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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My solicitor is now telling us that he will not act for us

Customer Question

My solicitor is now telling us that he will not act for us any longer. This is over a land sale he has acted on for us.
He has acted for us for the last 10 years plus but on this occasion it seems that the last two parcels of land which we had a buyer on he has not retained any rights of access for us to get to the land,this is after he dealt with another two parcels of land where rights were reserved for their access. We have always had a good working relationship in the previous transactions but after asking why the new buyers solicitor has told our agent that the access rights are not conclusive he has emailed us to say that it would be better for us to go elsewhere. I have asked him for a meeting to try and resolve this but he has refused saying he will not change his decision. I now have to parcels of land which look to be Land locked. Any suggestions where I go from here would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help with this.
Alex Watts : Have you made a formal complaint yet?
Alex Watts : Is this a new instruction please?
JACUSTOMER-8i12owmb- : We haven't made a formal complaint yet, although we have emailed both the solicitor concerned and the partner that deals with complaints we copied in to it. The response was the solicitor says he will not change his mind & will no longer act for us. The issue we have is it has become apparent that it is because he has not reserved rights to the land, so we had a sale that should have completed this week fall through, losing 65k. Even if we were to find an alternative buyer the problem remains regarding access. Our issue is, how can the solicitor fail to carry out our instructions by not reserving rights, now that it has come to light refuse to deal any further with us, surely he must unravel the mess he has created, who compensates us?
Alex Watts : Was he negligent in previous dealings?
JACUSTOMER-8i12owmb- : It would appear he has been negligent previously by not reserving rights! He had a legal graduate doing most of the work, she has now left the firm, but as she was working under his "umbrella " that makes him responsible? It has come to our attention now, that one of the transfers was signed by the graduate for land registry when we sold our house where she transferred rights has been completed wrong, she has marked the wrong access, which is now why we lost the sale of the land as she has granted access to the wrong place! This wasn't signed by us but by our purchaser for the house & the legal graduate. The purchaser of the house did not buy the additional land, the solicitor was told from the outset that we had 3 plots of land to sell that would all need rights reserved for access as we did not want to be landlocked, this has now happened? For him to not even talk to us is appalling, what a way to run a business, we need to know 1) how to deal with the solicitor in question & his lack of cooperation, after all we employed him in a trustworthy position & he has let us down in a very big way 2) how do we "unlock" our access for a future buyer?
Alex Watts :

I am sorry to say that a Solicitor can refuse to act, you can not make them. This is a contract and it can be terminated.

Alex Watts :

I would suggest writing to the complaints Partner at the firm and set out your position.

Alex Watts :

If the Solicitor has been negligent then the firm ought to be suggesting you take independent legal advice.

Alex Watts :

You may wish to do this anyway if the Solicitor has been negligent as you may have a claim.

Alex Watts :

However you can also contact the Regulator to investigate the conduct of the Solicitor, but you would usually only do this after you had a response from the complaints Partner. The regulator website is:

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not necessarily 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?

JACUSTOMER-8i12owmb- : My husband is out & has not seen yr response, we will rate after, please STOP/remove email reminders for us to rate
Alex Watts : I think they are system generated, I have no control over that so will pass your message on to the moderators.
JACUSTOMER-8i12owmb- :

Thank you :-)

Alex Watts : No problem!
Alex Watts :

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