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Changing Solicitors & Personal Injury Claims

Just like any service provider sometimes your personal injury solicitor may fall short of your expectations.

Changing solicitor if you are unhappy with your service is fairly straightforward. Though you should first consider why you wish to change and whether your relationship with your solicitor can be saved.

Raising your concerns

If you are unhappy about the service you are receiving from your solicitor, the first step is to speak to them about your worries or concerns. They should listen with an open ear and suggest a way to make things better.

If your concern or complaint is not resolved at that stage then it is advisable to escalate by using the firm’s formal complaints procedure. If you remain unhappy then you have a right to refer the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

The Legal Ombudsman

This is an independent body which investigates complaints against solicitors. Their data shows that the following are the most common causes of complaint:

  1. Delay or failure to progress.
  2. Failure to advise or poor advice.
  3. Failure to follow instructions.
  4. Failure to keep informed.
  5. Failure to reply.
  6. Costs.

Can you change your solicitor during your personal injury claim?

If you have exhausted all avenues of trying to resolve matters with your own solicitor, or even if you haven’t and you have decided you want to change, what happens next?

You can change solicitor, but first you need to consider the effect that this may have upon your case.

If you are at the early stages of your case then it should be fairly straightforward to change solicitor. You should approach the new firm of solicitors. If they agree to take on your case they will prepare a form of authority for you to sign which says you now want them to act for you. The new solicitor will then write to your old solicitor and ask the file be transferred to them.

Your old solicitor may ask the new solicitor to preserve what is called a lien on the costs.
This simply means that at the conclusion of the successful case when the new solicitor obtains their costs from the other side your new solicitor promises to account to your former solicitors for the work done.

Is the timing right?

It is important to consider the timing of your transfer request. Will changing now actually damage the ultimate outcome of your case?

If in your personal injury case you have not issued court proceedings then it should be fairly straightforward. If you have already issued court proceedings it depends on where you are in those proceedings. It is highly unlikely that a firm of solicitors would take over a case in which you are behind on any court directions or are very near to trial.

However it is important that you speak with your potential new solicitor as soon as possible.

Choosing the new solicitor

Having had an experience of not being happy with one solicitor you need to make sure that when you switch you switch to someone you are happy with. Therefore you should check for appropriate solicitors on the Law Society website.

Research your new personal injury solicitor carefully, as you do not want to change one solicitor to find you are unhappy with the new solicitor.

Many solicitors now have a large social media presence and it’s useful to see what reviews they have received.

All solicitors know that good client service is key to a healthy business. Our specialist personal injury lawyers always put the client at the centre of everything we do. To speak to one of our personal injury experts call 0808 271 9413 or request a call back online.