Changing Solicitor Guide
How do I change my solicitor?
A very common question which actually has a very easy and quick answer. All you need to do is discuss your case with another firm of solicitors (who due to reasons of client confidentiality will not make your current solicitors aware) and if the new solicitors are happy to take your case on they will send you a form to sign which authorises transfer of the file to them and then they will send that signed form onto your previous solicitors, who must then transfer the file.
In our experience many people are unnecessarily nervous about changing their solicitor, and many people are under the impression that it is not possible, but the truth is that it is an easy and quick process. Therefore, if you are not happy with your current solicitor then you should feel free to speak to another solicitor because, after all, you only have one chance to pursue your legal action and so it is important that you have the right solicitor, even if that means changing.
Can you change solicitors halfway through a claim?
Absolutely – the new solicitors can send the signed transfer form to your current solicitors and then complete the remainder of your case for you. Whilst the best time to transfer tends to be as early as possible, we have taken on cases from other firms of solicitors that have been going on for years so it often is never too late to change.
The new solicitors agree to cover the old solicitors costs, so there should not be any financial impact on the client if they decide to change.
Take a look at these examples of cases in which clients transferred to Aston Knight solicitors and secured a much better outcome.
£20,000 for injured passenger who was told there was no way to proceed further with his case
Mr T (name anonymized to protect client confidentiality) suffered a neck injury whilst a passenger in a taxi. He instructed a large national law firm who accepted his case but then after a period of months advised him that there was no way to trace the defendant driver’s insurance details. They then advised him that they were unable to proceed any further and closed his file of papers. He instructed us to review his case and we advised that normally it is quite easy to trace the insurance details in these situations, particularly given the accident occurred in a taxi. We obtained a copy of their file and quickly located the relevant insurance details before obtaining a medical report and then entering into settlement negotiations. After period of negotiations we were able to agree a compensation figure of 20,000, which the client was delighted to receive.
The law firm in question, who we do not name for professional reasons, markets themselves as one of the leading national firms in the country but in this instance had failed to take the quick steps to advance the case and we were pleased that we were able to secure such a settlement for a client who had been led to believe he did not have a case.
£149,000 for mother with psychological injuries who had been told the claim value would be so small the case would not be worth pursuing
Ms H (name anonymized to protect client confidentiality) suffered psychological injuries as a result of the death of her baby daughter following medical negligence on the part of the defendant hospital. Before speaking to Aston Knight Solicitors she and her husband had made enquiries with another law firm who advised them that the settlement value would likely be so small that it would not be worth pursuing a claim. Despite receiving this advice they spoke to us to seek a second opinion and we advised that whilst settlement values can sometimes be on the lower side in fatality matters, there are additional types of compensation that can be pursued when someone has suffered psychological injuries. After discussing with them it appeared to be the case that the law firm they have spoken to had not taken into account these additional types of compensation.
At the end of the case Ms H commented:
“I cannot think you enough for all you have done for myself, my family and my beautiful baby”
£25,000 for injured shopper who was told he did not have a case
Mr M (name anonymized to protect client confidentiality) was injured when his shopping trolley crashed into a stone pollard that had been positioned at the bottom of a slope outside the shop, crushing his thumb. Before speaking to Aston Knight solicitors he had spoken to 4 or five other law firms who all provide the same advice: that his prospects of success were poor and the case was therefore not good enough to take on. Upon discussing the case with him we took the view that the store should not have had a large positioned at the bottom of the slope immediately outside the shop as there would be a foreseeable risk of trolleys crashing into it. We therefore accepted his case on a no-win no fee basis and following investigation learnt that the shop in question had in fact already appreciated the danger posed by the stone pollard but had failed to take action in time to prevent his accident. Following pressure from us they admitted liability and then in due course negotiations yielded a £25,000 settlement with which Mr M was delighted.
At the end of the case the client commented:
“Excellent service and very professional”
£40,000 for family of medical negligence victims who had been rejected by a number of other firms
Mr and Mrs W’s son was the victim of medical negligence in May 2017. They tried speaking to a number of local personal injury firms who all emphatically rejected the case and were not prepared to take it on a no-win no fee basis. They received a suggestion of speaking to Aston Knight solicitors which they did and, following a preliminary review of the case on the evidence, including discussing with a barrister, we arrived at the view that the case did have reasonable prospects and therefore accepted it on a no-win no fee basis. Although the case was a challenging one, and at times hotly disputed by the defendant hospital, ultimately they agreed to settle the case for £40,000.
At the end of the case the family commented:
“We all consider it was a very lucky day when you agreed to represent us”
£215,000 for business that had been advised to accept £50,000
Recently we accepted instructions from a Lake District country home wedding business who had up to that point been with a local firm in the Lake District. The firm representing them did not have much faith in the case and advise them that they should consider lower value settlements rather than risk proceeding further forwards. When the defendant made an offer of £50,000 they advise the client that the offer placed them at risk. They contacted Aston Knight solicitors for an off the record second opinion as they were not content with a valuation in the region of £50,000. Following a review of the evidence in the case we advised that they should indeed be seeking a greater settlement than £50,000 and following a transfer of the file we engaged in further negotiations with the defendant and ultimately arrived at a costs inclusive settlement of £215,000.
£36,000 for injured tripper told that it was not possible to continue with her case
Ms M (name anonymized to protect client confidentiality) had instructed a large national personal injury firm following a tripping accident she had suffered outside her rented property. Following investigations, they have advised her that it was not possible to identify who had legal responsibility for the area in which she fell. She consequently lost faith in that firm and spoke to Aston Knight solicitors for a second opinion. We advised that it should indeed be possible to identify the legal owner and we accepted a transfer of the case papers. We were indeed able to identify the party with legal responsibility and was subsequently able to obtain an admission of liability from their insurance company. Following obtaining specialist medical evidence into the nature of her injuries we were able to negotiate a settlement in the sum of £36,000 with which she was delighted.
At the end of the case she commented:
“Thank you so much for your hard work… …from the start to the end you have been patient and helpful in keeping me up to speed on the case. Thank you.”
£10,000 for injured gym user who had been told he would not succeed
Mr A (name anonymized to protect client confidentiality) suffered an accident whilst using a defective piece of gym equipment. He first instructed a local, high street law firm who pursued a case for him. The gym’s insurance company investigated the case and denied legal liability. The law firm in question advised him that he would not succeed and that they were closing their file of papers. He contacted Aston Knight Solicitors for a second opinion and we recognised that it may still be possible to secure compensation from the company with responsibility for maintaining the gymnasium equipment. After further investigations and negotiations with them we were indeed able to secure an admission of liability from the gym equipment company’s insurers and, following on from that, an overall settlement of £10,000 with which Mr A was delighted.