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How much would it cost to get a solicitor's letter?

(5 Posts)
iblametheturtles Wed 04-Jul-12 13:38:46

We have an ongoing issue with the local council and have so far had free legal advice via a charity.

The council are refusing to respond to our letters/communications (this is a matter regarding our child's SEN educational provision by the way) and we have been advised that if they don't respond to our latest letter we will need to instruct a solicitor to write to them in the first instance and perhaps take things further if they still refuse to respond.

Can anyone tell me approximately how much the initial consultation and letter is likely to cost?

I'm really hoping the letter will do the trick, as I know we're talking £££s to take things further legally.

3xcookedchips Wed 04-Jul-12 13:51:45

if a council is ignoring letters concerning your childs welfare then you shouldnt be forced to have to rely on a solictor and incur the associated costs.

FWIW, I would engage your local MP by writing to them about your case and request if he can make represenations on your behalf to the council. You'll be surprised how quick they start moving and its a lot cheaper.

iblametheturtles Wed 04-Jul-12 16:24:42

Thank you for replying.

I totally agree, it's ridiculous that we need to fight for what my child is legally entitled to. They have broken the code of practice and blatantly disregarded the law, but there's no real consequence for their action/inaction, so they have little motivation to act reasonably. Even if I report them to the LGO, I know from others' experiences that it will make little difference.

I hadn't thought of contacting my MP. I will look into doing that. I'm really hoping they will respond to my latest letter, as I have made sure it's cc'd to the Directors as well this time.

I have now given them a fairly short deadline by which if they don't act we will take legal action, so I guess I should wait until that deadline before taking it to my MP.

Unfortunately things are time sensitive, as my dc only has one year of primary left before he goes to secondary and things need to be sorted in time for the start of transition.

crabbyoldbat Fri 06-Jul-12 14:00:51

Also think of contacting your local councillor - they are (theoretically) the boss of the local council workers. There may also be one who has special responsibility/interest in education and/or special needs. e.g. the chair of the local education committee.

IslandMoose Mon 09-Jul-12 16:51:40

Citizen's Advice may also be able to help with this one - the local one to me organises "free" legal clinics where lawyers from local firms are on a rota to be available one morning or afternoon a week.

Another alternative might be to apply for legal aid, although I'm not sure what the current criteria (both in terms of means testing and in terms of areas of law the scheme covers) are in England & Wales.

If you do need to privately instruct solicitors see if you can agree a fixed fee for a certain action or number of actions. If you simply allow fees to be on a time-spent basis they can quickly get out of control.

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