Legal Aid - Changing solicitor(7 Posts)
Name changed but regular on here
I have very little confidence in my solicitor. She has been representing me for about 12 weeks. She didn't respond to a few letters to my ex as her secretary had been off for a couple of weeks. she doesn't seem to listen to me.
Can anyone offer advice please.
Lacking faith in your solicitor is a massive problem and I feel for you. A decent lawyer is worth their weight in gold.
Could you contact the senior partner at the firm to discuss it? Ignoring letters because the secretary isn't there seems a bit wet and pathetic, but there could be more to it.
I think it was an excuse tbh. She seems to be in a rush to get the divorce through. On my second appointment I started to tell her what the Police had said she cut me off and said "I know the law".
It's obviously very frustrating and disappointing for you to not have faith in your solicitor. It's really important that you have a good relationship with them right from the start. Unfortunately, you won't be able to just swap solicitors if you are in receipt of legal aid. You will need to make a complaint (you should have been given a client care letter right at the start which will explain the procedure). This should be in writing (make sure you keep a copy). You then have to give the firm time to resolve your issues (perhaps swap you to another solicitor?)
If your complaint isn't resolved to your satisfaction, you can then look for another legal aid solicitor to take on your case, and they will then have to justify to the Legal Aid Agency why you are swapping.
I hope you get some resolution soon. Good luck!
Hi OP, taking on another firm's legal aid client is deeply unattractive, because the fee sharing arrangement is appalling, so you may struggle to change.
Any legal aid family lawyer will be absolutely drowning in extremely demanding cases, it is all but impossible to provide good client care, especially if the solicitor doesn't have a junior/secretary to help. I packed in legal aid because I was so fucking sick of working like a lunatic, dealing with really upsetting work, making bugger all money, and worst of all having a pack of angry clients going nuts because I'd been in court all day, and my dear firm provided zero secretarial staff, so I had no one keeping them happy while I was at the coal face. It was bloody soul destroying. So I'm not surprised things have gone to pot for your lawyer while her assistant is off.
But you will I fear find that she will cut you short if you are telling her stuff she doesn't need to know. It stinks, but I'm afraid if you want the kind of service we would all like to have, and provide, you will have to pay for it at £200 an hour. Otherwise, you will have to work with what she can manage, on about £40 an hour. She is highly unlikely to not care, you don't do family legal aid unless you really want to help people. But I gave up as it was a straight choice between the job and my sanity.
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