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TOPIC: Accountability for lying solicitors

Accountability for lying solicitors 10 years 2 months ago #4721

For anyone representing themselves in court, especially if resources have been drained by ex's publicly funded legal assaults, the prospect is daunting. The rules of engagement are not the same as common sense, what counts as relevant evidence is not what might be expected, and then there is the alienating nature of the language. Necessary though these things might be, it does make the entire prospect of defending oneself in court a terrifying thought.

Still, solicitors know this. Three weeks ago I received a deeply threatening solicitor's letter, telling me that an application for public funding had been made, that his client (my ex's) case was very strong, and that - to avoid court - I should concede to ridiculous amounts of money to be subtracted from my share in our jointly owned property.

The case seemed so week, I contacted the Legal Services Commission to complain that public funding should not be granted. They advised me to put my argument together, compile my evidence, and submit a 'representation'. Yesterday, three weeks after the original letter, they tell me there is no file for the client's solicitor. I asked them to confirm that this meant he had not applied, and was told that confidentiality laws prohibit them from confirming. So ... I asked how long an application takes to process. The answer is 2 weeks. So now that 3 weeks have passed, it is fair to assume no application was made.

So - I contact the Legal Complaints Service. They have the power to establish whether my assumption is true, and dish out their own punishment. However, they also tell me that, because the complaint is not about my own solicitor (but my ex's) I will never know the outcome.

I am obviously too close to all this to have much of an objective view. Can someone tell me - even from a common sense perspective - if this is as outrageous as it seems to me. Don't fathers already have a mountain of prejudice to overcome, without legal professionals exploiting their vulnerability? And if so, any creative ideas?

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Re: Accountability for lying solicitors 10 years 2 months ago #4741

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This is appalling if it turns out that the solicitor is lying, but legally rather fascinating.

Is there any way you can get information from the LSC using the Freedom of Information Act? It migh also be worth contacting your local MP - it will be a slow process unfortunately, but might be worth persuing. Certainly keep all of your correspondence (I assume you probably are anyway) as it might be interesting to bring this to the attention of a judge as an aside should anything end up in court in future.

Might also be worth writing a letter of complaint to your ex's solicitor - would be interesting as to how he'd reply, and could even be the basis for a claim in the small claims court.

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Re: Accountability for lying solicitors 10 years 2 months ago #4820

Thanks for this. And I think you're right - it's fascinating.

I find it a bit naughty that solicitors writing directly to me do not use my name nor sign their own name, but since they mostly emailed, I googled the chap concerned. He's a very junior member of staff, and I suspect, not fully qualified. He has made several blunders in correspondence with me, and even apologised for some of them (which I thought almost impossible).

Having now waited to be sure about his lying tactics though, I have written a polite letter to the senior partner of the solicitor's practice, requesting an account of events. I'll let you know what comes back.

Thanks for your advice with this. I'll use it at the next stage...

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Re: Accountability for lying solicitors 10 years 2 months ago #4833

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...loading... wrote: Thanks for this. And I think you're right - it's fascinating.

I find it a bit naughty that solicitors writing directly to me do not use my name nor sign their own name, but since they mostly emailed, I googled the chap concerned. He's a very junior member of staff, and I suspect, not fully qualified. He has made several blunders in correspondence with me, and even apologised for some of them (which I thought almost impossible).

Having now waited to be sure about his lying tactics though, I have written a polite letter to the senior partner of the solicitor's practice, requesting an account of events. I'll let you know what comes back.

Thanks for your advice with this. I'll use it at the next stage...


Being junior is no excuse - you should expect a reasonable standard of professionalism and if he's that inexperienced, then the partner in charge should be looking over his work before it goes out, and I'm surprised that this hasn't happened as it reflects on the whole firm.

Apparently, the Solicitors Regulation Authority aren't subject to Freedom of Information requests, but they do say that they will respond as if they were, so you may have some success if you go down this route.

However, I would say that a letter to the Senior Partner, as you have done, is the correct first step - it will give them a chance to correct the matter and make sure it doesn't happen again.

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