1.When the relationship has broken down and you wanna change solicitor. Either you are not getting the response you need or you find things are just too slow and do not get an explanation as to why. If you wish your file to be continued by another firm of solicitors you’re entitled to remove your file from your previous solicitor. The most important thing to remember is the file belongs to you the client……… once the fees are paid.
2.The procedure is as follows:
You sign an Authority in the second solicitors office which simply states that the firm of X, Y, and Z are authorised to take over the file previously held by firm ABC.
You need never go back to the first solicitors once you sign that authority and all further transactions can be dealt with by the second firm on your behalf.
Firm ABC if they have done work on the file are entitled be paid for that work. There is a choice here either you have to pay that amount upfront or if it is a matter where they will be some money gained by you at the end of the transaction solicitor X, Y, and Z may give it as an Undertaking (a promise to pay in writing) to pay whatever is due when the file is completed.
3. In order for any solicitor to give an undertaking you must sign an authority that you authorise this and this authority cannot be changed.
Not every solicitor will accept another solicitors undertaking so you may be required to pay up the money to change over.
4. If costs are due a bill should be produced without delay. These costs can be agreed or sent to an independent assessment.
5. The first solicitors are entitled to take and to keep a copy of the file but any cost of copying is at that solicitors own expense.
The file transferred to include all correspondence and documents prepared for the benefit of you however any documents prepared by the solicitor for their own benefit for which he hasn’t charged for can be kept.
6. If the file concerns court proceedings it is necessary for the first solicitor to apply to the court to come off representing you.
7. Finally although it is not recommended that the second solicitor operate without receiving the file on your behalf. In certain circumstances it may be necessary if there are any deadlines or expiry dates involved. In a case I took over recently someone was in their 80’s so no delay could be tolerated. Remember it is your only case……. the solicitor may have many cases .If you feel you’re not been treated fairly it is up to you to decide who is the best person to deal with your case.