Solicitor firms must comply with the regulations which govern them

Advice Resolutions Law Consultancy uncovers irregularity of solicitor firm giving misleading information constituting misrepresentation

A recent landmark decision by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has resulted in a solicitor firm being given advice on complying with the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012, 23 (4).

Advice Resolutions Law Consultancy was instructed by a client to investigate the accuracy of a solicitor firm’s reading of the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012.

The client initially instructed the solicitor firm in community care matters. The client later withdrew their instructions to the firm. For the purposes of whether another legal aid solicitor could be instructed, thereafter, the firm’s advice cited that the time began to run from the date the client instructed them until the withdrawal of the client’s instructions.

The client disputed by way of complaint the advice given by the solicitor firm who refused to accept the client’s complaint that they were, indeed, incorrect. As a result of a complaint being brought to the Legal Aid Agency by Advice Resolutions Law Consultancy concerning the firm’s erroneous advice of the civil legal aid regulations, the Legal Aid Agency had investigated and decided in the client’s favour by addressing their serious concerns directly with the solicitor firm.

What this case tells us is that not only should solicitors be familiar with the regulations which govern them, but that they could resolve client’s complaints early on before they are referred to their regulators to decide against them.

In the worse case scenario, if a client in these circumstances was subject to a time limit to bring a claim and lost that opportunity to do so, the case could have resulted in a lost chance to litigate. The result of which could have escalated the case against the solicitor firm for their misleading advice in misrepresentation.