What to expect from your lawyer
When you first instruct a lawyer to work on your case you should be given a letter of engagement.
This letter tells you the terms on which your lawyer will carry out work for you.
You can expect to receive the following details:
- The name of the lawyer who will be dealing with your matter
- The name of the person who is supervising your lawyer, if there is a supervisor
- The instructions you have given your lawyer
- Your lawyer’s advice to you and the action your lawyer will take for you
- Details of any action you need to take
- A time estimate for your work
- A costs estimate or outline of when one will be provided
- Other costs information, including:
- the basis on which you will be charged, for example, is there a fixed fee or will you be charged for the lawyer’s time on each activity
- if there will be extra costs for items such as court fees or the preparation of reports by another person
- if VAT will be charged
- if interest will be charged for late payment of costs
- if there will be a charge for paying by credit card
You should also be given details of the firm’s complaints procedure.
This should give you details about how to complain if you need to, including:
- the name of the person in the Firm to contact if you have a complaint
- a reasonable means for complaints to be made, for example, by email, telephone and letter
- the time period within which your complaint should be investigated and a response made to you, for example, 21 working days
- who to contact if the Firm has not resolved your complaint
- contact details for the Legal Ombudsman.
- contact details for the Firm’s Regulator
- details of the Firm’s Professional Indemnity Insurance