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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am not sure whether you can help me as I have a very

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Hi I am not sure whether you can help me as I have a very complicated situation which I have been fighting for the past 8 years to no avail.
I Instructed a firm of Solicitors two years ago to represent me in a professional negligence claim against an IFA for £100,000 that had occurred 6 years previously. Which, although should have been a straightforward case was Complicated by the fact that the Firm involved dissolved the company three months before the FOS upheld my complaint resulting in the FOS referring me to the FSCS (whose limit is £50,000)?
As I had lost over £100,000 I spent a whole year trying to find a Solicitor who would act for me to try and get me back what I was owed to enable me to buy another property as that was the reason I had invested in the first place.
Finally finding the solicitors I have at present who, initially were being very proactive in that they reinstated the company to it original registration and argued against an exclusion cause in the Insurers policy which purported that due to the clause they did not owe me anything.
Then, for some unknown reason, my solicitor did a complete u turn and rather than fight on my behalf he began to put obstacles in my way:
1. Because I had applied to the FSCS (who had made no response following my application a year previous) he decided (against my instructions) to pursue the FSCS (rather than pursuing the company, because it was the ‘easiest option’) on my behalf, claiming £14,500 plus 15 % success fee from anything the FSCS might award me and when I questioned how he could claim such a large amount for doing absolutely nothing (apart from Putting the FSCS on hold, without my knowledge). He threatened to terminate my CFA (which I had supposedly signed), if I did not agree to his firm pursuing the FSCS. Resulting in me having to pay all the legal costs that he had incurred up to that date. (Which he knew I could not afford). This left me no choice but to agree to his ultimatum. (I have since found out that the only CFA I had signed was to cover the Company and the insurers who I was claiming against and NOT the FSCS)
2. The CFA that I did Sign, I had been assured all along that it covered both the company and the insurers. Yet, when I was finally informed that I could apply for judgement in default (a year after I had signed the CFA) I was duly informed that the CFA only covered the company and not the Insurers (yet he knew all along that as the Company did not have any assets, once Judgment had been obtained I would have to claim against the insurers).
3. I was informed, as the company did not have a defence, that I would be able to apply for Judgment in default a month after the particulars of claim had been submitted. But after numerous emails requesting any progress on the companies defence I was finally informed 4 months later that I could apply for judgment which took another 5 months for it to be obtained.
4. Due to the exclusion clause in the Insurers policy they offered me £9,000 in full and settlement. Not only did My solicitor not put forward any arguments in my defence but I have recently ascertained that he never put forward my refusal of the offer and he has completely ignored all further correspondence from the insurers , resulting in me being threatened with being reported to the Court for non compliance.
5. I have never been involved/ included in any decisions regarding my claim and if I have I have generally been persuaded to go against what I actually wanted. Yet I have been accused of being obstructive and not giving clear and honest instructions.
6. Even after asking on numerous occasions what the legal costs would be, how much I could expect to receive in compensation and the promise of having such a discussion with me. This discussion has never taken place and indeed was even point blankly refused.
I must admit I find it difficult to express what affect the actions of this solicitor has had upon me and my family, suffice to say that I am relying on sleeping tablets and antidepressants to get me through each day.
I have written a formal letter of complaint 8 weeks ago and am still awaiting a response. I have sought advice from various other solicitors /Barristers, but apart from ‘bleeding me dry’; they all seem to be indifferent to my situation and overlook what I see as a clear case of professional misconduct.
I would really appreciate your advice as to whether you feel I am correct in my analysis of the situation and if I am, if you could sign post me to someone who would be willing to fight on my behalf and end 8 years of what seems like sheer hell.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Have you complained to the Legal Ombudsman yet please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am sorry for the delay in replying, as there seems to have been some mix up with my email address which has delayed access to the site. But hopefully this has now been rectified.

In response to your question, no I have not complained to the Ombudsman as I am still waiting for a response to my letter of complaint.

But I would appreciate your advise as to whether I could make a claim for breach of contract and terminate my CFA without fear of having to pay the legal costs?

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Yes it sounds like they have been negligent, they owed you a duty of care, breached it and you suffered loss as a result. Therefore it sounds oike you do have a claim.
If you claim this is a fundamental breach then you should not have to pay fees, because it goes to the very heart of the contract. But what you should do is as you say wait about the response to your letter then complain to the Ombudsman.
If you feel that this contract has broken down in that it destroys all trust then you can terminate. Clearly there i a risk they may try and pursue you for the costs, but then you could counter claim.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Alex

would you also say there is some form of misconduct in that the solicitor not only went against my instructions in pursuing the FSCS but lied about the fact that I had signed a CFA in relation to this and then threatened to terminate the 'alleged 'CFA if I did not agree to them pursuing the FSCS at a cost of 15% plus success fee of any award the FSCS might award me (even though they were aware that the FSCS does not pay costs)

The CFA I did sign, I was assured covered the insurers as well as the company , but a year later when I was applying for Judgment in default I was duly informed that the CFA did not cover the insurers and if i wanted to make a claim against them I would have to fund this myself.

Also I have evidence that not only did my solicitor not argue in my defence in response to an unacceptable offer from the Insurers but also completely ignored all correspondence from the insurers , resulting in me being accused of non compliance.

If they went against your instruction and tried to cover it up, there would appear to be misconduct. If you were assured the CFA covered the insurers as well, this is breach of contract.
Does that help?
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

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