When you’re running a business, it is likely that at some point you will need to work with a solicitor. This could be to help manage some paperwork involved in a business merger, or you may need a solicitor to represent you in a case against the business.
Whatever the reason, it’s important that you know what your options are for when you’ve had poor solicitor representation for your business. In particular, you should be aware of the steps that you should take. For that reason, we have put together this article to help go over some of these points and more, so let’s get started.
Speak First To The Solicitor
Before you do anything else, you should speak to the solicitor who has given you poor service to begin with. If you don’t speak to them and you move on, you could miss out on a free service to rectify your issues.
If you feel like your solicitor has cut some corners or provided poor service, then you should first speak to them to explain what you think has happened. It may even turn out that it was all a big misunderstanding or miscommunication that can easily be solved.
Of course, this won’t always be the case. It is possible that they have just been lazy or made major mistakes due to negligence. You should still speak to them in this case, so that you can voice your concerns and look towards getting a solution. If they aren’t willing to fix something that they messed up, then you may have to consider a more drastic approach.
Lodge An Official Complaint
If you have spoken to your solicitor, and they have not resolved the issue, then it may be time to lodge an official complaint. An official complaint helps you start the process of going through a potential claim. At the very least, it helps the solicitor realise that they had messed up and can find ways to improve their practices for the future.
While that won’t exactly help you in the short term, it will help you in the future and even potentially create a more healthy relationship going forward. You should ask your legal advisor for a copy of their complaint’s procedure. This will explain the necessary steps you can take in your particular case with this specific solicitor.
The main step of this will involve complaining to the legal ombudsman if your legal advisor doesn’t respond to you within eight weeks. It will also be possible for you to lodge a complaint here if you are unhappy with the response you’ve received.
Seek A Negligence Claim
Once you’ve submitted an official complaint, you may find that you are still not satisfied with the response so far. In situations like this, your next step will be to seek a negligence claim. This will be relevant to you if you feel like your solicitor didn’t use reasonable skill or care when acting on a matter on your behalf.
You may have noticed that the work they have been doing for you has fallen below the standard that the industry is used to or is expected. If you’ve had an issue with your business because of this, leading to a financial loss, then you may be eligible for a claim.
You will be able to seek a claim if your solicitor has failed to act according to your instructions or acted against your interest. If they failed to mention any legal costs you were subjugated to, that will also count as negligence.
It can also be negligence if they provided poor advice on a business transaction, such as purchasing property. Essentially, if you feel like they’ve misrepresented you or messed you around, then you should look into bringing a negligence claim against a solicitor.
Professional negligence is a complex area of law, which is why there is a protocol in place for experts to follow. To bring a successful claim, you will need to follow the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol. You will need to be aware that there are strict limitation periods within which your claim will have to be started within the courts.
For these reasons, it is best that you work with professional negligence experts who can provide you with legal advice. Ideally, you should do this as early as possible to avoid your claim from being ineligible or filed wrong. When you work with expert solicitors, then you can rest easy knowing that your case is being handled in the best way possible. Hugh James Solicitors have a specialist claims team consisting of professional negligence lawyers who can give you relevant advice to your situation and help you recover any losses. You shouldn’t go through this journey alone; you should work with experts who can assist you throughout the case.
Repair Client Relationships
If your business has gone through any issues with a solicitor, then it is likely to have had a knock-on effect on your clients. In particular, you may have harmed the relationship with your clients, which can be hard to fix. While It may seem difficult, or even impossible, it should be your priority.
Many businesses will think the best solution here is to blame the solicitor when speaking to their client, but it’s unlikely the client will be impressed by throwing around the blame. Instead of thinking about the past, you should move forward and try to repair bridges.
It may be best to start fresh with these relationships. There will be tips you can follow to rebuild trust with clients, such as offering discounts and following regular feedback. Overall, you should work with them to find out exactly what they expect from you.
If you try to continue on the path you’re on without changing anything, then you run the risk of losing your business forever. Not only will you lose their business, but you will potentially lose out on future clients coming to you, as they will have heard about what you did, even if it’s untrue. Words and reputation matter a lot in the business world, so you should strive to improve them at all times.
Improve Your Reputation
The way in which you improve your reputation will depend on a few different factors. For example, will you be trying to make amends for something you did wrong in your local area, or is it on a more national scale? The way you approach both of these issues will depend on what you have done, or what you are perceived to have done wrong.
Usually, these issues can be resolved by you making proactive change within the internal workings of your business. This could involve improving working conditions, or it could include paying your employees more. Ensure you are getting to the crux of the matter, and resolving the issues that exist within your business.
It may even be worth your time trying to make a difference in the external view of your business. Of course, this refers to how you work with your customers, and how you interact with them. This could mean improving your customer service or even the way you deal with transactions.