Time for a clear out

I fully endorse sole practitioners group chair Tim Readman's comment in The Lawyer, 17 June that shoddy solicitors should be found and rooted out of the profession.

After all, why should those solicitors who do their job properly have to pay for the sometimes deliberate sub-standard work of others when it comes around to what now seems to be the annual premium hike.

And why should we put up with all being tarred with the same brush when those cases hit the headlines?

However, the problem of how this weeding out is to be done is a perennial one. Loading the premiums for a certain sector of the profession will obviously penalise the ones who are doing their work properly, and may even force some of them out of business, which is manifestly unfair.

It is also inevitable that consumers will always shop around for a better deal but, as all the professions say, cheapest is not always best. Unfortunately, convincing clients, who already think lawyers are overpaid and not necessarily to be trusted, that quality is worth paying for, is becoming increasingly difficult.

Yet this issue does not seem to be part of the job of the task force set up to tackle this problem, and there are other areas for concern, too.

For example, what happens if the task force decides parts of the "task" are too problematic? It is all very well for Richard Hegarty to suggest tackling the lenders, but is that not biting the hands that feed us?

Name and address withheld.