Solicitors From Hell -- Real life experience

solicitors from hell

A curious little matter dropped onto my desk last week - one of many at the moment, actually; there just don't seem enough working hours in the day.

Essentially, it seems that we provided communication services to firm of solicitors who are now subject to an Intervention under s35 and Schedule 1 of the Solicitors Act 1974.  We were approached by the firm who are acting as Intervention Agents on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority to confirm detailed information about our client and re-direct their phone lines to the offices of the Intervention Agents. Initially, I found out, these requests were made via a phone call to the support dept. and then, when information was not forthcoming from that member of staff, a firmly word fax hinting that they were on the cusp of applying for a court order to compel us to provide the information required.

Being the most cautious of all risk-averse people, my data protection spiny senses were initially sent into overdrive at the mere thought of all this.

I did a little research as to exactly what our obligations were, checked out the firm acting as Intervention Agents and the firm being investigated.  My preliminary research bore their fax and phone calls out.

A quick flick through the Solicitors Act didn't seem to reveal anything as to what our obligations were to provide this information and how it sat with the relevant Data Protection legislation. I was left with no alternative then, than a rummage through the depths of the Data Protection Act, something I hadn’t done in well over a year, since early on in my LLM. It didn’t take me long to find that this situation pretty much fell squarely under s31 of the Act, covering exemptions from the Subject Information Provisions in relation to regulatory activity.

So that was more or less that then.  I was shocked at how prominently the firm being investigated featured on the web from previous clients who’d had their fingers burnt.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, I also found that they were featured on the Solicitors From Hell website. I’d not heard of this site until last Thursday; since then, I’ve noticed that Charon QC and Aimless Wanderer have both mentioned it. I should imagine that a lot of lay people out there believe that all firms of solicitors should feature on that site!!

Still, this bit of excitement made a change from drafting and reviewing endless contracts, resolving number portability conundrums and advising on stuff under the Communications Act – plus strategising how to prod, poke or otherwise coerce OFCOM into action over a specific issue.

Comments

  1. Strangely, I came across that website only last week. I think it was a fairly slow Friday afternoon in the office - no, we didn't feature.

    I don't think the person who told me about the site reads all these blogs...

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  2. one girl at work brought it up just after christmas she thought it was hilarious. she said one person from our firm was on it, but I've not been able to find them.

    at least you're being kept busy :)

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  3. "...the belief of lawyers in their own probity is not universally shared". Jadgeo Singh [2006]. Smart bloke, that Tom Bingham.

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  4. Awesome!!!! Thanks for the link :D

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  5. John, just to let you know, I'll keep deleting these comments from you plugging the firm of conveyancing solicitors.

    I do offer advertising for law firms at competitive rates. Please feel free to get in touch if you want to set something up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Meh, didn't really find anyone I know. =/

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  7. You sound disappointed Andro! :p

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  8. John, you can email me at michael153@gmail.com and I can give you a quote for a link (or series of links) similar to what's down the right hand side of my blog. My prices are very competitive.

    But I strictly moderate comments on Law Actually and any attempts to tout professional firms are immediately deleted.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have a laugh, an American Attorney reads an artical in the Law Society Gazette about SolictorsFromHell.co.uk but gets her wires crossed and accuses SolicitorsFormHell.com repeat Dot.COM of Extortion and when told she had it wrong she couldn't see the problem and refuses to remove her article in her Myshingles.com.
    see: - http://www.solicitorsfromhell.com/elefant-in-a-teacup.htm
    http://www.solicitorsfromhell.com/elefant-friend.htm

    ReplyDelete
  10. Carolyn Elefant's gives the impression that her "Solo by Choice" was a decision she had made by her own volition. Not so, around 2002 Duncan & Allen, a D.C.-based energy law boutique, told her that she wasn't "partnership material" and gave her six months to find a new job. It appears she whinged "I know that I am a good lawyer. I was good enough for you to hire two years ago, and I'm just as good now. No matter what you think, I am a good lawyer and ... I will succeed at whatever I do". When six months passed and she still hadn't found any US law firm to employ her, Elefant decided to hang out her own shingle.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well clearly it was not 'Solo by Choice' but 'Solo by Necessity' if she wanted to be a Lawyer, as no 'Big Law' firms in the US thought she was good enough to hold down a position as a Lawyer in their establishments, she had to go it alone, I suppose that is the route most Solo's have had to take when 'Big Law' kicks their arse out the door.

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  12. To show it's not a oneway 'Rip-Off': -
    Sheryl Sisk Schelin advertised "Solo Superstar Mastermind Group"
    "This is an intense, supercharged group experience. …If your application is accepted, you, me, and up to nine of your fellow solo-superstars will connect in bi-weekly coaching calls of one to two hours to brainstorm marketing, blogging, social media, work-life balance, and creating the ultimate client experience. …you'll each create a six-month action plan (with my help and the input of your fellow superstars, of course). …I serve as a moderator and group coach, …In addition to the twice-monthly calls, you'll also get to hang out with your fellow superstars in the exclusive Solo Superstars Forum. …hook up with past Superstars…benefit from the collective wisdom of a pretty cool bunch of folk..."
    Cost: $500 per month, or $2,750 for six months (single payment)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Do I read this right??
    "solo-superstars will connect in bi-weekly coaching calls of one to two hours to brainstorm...". Over a six months period (13 x 1 to 2 hours (say 20 hours total)) at a cost of $500pm for six months by 10 would-be "solo-superstars" in addition I assume the ten 'Superstars' would be expected to buy Sheryl Sisk's book at $67 x10 would be's= $670.
    A nice 'little earner' of around $30,670 for 20 hours involvement over six months. Who wants 'Biglaw'??

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  14. Annoyed with that solicitor from hell website.

    http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/website-blacklisted-solicitors-plans-expansion

    "Law firms can pay £299 to have all current and future traces of their name removed from the site. Alternatively, they can pay between £99 and £199 to have specific postings deleted."

    Thats [sic] not a public service, that’s [sic] [something else].
    I really thought I might get some help on there for a big problem I have.

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  15. Sheryl Sisk Schelin the struck-off lawyer is trying to hide her past, hence: -
    "Introducing Annie (But You Already Know Her).
    Funny story, there.

    Short version: I’m now going by the diminutive of my middle name, for the first time in my life.

    Shorter version: Yep, it’s still me. The blogger formerly known as Sherrie (or Sheryl in some places)".

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  16. I wonder what you think of recent events in relation to Rick Kordowski and the recent judgement against him as well as the off spring websites that are now appearing such as http://solicitorsfromhell2.com reported in the USA

    ReplyDelete

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