Hi there We are just starting to debate about next steps for our statemented child. Is there such a thing as a solicitor who specialises in helping parents through tribunals, or does one just go to a general solicitor? If the former, what are these solicitors called, where does one find them, and does anyone have a recommendation (preferably SW london or Surrey based) Many thanks Lynn6697
I would recommend Fiona Slomovic - who is reasonably priced but very very good at what she does (has recently won several cases for pals of mine, without even getting close to tribunal). She is cheaper than a solicitor as is an advocate - which means she has exactly the same right of court appearance as a solicitor, and the same knowledge base (better from what a a friend of mine who has used both Fiona and other solicitors says) but because she is not a qualified solicitor she is a lot cheaper. There are quite a few on here who will hopefully agree that Fiona is the best. A few well-placed letters from her won me the provision I wanted - twice. She is a former City bigwig, who had an autistic child herself and retrained as an advocate for mums with legal SEN cases, or going to tribunal.
Another vote for Fiona slomovic here! She is incredible. She won a home ABA programme for my son and now a place at a v expensive ABA school, all without getting anywhere near tribunal. Think i paid her £300 total!
I know people who have spent 30x that on solicitors and barristers and tbh I can't understand why anyone would go to the extra expense
Thanks everyone, very helpful to bear in mind for our next steps and I have also just found a chapter in the good schools guide of SN that talks about this as well so I now know a lot more than when I wrote the post. cheers
Please pick your solicitor with care otherwise you will be ripped off.
We used one associated with SOSSEN and the fees were over 10k well over and not to mention the experts a complete waste of money we never got what we wanted and ours sons education is now a complete mess.
However i do hope you have better luck than us . Keep us posted.
It's not for everyone, I realise that, but I have attended two tribunals unrepresented and have managed to get what I was asking for, it may be better to have a legal rep but it isn't impossible to get what your child needs without. We couldn't have afforded a solicitor in any event. Good luck
Hi everyone Not sure if anyone will see this entry but just to say that we have had a very successful experience with Fiona. Our child's case was not an easy one and Fiona had stacks of reports to read and the situation was even still evolving as we worked together as we were seeing new professionals etc. But Fiona was able to absorb all the detail and produce a concise, accurate and compelling case to the LA and her letter alone won us the hours they had previously refused. So I would highly recommend her for situations like ours (arguing for an increase in hours the LA has previously refused). Choccyhol10 sorry to hear you didn't have the same experience. Best wishes