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Solicitor has been advising other side

(17 Posts)
divorcequestions Thu 25-Apr-19 01:44:40

Posted about friends divorce (nearly 4th year) before.

Friend has changed solicitors.
At first it was because friend didn’t feel comfortable with this particular solicitor.

We found out after each meeting he would write to her stbexh solicitors with an update of what had been discussed.

I accompanied friend to one of her appointments and felt the Original solicitor wasn’t thinking of how to advise my friend and every suggestion we made was met with how this would affect her ex.

Since leaving however it has come to light in letters to ex’s solicitor that he has been advising ex on how to go about getting the divorce without him getting in trouble with the police and how it would be cheaper for him if he took a certain route as it would leave the bills with friend.

It was truly a shocking letter that friend was charged for.

The new solicitor is having to start again as a lot of forms have not been filled in, the forms that have been filled in apparently say it is a straight forward divorce and make no mention of dv.

Any reference to the dv aspect to the case has been ignored.
Any research in how someone who had said they work below minimum wage manages to spend so much money has not been questioned.

Nor about how much property he owns.

Now we have another problem and don’t know who to complain to or even what to do.

Despite my friend and her new solicitor writing to the original solicitor to say that friend didn’t want to deal with him anymore he won’t leave her alone.

He sent at the start a letter begging her to come back.

Now friend and ex are selling some property that are part of the matrimonial assets,

Both ex (who doesn’t really want these things sold but has reluctantly agreed) and friend want this stuff sold as quickly as possible and they have a buyer however this solicitor is calling up the buyer and telling him to leave well alone.

He is also still billing her for the phone calls and letters he continues to write and make.

Eg he wrote a letter asking friend to discuss with him how they could move forward after friend wrote to him and told him she had hired.a new solicitor and would no longer be dealing with him.
He then sent her a bill for £96 for the cost of writing the letter.

What do you do in this sort of situation?

Friend feels like she is not only battling her ex but now someone who was supposed to be looking out for her interests.

At the moment he has run up several hundred pounds in charges which he sends friend a monthly update of despite no longer being friends solicitor.

OP’s posts: |
divorcequestions Thu 25-Apr-19 01:50:12

Friend and I think he is working for her ex

So far we have seen more evidence he is than any evidence he isn’t.

OP’s posts: |
divorcequestions Thu 25-Apr-19 08:22:35

Friend had the Ombudsmen involved because of the scale of the bill and her treatment whenever they met.

He would ride rough shod over any of her wishes and not explain anything. Once said in a letter that he would not listen to her as he was the solicitor not her

OP’s posts: |
IStillMissBlockbuster Thu 25-Apr-19 08:25:23

Can she find out who the solicitor's regulating body are? Sounds very unprofessional.

lightlypoached Thu 25-Apr-19 08:27:34

try this.

sittingonacornflake Thu 25-Apr-19 08:28:13

That sounds absolutely mental. I'm in the legal profession and I am stunned. Friend needs to call the SRA urgently! They regulate solicitors.

nrpmum Thu 25-Apr-19 08:29:07

If you have complained to your solicitor about poor service and you are not satisfied with their response, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman.
You can contact the Legal Ombudsman by:
calling them on 0300 555 0333.
going to the Legal Ombudsman website.
emailing them at

MrsBertBibby Thu 25-Apr-19 08:30:35

Is your friend in England/Wales? Or some other jurisdiction.

divorcequestions Thu 25-Apr-19 08:44:46

Friend is in England

She is already in contact with the Ombudsman.

Is that enough or does she have to get in contact with the SRA? Do they cover other areas that the Ombudsman doesn't cover.

He has already denied everything she has said has happened when the Ombudsman wrote to him. Even though there is proof on somethings.

OP’s posts: |
MrsBertBibby Thu 25-Apr-19 09:14:43

Ombudsman is poor service. SRA is misconduct. This may well be that.

She should refer to them.

divorcequestions Thu 25-Apr-19 09:34:31

Thanks for that MrsBertBibby wanted to know the difference.

OP’s posts: |
divorcequestions Thu 25-Apr-19 09:47:27

Sorry had to change phones as my other doesn’t do internet very well.

I seriously think that this guy took one look at friend and thought he could get one over on her.

She is severely disabled physically and because of a head injury (all at the hands of her ex) she comes across as not very smart.

As I have said I have met her original solicitor and did find it a struggle to see what she was paying for. His bill seemed to go up by about £1200 per month but with very little to show for it.

There are gaps in the billing of several months where there is no itemised bills. So all friend has received is a bill stating she owes £X0000, then a bill the following month saying she owes £Y0000.

OP’s posts: |
Palaver1 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:20:14

My gosh how did she get in touch with the lawyer who recommended him

sashh Fri 26-Apr-19 06:28:49

Call the police, this is harassment.

Report to the relevant authorities too but call the police.

divorcequestions Fri 26-Apr-19 09:36:42

She has asked her new solicitor to send a letter to tell them to stop contacting her and the buyer.

The whole thing should be over by now and we still don't have an end in sight.
Things are becoming clearer and how this solicitor is acting brings things none of us could understand into focus.
Every time we thought things were progressing there would suddenly be delay after delay. Now if we take the view this solicitor wasn't working for her at all and was favouring her exh then that would explain a lot.

At every stage friend has been told in court that because of her disability she would keep the family home. He would take the other assets and pay her an amount.

At every stage solicitor was advising her that it was better to sell everything (apart from exhs business which he would keep fully) and split the cash.

I stepped in at that stage because friend wanted someone a bit more forceful with a little more know how with figures to show her that if they sold everything because of CGT and estate agents fees on the rental property alone they would have substantially less in the pot.

He even gave her brochures (several times) of tiny bungalows with assisted living. She is in her early 40s with teenage children still at home and whilst she may need certain aspects of the house modifying she doesn't need any help. She has looked after the children and run all the houses (rental property made on paper only a few pounds per month but is regularly wiped out because of maintenance)

Exh always said he would make sure he would get the house and she would be left with nothing.

We think that the old solicitor has been working with the other side to drain any money that she had to keep going during this process so that she would be forced to give up her home.

How friend has coped with this is beyond any of us.

We can only say that this new solicitor seems very much on the ball.

OP’s posts: |
divorcequestions Fri 26-Apr-19 09:52:43


Unfortunately despite it being a case of domestic violence and being entitled to legal aid if you jointly own one rental property then you are not entitled to anything despite there being financial abuse. (I won't put down on here what he demanded just so she could get money for just a pair of tights).

Friend had to take anyone who would let her pay at the end. There is money but it is wrapped up in assets that cannot be sold till the divorce is finalised.

Friend was able to take charge of her disability but even that was stopped for a year, because of a malicious complaint. She got the years money backdated after she fought it but she had been living for a year off friends who were taking her shopping and people lending her money or filling her car with petrol and her credit cards which put a lot of interest on which she didn't get back.

It has been a nightmare from start to finish

OP’s posts: |
divorcequestions Fri 26-Apr-19 09:56:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OP’s posts: |

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