If you’re unhappy with your personal injury solicitor for any reason, you may be wondering whether you can transfer your file, and speak to somebody else. The good news is that you are entitled to change solicitor at any point during a claim, although there are a couple of things you may need to take into consideration first.
Your solicitor is entitled to hold onto your file until any outstanding fees have been paid. This is known as ‘exercising a lien’ and is a very common practice. In a personal injury case there will often be outstanding fees and other expenses of a thousand pounds or more – which many clients aren’t in a position to pay.
In these circumstances, it may be possible for your new solicitor to enter into an arrangement with your existing solicitor to recover and account for their costs once the claim concludes.
Some people are reluctant to change solicitor as they are not comfortable discussing their decision to withdraw their instructions with their original solicitor and may feel they are making an unnecessary fuss or complaining without good reason.
In reality, there is no reason for concern in this respect, as your new solicitor should be able to notify your original solicitor of your decision, via a letter or even a phone call. You will need to sign a consent form to confirm the transfer of your file and instructions.
If you are frustrated with your current solicitor, then it can be easy to be swayed into instructing another firm quickly and without properly considering whether or not this is the best course of action in the longer term. It’s important to ensure that the law firm you want to instruct has the relevant expertise to handle your claim. It’s also sensible to have a discussion with the solicitor who will be responsible for managing things on your behalf, to check that you have confidence in their ability to do a good job.
It’s also worthwhile checking that the new firm uses qualified solicitors – many personal injury firms (especially the bigger ones) now use ‘claims handlers’; administrators who not legally qualified and who, unlike solicitors, are not required to have undertaken rigorous legal training at university and on the job.
If you have instructed a solicitor to handle a personal injury claim on your behalf, and you’re unhappy with their service for any reason, why not arrange to discuss your case with a member of our personal injury team today on 0845 287 0939 or email us.
We only employ solicitors to handle our claims, and our partners review every case before allocating them to the most appropriate expert solicitor with relevant experience in similar claims.