my property which led which caused a worsening of my credit history. Due to this CCJ on my property, I now unable to find any lender to transfer the mortgage into my name. I am therefore worse off for having ever engaged with the solicitor.
5. Current Legal situation – Court Hearing During a recent court hearing, the judge dismissed my request for my case to be set aside. However, ordered that the Legal Ombudsman be given 3 months to investigate and make recommendations. Please see below the Solicitors response despite the Judges orders. Please note that it has only been a week since the court hearing and I have not received anything in writing from the court.
6. My request from you - Please can you advice me with how to ensure that the Legal Ombudsman are given the opportunity to investigate and make recommendations as ordered by the judge. I am struggling mentally to keep on fighting the very people who should have been fighting for me not against me. This is beginning to take its toll on me. I have no money, despite being a survivor of a chronic case of DV I am not entitled to legal aid and can not afford to pay legal fees etc. This is becoming a night mare. Please can you assist me in how to progress from here in my response to the Ombusdman by 24th June and theron after to finally conclude this horrendously drawn out process. Thank you.
Your complaint about my Solicitors
The Solicitors have told me they think that your complaint should be dismissed under rule 5.7(e) of our scheme rules.
Rule 5.7(e) states that an ombudsman may (but does not have to) dismiss or discontinue all or part of a complaint if, in his/her opinion:
“…(e) a comparable independent complaints (or costs-assessment) scheme or a court has already dealt with the same issue”
The firm have said that they believe that your complaint should not be considered by us because they have been engaged in court action with you. I attach the documents they have sent to us to support this. I can see from these documents that there was a court action was in Leicester County Court (claim number XXXXXXX), where the firm were the claimant and you were the defendant. I can see that they obtained a judgment in default against you for unpaid costs, and that you applied to set this aside.
I note there was a hearing on 7 June 2019 in which the court considered your witness statement in support of your application, in which you had set out your proposed defence which included the same issues you has brought to our office. The firm have said that the court dismissed all yo
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok. I am happy to have a telephone conversation. Please let me know when you are available. (I agree with you that it would be easier tand quicker to clarify. Thanks
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
As mentioned, I am happy to have a telephone conversation. In the meantime, what ste your initial thoughts on how to respond in the first instance.

Hello - I'm able to pick this up and call at around 6.40, all being well - I just have a coupe of other customers to speak to first. Thank you.

plclegal and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Hello - I have tried a couple of times to call and cannot leave a message as your mailbox is full.

I'll respond in writing later - I'm just in the middle of a series of calls to customers.

We can speak later too if this assists - please let me know when you are available.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Please call . Thanks.

Am happy to try again of course but not at this hour.

Are you available in the morning?

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Please can you call at mid-day. Thanks

I'm sorry - I'm only available up to 11.30am - so the latest I can call would be 11.15am today.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I await your phone call. Thanks

Hello. I've tried again to call 3 times this evening.

I'm going have to cancel your call request I think, so you can be refunded the cost of the call.

If you would like a written response, can you please add the remainder of the response from the solicitor that tails of half way through in the above post?

I will then be able to look over everything fully and revert back to you.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi.I waited at mid-day, (as requested), and didn't receive a call. Also, I have checked my phone and do not have any missed calls. Please confirm that you have been calling this number:***********I would much prefer a telephone conversation. I am still available this evening. I am really keen to explore this option and receive your support. If you are unable to have a telephone conversation this evening please suggest a couple of alternative times. Ps. (I have only just picked up your message that you were available up until 11.30am today)! I'm sure we can get something sorted.Thanks
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Please forgive me if I am not quite getting the hang of this system. I am happy to have a discussion now or alternivelty please give a few suggestions. Thanks


Apologies I have not been logged into the system since my last message to you.

I can set aside some time first thing in the morning on Monday to talk, if that assists?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Monday morning is a little tricky . I had to write a brief email response stating that zi will give a more comprehensive response at a later stage. How is Monday evening 5pm onwards of Tuesday morning?

Monday evening should be fine. Let's touch base then - I'm likely to be free shortly after 6pm.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Monday is fine. Thanks for confirming. Have a good weekend.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Good morning Peter.
Thanks very much for your advice given on Monday. I just wondered how to proceed with the other complication regarding my divorce finacial settlement. My ex should have sold the property that he chose and gifted me £42,000. Due to his adverse credit history, and working but not declaring his income, he is unable to get a mortgage in his sole name.I have previously applied for conduct of sale and wondered whether there is any way that I can pursue that. . I need to move in with my life. Please advise. Thanks.

Hello again.

Can you confirm if you have conduct of sale - if you applied for this?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I had no option but to apply for conduct of sale as there was no means of enforcement in the original order. The order was ammended to make the order enforceable.The judge said that I applied for prematurely! I now have to wait for 6 months after the Decree Absolute or 6 months after the court hearing, which ever came earlier. . In 4 weeks'time it will be 6 months after the decree Absolute. I have a number if questions therefore;
1. I am fighting desperately to get a mortgage in my sole name despite adverse credit history due to my association with my ex. How do I get conduct of sale in 4 weeks time? 2. My ex has failed to put the other house up for sale a d hift me £42,000 which would have significantly reduced the amount that I am asking for to get the mortgage in my name for the other property. Is there any way that I can get the properties transferred in my name? 3. The order from the court did not mention the legal ombudsman's role of being given 3 months to investigate. Can this be rectified to that effect. 4. A charging order has been placed on my house by the solicitor which has severely hampered my progress as mentioned above. How can this be overturned? I would appreciate a telephone conversation later this evening, tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning please. Thank you.

We can try for Monday morning, if that is ok.

You will have to start a new thread in order to request a further call - but we can sort that out on Monday.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok. Thanks.

No problem. Have a good weekend.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Legal Support for claim against solicitor for poor service.Firstly, may I just mention that I did not receive the phone call as agreed. The money was deducted from my account.. Please can you confirm that you are able to support me with my enquiry. I need support for my next court appearance regarding several related issues around poor service and negligence from my solicitor.1). Failed to apply relevant law on control and coercion December2015. DV survivor being financially abused. Resulting in non disclosure by the perpetrator and respondent leading to poor outcome at FDR2). Failure to carry out a proper financial investigation despite being told that the respondent was not declaring his assets.3). Poor advice on my rights regarding the sale  of the house and being pressured into accepting a less favourable outcome.4). Having to apply to the court for D11 in order to enforce the order5). Order needed to be ammended in order for it to be enforced - very poorly written by solicitor. Demanded payment yet the client had not benefited from their service. Solicitors hurriedly applied for CCJ on the property. 6). Solicitors action has caused adverse credit rating impacting on ability to move forward with the court order.7). Ombudsman should have carried out a thorough investigation into the above points. Solicitor has quoted Section 5.7 and simply want me to pay £1000s for their extremely poor service. 8). Now experiencing great distress due to the court proceedings against the solicitor who should have been acting on my behalf not against me.9). I need to put a case forward to the court on the above. I need the CCJ to be lifted and reduce cost of their bill and I have not received any benefit whatsoever only inconvenience, distress and a huge bill. Most importantly no area of the court order has been carried out due to the solicitors failure to make provision in the order to make it enforceable. 10). Please respond to the above followed by a phone call as previously agreed. Thank you.

I cannot telephone you again unless you request and pay for a further call - we spoke previously but your fee does not include unlimited calls for obvious reasons. The only way to do this is to start a new thread as actually the system only allows one call per thread and we have used that option up already.

As I said previously, you would need to start a new thread and you can request a further call through that thread.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for your response. However, a further payment has been taken out already.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Paid on 24th June.
Do you need me to pay again? If so, how much? Can I make the transfer today. I just want to have peace of mind and move things forward. Thanks

OK, that's odd. But actually I don't deal with the payment side of things.

The system only permits me to make one phone call per thread, so for a further call you would have to start a new question, and request a call via the call me link in the thread.

I actually can't override that or take payment directly.

If you think you have been billed for an additional call then you would have to contact customer services to sort it.

I'm sorry, I can only do what the system allows me to!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Peter.I would like to book another telephone conference with you please. Next week Wednesday, Thursday or Friday afternoon is preferred.

Hello Sonia,

Yes we can do this, of course.

I am not 100% sure of my movements at the end of next week yet, so can we touch base at the tart of the week?

If you send me a message either on Monday or Tuesday we can arrange a time to speak.

Thank you.

Hello Sonia,

Yes we can do this, of course.

I am not 100% sure of my movements at the end of next week yet, so can we touch base at the tart of the week?

If you send me a message either on Monday or Tuesday we can arrange a time to speak.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Absolutely. Thanks for your quick response.
I will send you some bullet points in the meantime.
PD. How do I arrange the payment?
Have a good weekend.Sonia

We need to start a new thread to put the call request (and payment) through - but we have to do this nearer the time as the requests expire within 48 hours.

Thanks and best wishes,


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok. Thanks again.

No problem at all.

Hi Sonia - I didn't hear from you again!

Was there anything further I can assist you with?

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi. Is it possible for a telephone conversation to be set up for Friday 26th July, between 4pm and a 5pm please? Please see previous correspondence trail for an outline.
A payment of £40.00 was deducted from my account in 9th July.
Hope we can have a conversation as requested which will help to clarify a few things.Please confirm looking forward to speaking with you..


I've reached out to customer service to clarify what is going on with the billing, as I can't see a phone call payment/ service request on my system. They will revert back to me and we can hopefully sort this out for you.

Friday afternoon is not great for me, I'm sorry.

But let's work out the billing issue first, then fix a time to speak.

Best wishes,


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Peter. Speak soon

OK - billing issue sorted according to my customer support team, so we can go ahead and book in your call.

As I said, tomorrow afternoon isn't possible, sorry.

I'm available in the morning and if this isn't convenient then Monday afternoon would work for me.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Monday afternoon 3pm is fine with me. Have you had the chance to look at my email outlining the main issues?
1).I will need help with using specific legal terminology with references so that I can demonstrate legally just how poorly I was represented. The Judge needs to be made aware of the totally inadequate service,.
2). Solicitor failing in her duty of care by not applying the relevant area of law to represent me skilfully and the resulting impact. No area of the order is being complied with due to not effectively challenging the respondent and dismissing his conduct entirely.
3).No means of enforcement in the order. Subsequently ammended. Failure to enforce legal powers to act in my best interest. (Financial Abuse, non-disclosure and subsequent short and long term impact).
4).The solicitors hurriedly placed a CCJ on my house having an
adverse affect on my credit rating.
5).The Ombudsman closed my case rather than carrying out a thorough investigation as the judge stipulated. I have not received any benefit from their service whatsoever. The judge specified the Ombudsman's role when summing up but this was not stated in the order!
6). How do I get conduct for sale. I need closure and e able to move on with my life.Thank you.Sonia


I'll have to push this back to after 6.30pm as something has come up that requires my urgent attention.

Let me know if you are free at that time.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That should be ok.
Alternatively, did you want to reschedule for tomorrow or Wednesday evening?

Hello - calling shortly.



Huge apologies for not connecting with you this evening.

I did try around 7pm and didn't get through but then meant to send you a message to follow up to say that I didn't get through... then other events took over.

Can we try again later in the week?

I'm going away for a couple of days (hence the lack of focus after trying to get through tonight (packing for the whole family is a bit of a huge task!)) but can touch base on Saturday morning, if that suits you?

Apologies again for not being more helpful this evening.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok. Very disappointed.
My friend and I waited around all evening and had put aside sone time now on 2 occasions .Really need to deal with this urgently. What is your availability Thursday or Friday this week?

As per my message last night I am away until Saturday.

To be clear, though you have had issues with billing, I have agreed to make this call to you for no fee, as the site will not pay me for two calls to one customer on the same thread. So whilst you are disappointed we did not speak last night, be assured that I am doing my best to try and assist you for no payment to me whatsoever. Which is more than most would do, I can assure you.

But in essence, to respond to your points:

1. Poor representation is not a ground for appeal

2. This is a claim against the solicitor for professional negligence, not grounds to ask the court to amend the order

3. All orders can be enforced on application - if they are not being complied with.

4. This is an issue to take up with the solicitor, as before

5. This is disappointing. If you disagree with the ombudsman you can complain, this is the section of their website pasted for you:

If you are unhappy with our service

If you are unhappy with the views we have reached about a complaint, please speak with the person investigating it in the first instance. They will explain our process for dealing with disagreements about our views.

If you are unhappy with the level of service we have provided please let us know. We take complaints very seriously and want to make sure we put right anything that has gone wrong. Our procedure for handling complaints about our service is separate to the process that applies when you disagree with our views about the complaint you have brought to us. Please speak to the person handling the case in the first instance.

All complaints about our service or staff conduct should be emailed to, *****@******.*** if you have been unable to resolve the issue with the person handling the case.

They will either be handled as complaints about our service or investigated under our HR policies as appropriate.

Senior managers and OLC Board members are unable to get involved in any way in, individual cases or Ombudsman’s decisions. The Chief Ombudsman has an overall independent statutory responsibility for the complaints that are brought to us but has the option to delegate her powers to other ombudsmen and investigators.

How you can let us know about any concerns you have about our service is explained in this factsheet.

6. You apply to court for this, as previously

Let me know if I can clarify anything and as I said, we can try and speak at the weekend.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Morning Peter. Thanks for your email. I'll look into it. What time on Saturday? 11am is fine with me.

Yes, that should be fine.

I'll confirm just beforehand.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good morning Peter.
I should be free this afternoon from 1.30pm Thanks. Sonia

OK - I will try to call shortly, just trying to find something to occupy the kids while I call!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'd like to thank you Peter for your advice today. I found it clear and most helpful. I feel more confident in handling my next steps prior to my court hearing. I was given a clear explaination to the legal process in regards ***** ***** very messy divorce and subsequent difficulties due to my solicitors poor service. I am much clearer on what I might expect moving forward. Thanks. Sonia

Good evening Sonia. Thanks for your message and for the feedback - it's really appreciated.

Best wishes,