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Bad Mckenzie Friend!(128 Posts)
I'm new here and was after some advice.
My ex has custody of our daughter (aged 12) who would now like to live with me. I asked a Mckenzie friend for help, he said it would be no problem, i just needed to pay him for filing the papers with the courts and for his time to fill them in. i paid him the money and waited for a week. Nothing. I called him and he said a hearing was taking place the following week that i didn't need to attend and that my ex had been served with the papers. I know my ex and if he had the papers, there is no way he wouldn't say anything to me, i heard nothing from him. The MF said he was likely staying quiet because he was going to contest it but he'd send me a report of the 'serving of papers' again, i had nothing. after the first hearing had happened, i asked if there was an outcome, the MF said yes, there is a hearing i need to attend in 3 weeks, i said ok, can i have the papers to confirm when and where it is for my own peace of mind. He agreed to send them on 3 different occasions, nothing ever arrived. I then called the local family court to see what was happening, they hadn't heard of me or the case. I told MF this and he agreed to meet up with me the following day, he didn't show up at 2 different arranged times. i asked for my money back which he agreed to, but again nothing happened! i threatened to call the police, he said he was transferring the money back to me and sending my papers, to date i've had nothing, i don't know what to do and need some help from someone, i doubt very much the police can do anything, i can provide details of this person to stop anyone else being duped by him but right now, my concern is my daughter and getting my money back so i can proceed with the court case myself. Any advice is gratefully appreciated.
Lost dad, if you read the webpages of the relevant regulators you will see solicitors are very closely regulated. Lists of recent striking off decisions and other sanctions here eg:
The legal profession is highly regulated.
the Police deal with criminal law, it's a civil debt (i.e. breach of contract), do you expect them to deal with everything??! Pretty sure they are busy with the citizens of this country who've had criminal offences committed against them.
Sorry to hear you're going through this.
Just found someone else he's conned! I can't comment on whether regulation would help stop people like this, but this is now definitely a criminal matter in my opinion?
lostdad - as you well know Resolution is not the regulator, it is simply a family lawyers' association that no-one has to join in order to practice. The regulators for lawyers are the SRA and the Bar Standards Board. Your comments are simply factually incorrect. Look at the lists of people disciplined for things much less serious than the conduct of this MF ....
The REALITY rather than posturing comments is that this MF will be ABSOLUTELY free to continue plying his "trade" - if he has been doing this for so long, how come he is still on the FNF website?
I have emailed fnf about him and will call them tomorrow to have him removed, I'm also getting in touch with hmrc as I doubt very much he is registered as self employed or as a company - he had no company registration number listed on his website (not sure if its legally required to be). He asks for the money to be paid to his wifes account, she is listed as doing the admin for him on the now non existent website.
good for you! go girl ....
I had similar issue for someone relating to a private investigator - was taking people's money all over the place (usually wives wanting their adulterous husband tracked) , lots of money and then not doing the work in most cases and not returning the money and putting his companies into liquidation legally to avoid creditors.
Women divorcing need to be very careful as they can be a bit vulnerable so more open to fraudsters. The man in ths case on the thread might just be a bit slow of course and planning to do the work and/or return the money.
He does not have to be a company. Do you have his address? If he is registered for VAT - again he does not have to be if turnover low - then you can track that back to the address even for a sole trader (someone operating not as a company). You could try reporting him to trading standards too if he is engaging in misleading advertising.
Yes, I think just about everyone knows that solicitors are the most heavily regulated or just about sector in the UK and MFs are not regulated at all but the problem is that most people on £13k - £20k a year or with no money cannot afford solicitors and cannot get divorce loans (there are loans you can get based on what you will win from a richer spouse but if neither spouse has much mnoey they are not any use either) so you either do it yourself, find someone who will help for nothing which is going to be pretty hard when most solicitors are working to feed their families so cannot do all their work for nothing just as you woudl find it hard to find a plumber to do your works for nothing or pay someone like a MF (and some are okay).
Doing it yourself whilst paying someone to check the documents might be a better route as you will be in charge of pushing the process forwards, submitting everything and then you pay someone just to check what you have done.
lostdad - there are two struck off barristers in THE LAST 4 WEEKS - the profession is about 15,000 so you can hardly say that this is no regulation. the details also make interesting reading -
1. struck off for fraud - unlike this MF who is FREE to continue unless and until he is actually jailed which will presumably prevent him from attending court... - though perhaps his equally untrained wife could "help out" at that stage
2. struck off for not reporting his bankruptcy - eeeeerm and MFs will have to do precisely what in relation to bankruptcy?! ooo - nothing ! as in fact the poor OP has found out given that the cheques are paid into the MF's wife account .....
don't let the facts get in the way though ....
the other option is to go to a DIrect Access Barrister who will do it much more cheaply than a solicitor and probably than most MFs from what I have read on here! what exactly were you offered for £400?
It was for forms to be filled in and filed with the courts, he wanted more money to attend court but luckily I checked with the court to confirm the dates (which keep changing according to him!) He kept promising to send my papers to me but nothing arrived, I know for a fact he didn't do anything other than lie about it all!
If you think you can be bothered you could write to him by special delivery and give him 7 days to repay your £400 otherwise you will sue him. If he does not repay it in that time then register with moneyclaimsonline and start a court action against him. If he does not defend that you can apply for a judgment on line (there are court fees to pay) and then send bailiffs in although if he is bankrupt or disappears it will not get you your £400.
It might be worth if you cannot afford a solicitor or direct access barrister doing it yourself and finding someone just to check the paperwork for you.
Also have you tried a meeting with your ex husband and your daughter so you can all agree what is best to be done? That might be cheaper and easier and everyone can stay more friendly and the resulting arrangements may last better. There may well be a compromise between her moving from one parent to another.
£400 was a rip off I am afraid for filling in the forms ....
certainly try mediation as well - it is perfectly possible to mediate whilst also having court proceedings
I have several addresses for him, I'll pass them on to hmrc and the police, its £1400 now between the 3 of us that he's duped, he's got a massive shower of Brown stuff coming his way!
It sounds like both a civil and criminal matter to me. This guy is commiting fraud. He is also breaching the agreement you had with him. Well done OP for doing what you can to get him stopped.
lostdad you appear to be speaking with an orifice of your body that is not your mouth. Still, babybarrister has set you straight. The Regulation of solicitors and barristers is by no means non-existent!
I will do everything I can, I've been bullied by my ex for years, there is no way someone else is going to take the piss as well!
LOL at Euro who has summed up extremely well what babybarrister was far too polite to say
Can I name the guy on here in a separate post? I need to find out if he has any other victims out there, there are two others apart from me that I know of, I need to know how far back this goes, or if he actually ever helped anyone and we were just people he couldn't be bothered with,
If what you say is entirely accurate you probably can name him, but it might be better if you don't for mumsnet and for you. When I was looking into someone else the way I found the other victims was a google search of his name which took me to discussions online by them.
Hi xenia, thanks for the heads up, I will not name him on here. One question though, how would anyone else find out who this conversation is about through a google search if I don't mention him or his company? I know exactly where you're coming from on the accuracy thing, I just think its unfair that me and the other two people have gone through all this and not been able to stop anyone going to him and being ripped off, thanks anyway x
Out of interest if a solicitor acted without my instruction - what is the sanction for that?
More detail required. What do you mean exactly by acting without your instruction?
A client engages a solicitor to act in the place of the client for legal purposes (as in signing contracts) and a solicitor may conduct litigation on behalf of their clients by making applications to the court, writing letters in litigation to the client's opponent, and so on.
Acting without instruction could mean various things. They would not on a daily basis obtain instructions for every single thing they do which would never work in practice. If they had never acted for you before and you had not given them the go ahead to start they might find it had to charge you for the work. If they did something unexpected once working for you no solicitor would do without client consent then that is likely to mean they were at fault.
hi there, im pretty sure i know EXACTLY who you are talking about. Bank account in wife's name etc. Initials M and W by any chance? Too many coincidences to be a different bloke I think.
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