If you believe your solicitor has acted negligently in their duties, there are some things to consider before you consider suing a solicitor.
– Have you kept all your documents? You will need all correspondence including letters that detail the terms of your retainer and other instructions?
– Have you already tried filing a complaint with the law firm following their complaints procedures? This is the best way to begin as you can mitigate your losses and save time and effort on a potentially drawn-out procedure.
– Do you have evidence of losses suffered? For example, if you are complaining about a loss of value in a property, do you have evidence of this loss of value? You will want to collect and preserve as much evidence as you can.
– Have you complained to the Legal Ombudsman Service?
– Do you have a careful record of attendance with the lawyer? This can be in person or over telephone communications. These pieces of evidence will be crucial to the outcome of your case so make them as accurate as possible.
– If you have not done this, you will want to request all the files your solicitor is holding as well. Of course, if there is still an outstanding unpaid invoice, they may be reluctant to release these papers until payments have been made.
– A professional negligence claim is a very stressing and time-consuming process and there is a good chance that your claim will be refused. Lawyers are typically covered by indemnity insurers who will try to undermine the validity of your claim to avoid liability.
– If part of your evidence involves a court hearing that went wrong, you need to seek out a copy of the courtroom transcript.
You will want to act as swiftly as you can to ensure your time limit for making the claim does not expire. This could cause your claim to become time-barred. When this happens, your lawyer will have a completed defence against your claims and a favourable outcome will be this much harder to achieve.