David Greene, president, London Solicitors Litigation Association

Opinion: UK LEI holders need clarity over right to choose lawyer

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  • I think it is absolutely disgraceful that a person who has BTE cover has to instruct a Panel Solicitor, who is hundreds of miles away. I recently saw a letter from Panel solicitors to the client and as they now have to disclose any financial information they confirmed that they were paying £795 for the case to be referred to them. What is this country coming to? What sort of client care is that? and more importantly why aren't the Law Society intervening?

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  • I totally agree. If the Panel Solicitor is hundreds of miles away then they are not likely to visit the client to take instructions and if the client has to travel to them then, if they don't, it could result in the case being poorly prepared and probably to the detriment of the client. A local (and usually the family) solicitor will have more of a hands-on approach and may be privy to certain information which may be of significant importace to the client's case. The Panel Solicitor may not glean that information from the client. How could they; they don't know them?
    As regards the Law Society, when do they ever intervene on behalf of their solicitors?!

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  • So if a client instructs a solicitor of his choice under a CFA pre-proceedings and then utilises the legal expenses insurance after proceedings are issued (as there is then no restriction on the use of solicitor post-proceedings) can and should the success fee be recoverable from the paying party?

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