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Title: Do I have to pay to change solicitors?

Date: 16 November 2011

Solicitors want to charge for changing solicitors

Question


Hi there, my cousin was involved in an accident where he was overtaking a vehicle and the car in front turned right and knocked him off. He was in hospital a few days and his son who was riding pillion was discharged the same day. he has received a letter from a solicitors firm saying they have taken his case on. It is based on a no win no fee situation. He wants to use his own solicitor but the firm who wrote to him have got in their small print that for him to change firms he has to pay them £980 x2 ( price for him and price for his son) as this is what they paid his insurance company for his claim. Can they do this or can you change as you want without any costs? Thanks

19mikey MCN Legal Forum

Answer

Your cousin and his son can appoint who they like to act for them. It is nonsense that they would have to pay the fees quoted. That is simply the firm tring to recoup the money they paid the insurer for the cases. Even if it were in the small print it is undoubtedly an unfair term contrary to to the Unfair Contract Terms Act and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations. It is imperative that your cousin and his son seek advice from separate solicitors as there is a clear conflict of interest here. One firm should not be acting for both of them. It is highly likely that your cousin will have an allegation of contributory negligence against him (which a good solicitor will need to deal with carefully) whereas his son can succeed in full against his father's insurer with that insurer seeking recovery from the third party, subject to any ageed liability split.

It is deeply worrying that the solicitors appointed have told your cousin that they need to pay to change solicitors. They do not and I would suggest a complaint is made about the firm to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Feel free to call me for a further chat. Regards, Andrew Campbell, Solicitor & MCN Legal Expert. Bikelawyer Motorcycle Accident Solicitors. www.bikelawyer.co.uk andrew@bikelawyer.co.uk Tel 01446 794199.

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