Changing Solicitors

JUNE 15, 2023


In her recent post, Zoë Bloom, set out the types of things to consider when choosing a specialist family law solicitor to advise you through your separation.

But what happens when you have chosen a solicitor and it is not working out?

It happens. This may be for a number of reasons. Perhaps you panicked and instructed the first person you spoke to, perhaps you don’t like their charging practices or just that you do not feel that they understand you and your objectives. You may feel that you are not working well together.

It is not uncommon for people to change solicitors once their case is underway, for any number of reasons. As your matter progresses you may find that you have a clearer idea as to what you are looking for in a solicitor. When you decide to change do speak to a number of solicitors before you decide who to instruct, considering the types of things set out in Zoë’s post. Whilst one change of solicitor is unlikely to be noticed, adverse inferences may be drawn if it is something that happens on a number of occasions in your matter, so you need to be confident that your new solicitor will be the right one for you.

Some practical things to consider when changing solicitors are:

1. It is likely to take a few working days for your files to be ready to be transferred from your current to your new solicitor. Are you able to get the necessary papers to your new solicitor for them to start work in the meantime?

2. The timing of your move. Are there any significant deadlines looming in your case that may be factored by any delay? Depending upon the particular circumstances it may make sense to move before or after those deadlines.

3. Your current solicitors will be entitled to hold onto your file until such time as your outstanding fees are paid to them.

4. There is likely to be a cost to your solicitors for reading into your file which will be an additional cost to you. You may be able to agree a fixed fee or reduced hourly rate for their doing so.

Like most things in life, struggling on in an unsatisfactory arrangement will only cause more damage than taking steps to improve your situation.