The most important advice is not to give up, log everything, if possible record
phone calls remembering to tell the caller, and keep all correspondence. You are
dealing with people who enjoy enourmous privileges, and some will take full
advantage of that!
A general summary of all the advice involving the people and departments listed in this site
follows, do not be put off by what has happened to me, but do take lessons from it.
The odds are stacked very high against you as soon as you involve a solicitor, unless you
are fortunate enough to have found a good one. I am sure there are some good ones, there
must be on the law of averages, but the trick is seeking them out. A solicitor charges a lot of
money, and you have a right to expect a service from him in keeping with those charges.
How many people ever get to see their file, (yes it is yours once the bill has been paid), you
might get a nasty shock. In my case I expected the worse following the events I went
through, but in fact it turned out far worse than I had thought possible.
So the rules are this
1) Keep all letters, filed if possible in the order you get them, and your written responses,
once it gets in a muddle it can be hard to sort out.
2) Note the length of each and every interview, including phone calls, and if possible record
them, but at the very least keep detailed notes. If it is a phone call, if needs be ask the caller
to wait while you prepare, or even to call back. If you are recording the call, you need to tell
3) Do not be afraid to challenge a difference in what is said to what has been written. This is
one of the most important points to remember. What is said at the end of the day means
absolutely nothing if something different has been written in a letter that may have been
sent as a follow up. At a later date, referring to what has been said if it does not match what
was written, such as costs, or what the solicitor intends to do, means nothing.
4) It is a sad fact that in my experience, the other extreme to hearing nothing is being
inundated with costly letters, (a solicitor will charge for each letter he reads as well as
writes). I found with the second firm who were investigating the first firm for negligence,
they sometimes sent two letters on the same day in separate envelopes that could have
been written all in the one letter! A blatant scam to make money.
5) Try to keep things on the right path for you, it is much easier to sort out problems as you
go along than try to do it at the end of the case.
6) Do not be impressed with verbal tales of large sums of money to be awarded, especially if
it is not in writing. In my case, this was coupled to an increase in the estimate of costs,
obviously in an attempt to gain my acceptance of the increase charges. This was later
7) If it does end up that you need to contact the Law Society, you will find the help line
“helpful”. It is later on when you are in the hands of an investigator your problems will
commence. In my case, the responses for a long time were generic, and did not appear to be
specific to my case. As time went by, I was given various assurances over the phone, which
were discounted further down the line by the next investigator. So record what is said as
already advised. If you do become unhappy by long delays in the Law Society handling your
complaints, or if the investigator starts to mess you around, write to his manager. If that
does not get results, then call or write to the Quality control department stating why you are
complaining. It is there job to ensure timeframes are met, and if you have complained, will
ensure the complaints process is properly followed.
8) Getting someone to read what has been written is without doubt the biggest task. It is so
frustrating to be called by an investigator who tries his best to convince you the solicitor is
not as bad as he seems, and your case is not strong at all, only to find he is clueless about
key issues. I have found this aspect has greatly diminished the credibility of the Law Society
and gives a strong impression of a bias in favour of solicitors. Do not accept mush, insist on
facts and not just the responses from the solicitors to the investigator to their enquiries,
which are then quoted to you as fact. People really do lie blatantly, even solicitors, even
though the evidence may strongly show the truth was something different. It seems to me
some solicitors feel invulnerable, which is not surprising when they have the Law Society on
their side. So keep letters short, and refer where possible to previous letters rather than
repeating key issues.
9) Lastly, do not let them wear you down. If you feel an injustice has been done, then follow
through. So many people give up, it is what others who create the injustice rely on, but be
assured, a lot of those who do not give up win in the end, even if it is only a moral victory.
Do not let an injustice take over your life though, especially if it is not a life changing issue,
that would be a mistake, instead, use the process that best suits your injustice, and follow it
through in the knowledge that you are in fact helping others as well as yourself.