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Lawyer lost my documents

(16 Posts)
Sleepingonthebus Sat 04-Feb-17 17:54:58

I got divorced in the middle of last year. Paid bill no problem but never received decree absolute. After several phone calls to the lawyer, they eventually said they sent it out months ago. Not recorded delivery, just regular mail.

The package contained my marriage certificate, birth certificate and my 2 kid's birth certificates. Also a Minute or Agreement from a previous solicitor when me and the ex split up 10 years ago.

The lawyer is refusing to accept responsibility and said I'd need to go through the courts and registry offices for copies at my own expense.

I think they should have done this for me but would love some advice if there are any lawyers around please.

jumpingcold Sat 04-Feb-17 18:14:37

It seems like this is something you can report complain to the ombudsman about https://www.resolver.co.uk/consumer-rights/solicitors-lost-papers-documents-complaints - bloody terrible that they've done this!

Sleepingonthebus Sat 04-Feb-17 18:18:32

Thanks jumping

Should have said this is Scottish law. That link seems to apply to England and Wales only. There must be something similar here though. I'll investigate.

jumpingcold Sat 04-Feb-17 18:33:37

Ok, some advice and numbers here. https://www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk/making-a-complaint.aspx - the more I think about it the more serious I think this is - I would look up Scottish law on data protection as I'm fairly sure they'll have fallen foul of that. You need to complain to the solicitors first.

Sleepingonthebus Sat 04-Feb-17 19:13:20

Thanks Jumping

Can't believe I've just accepted this. It never occurred to me to take it further.

MrsBertBibby Sat 04-Feb-17 19:28:03

How is the Royal Mail losing hard copy documents anything to do with data protection? Data protection legislation is about ensuring proper standards to prevent the loss or theft of computer records. Not of pieces of paper.

mumblechum0 Sat 04-Feb-17 19:48:46

I don't know if it's different in Scotland but in England the court office will just hand over a sealed copy of your DA for couple of pounds. The marriage cert forms part of the court file as is never returned to the client. I'm not sure why your children's BCs were even submitted.

The post office lost your papers, all of which can be easily and cheaply replicated.

As a goodwill gesture, they could order and pay for replacements but this isn't really complaints territory IMO

Sleepingonthebus Sat 04-Feb-17 20:04:37

Surely it should have been sent special delivery at least though? I'd have been happy to pay the extra in my bill.

mumblechum0 Sat 04-Feb-17 20:27:35

As I say, I have no clue why they were returning your marriage and birth Cerys but no, DAs would normally go out in standard posts in all the 8 solicitor's firms I ever worked in.

cdtaylornats Sat 04-Feb-17 22:33:55

Data protection legislation is about ensuring proper standards to prevent the loss or theft of computer records. Not of pieces of paper.

Not really - the act doesn't mention computers and specifically includes the manual processing of data.

Sleepingonthebus Sat 04-Feb-17 22:54:44

I've no idea why they wanted birth certificates. They asked for them so I complied. If I'd known they were going to be sent out in regular post, I'd have gone to the office to collect them instead.

cdtaylornats Sun 05-Feb-17 01:20:46

Small claims court for costs of replacing certificates?

4 Certificates ordered from Scotlands People by registered mail would be £52. Order them, invoice the solicitor and if he doesn't pay - small claims. It would cost him more to contest it than to pay.

Collaborate Sun 05-Feb-17 08:53:53

Not the fault of your solicitor if they've gone astray in the post. Why would it be?

BellsaRinging Sun 05-Feb-17 08:59:05

I really can't see why you are thinking about complaining about or claiming money from your solicitor when it is the post that lost the documents. Unless that is you specified to send everything to you via another medium?

cdtaylornats Sun 05-Feb-17 09:15:41

If you buy something online and it doesn't get to you then you claim against the seller.

The solicitor had a responsibility to return the documents. He had many choices as to the method. His agency of choice to perform this service was the Royal Mail. The fault lies with the solicitor, it is up to him to chase his agent.

Sleepingonthebus Sun 05-Feb-17 09:27:16

Thanks everybody.

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