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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I am a chartered surveyor who prepares dispute cases for construction

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I am a chartered surveyor who prepares dispute cases for construction clients and have strayed into the County Court process being mislead by Court Clerks that I can represent my clients as 'litigation friend' and have done so on 12 to 15 occasions by written and in person hearings without any complaint by judge or solicitors in opposing side. I was faced friday by a judge who said I should not have done so and threatened to jail me for two years for so doing!

Does this sound correct? and secondly is it the case that I can assist preparation of a case but must not represent in court or make applications for clients and they must do this themselves or be represented by a solicitor only. I mainly represent clients at Adjudications and Mediations where there are no restrictions.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with your question.

tdlawyer :

Yes, it would appear that you may have committed a criminal offence by straying into conduct of a "reserved activity", which is litigation before the court.

tdlawyer :

You cannot assist in the preparation of the case where this requires you to take steps in the proceedings.

tdlawyer :

Then, schedule 2, paragraph 4 of the 2007 Act, defined "Conduct of Litigation" as follows:

tdlawyer :

(1) The “conduct of litigation” means–

(a) the issuing of proceedings before any court in England and Wales,

(b) the commencement, prosecution and defence of such proceedings, and

(c) the performance of any ancillary functions in relation to such proceedings (such as entering appearances to actions).

tdlawyer :

The bit that would worry me is 1(a) and 1(b), which talks about functions ancillary to the conduct of litigation. This in my view is likely to include taking steps to prepare defences and claims etc., even when signed/lodged by the client themselves.

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