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Warning - do not use wolstenholmes solicitors
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# 841
Simply Me
Old 19-01-2010, 9:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TRACIE-X View Post
Hi everybody, just an update abbey have agreed to release mortgage monies and are sending through a new mortgage offer but we are still held up by the insurance issue on our burst pipes. Can't get an assessor out till next thur 28th!!!! Looks like they do nothing urgently either so I'm waiting for a quote to come through for the damage so maybe we can move forward from there. I'll keep you up to date. Tracie
Tracie, Having heard nothing from you for a few days I thought you were long moved in and enjoying your new home... Has your monies (deposit and Abbey's money) been returned to you yet?
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# 842
Horrified Solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 9:25 AM
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Originally Posted by picklesjsw View Post
Any claims against the "professional" indemnity insurance will be dealt with by the SRA and DWF (as the appointed intervening Solicitors), not made by the customers who have suffered.
I think this only extends to sums which are paid out in the meantime by the SRA to get transactions completed. If a transaction has been completed, but done negligently, then I think the client is urged to pursue a claim via their own solicitor. Given that WH is desperately unpopular among the profession, there will be no shortage of solicitors itching to take claims on and given what has happened, their insurers will be very much on the back foot.
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# 843
Simply Me
Old 19-01-2010, 9:26 AM
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Originally Posted by picklesjsw View Post
Any claims against the "professional" indemnity insurance will be dealt with by the SRA and DWF (as the appointed intervening Solicitors), not made by the customers who have suffered.

Claims should be lodged with the Compensation Fund and LCS (where asking for compensation) and the SRA with DWF will build up relevant accounts of the amount needed to be paid out.

Whatever is not covered by the balance of the WH's bank accounts will be temporarily covered by the SRA Compensation Fund, who together with DWF and whoever they retain will seek to recover as much as possible from the "professional" indemnity insurance policy (or ARP if they were covered by that instead of PII) and possibly through criminal or civil proceedings against those involved in WH.
The whole of that lot should be thrown in jail. Why is it that it took hours for my money to leave my account but weeks later I am still completing paperwork for the recovery of my money. And above all that the SRA have written a report following my claim to the compensation fund have sent the report to Wolstenholmes for comment/objection. Please explain why????? I have submitted every single bit of proof that shows the money went into their account from my account there is an electronic paper trail that PROVES where my money went....

Whilst I accept that the SRA and LCS have never had to deal with such a huge scale of claims I can't help but think it is there own fault for taking so long to act. How many of us on here complained months ago to the LCS about Wolstenholmes. Did the LCS pass the information on to the SRA? Also the profession needs to wake up to the fact that this hiving off of regulation between the Law Society, Legal Complaints Service and Solicitors Regulation Authority is not working it is confusing having to call two different organisations to make the same complaint.
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# 844
Horrified Solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 11:47 AM
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The whole of that lot should be thrown in jail. Why is it that it took hours for my money to leave my account but weeks later I am still completing paperwork for the recovery of my money. And above all that the SRA have written a report following my claim to the compensation fund have sent the report to Wolstenholmes for comment/objection. Please explain why?????.
I suspect that this is because as the costs of the intervention and the compensation will be claimed from the solicitors responsible, they have to be allowed to comment before payments are made.

I agree that where solicitors have been misappropriating money, they should always be prosecuted for fraud, theft and false accounting. Additionally, they should always be bankrupted for the money they have cost others.
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# 845
vfmfca
Old 19-01-2010, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by picklesjsw View Post
Whatever is not covered by the balance of the WH's bank accounts will be temporarily covered by the SRA Compensation Fund, who together with DWF and whoever they retain will seek to recover as much as possible from the "professional" indemnity insurance policy (or ARP if they were covered by that instead of PII) and possibly through criminal or civil proceedings against those involved in WH.
After speaking the Chief Operating Officer at Solicitors Regulation Authority I understand that not all the solicitors that had owned Wolstenholmes LLP have been suspended or are currently being investigated. Complaints about Wolstenholmes a long time before the SRA intervention were not investigated as the Law Society would not investigate complaints unless you were a client of Wolstenholmes. Although the Legal Services Commission paid out compensation for maladministration they stated that they would not provide this information to the Law Society as it did not come under their Memorandum of Understanding with the Law Society. Lets hope the Law Society/SRA will change their rules to investigate ALL complaints and change their protocols with the Legal Services Commission and other bodies to share information in order to avoid future cases like Wolstenholmes.

I urge everyone that has information to make written complaints to:
Email: Mike.Jeacock@SRA.org.uk
Telephone 0870 606 2555

Mr Mike Jeacock Chief Operating Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority,
Ipsley Court,
Berrington Close,
Redditch,
B98 0TD
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# 846
Simply Me
Old 19-01-2010, 12:05 PM
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[QUOTE=vfmfca;28991337]After speaking the Chief Operating Officer at Solicitors Regulation Authority I understand that not all the solicitors that had owned Wolstenholmes LLP have been suspended or are currently being investigated. Complaints about Wolstenholmes a long time before the SRA intervention were not investigated as the Law Society would not investigate complaints unless you were a client of Wolstenholmes. Although the Legal Services Commission paid out compensation for maladministration they stated that they would not provide this information to the Law Society as it did not come under their Memorandum of Understanding with the Law Society.

This has to be the most ludicrious thing I have ever heard of and the profession pays for this! When are those in the higher eschalons of power going to understand that knowledge is power and sharing is helping. The rules should be re written so that anyone can bring a complaint rather than just clients. If the SRA/LCS feel inundated now can you imagine if anyone who ever had dealings with Wolstenholmes indirectly were allowed to complain. I might of been saved my nervous breakdown and my missing moeny!
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# 847
Horrified Solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by vfmfca View Post
Complaints about Wolstenholmes a long time before the SRA intervention were not investigated as the Law Society would not investigate complaints unless you were a client of Wolstenholmes.
This is only partly true. The complaints being made were service complaints ie. about the quality of service. The SRA will only investigate these at the behest of a client because it is the client who is paying for the service, not a third party. Complaints about professional matters eg. non compliance with an undertaking to pay a mortgage, can be made by anyone.
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# 848
vfmfca
Old 19-01-2010, 1:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Horrified Solicitor View Post
This is only partly true.
Just to lighten the debate.
I recently spoke to a solicitor working for a public body and asked him which was true the message they were giving to their employees that the new building necessary to save money and therefore the staff had to desk share or their documentation which said it was costing the same as at present. His answer was that both statements were true!
According the information I was given, it was going to cost more than they were currently paying.
How many truths can there be?
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# 849
homelessmat
Old 19-01-2010, 2:57 PM
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Exactly 4 weeks to the day since my original scheduled completion date.
The original WH file still hasn't come to light, and my new solicitors have informed DWF that they are re-creating it. DWF have asked for a copy of it when it is complete.
My new solicitor has now received all of my searches back and given the undertaking to the seller's solicitors that I will pay their costs of £500+VAT to photocopy their half of the file and send it over to my new solicitors. DWF now require certified copies of my ID to be sent over to them. My application to the emergency compensation fund went in last Tuesday, but still no news yet on a timescale on when those funds will be released. I'm told that all my other expenses (storage costs, hotel costs, solicitors fees etc) need to go to the "normal" compensation fund and will be treated seperately.
Will keep everyone updated when I find out how the new completion process will happen and when I get a revised date for my funds to be released to my new solicitor such that completion can happen.
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# 850
mjmal51
Old 19-01-2010, 3:13 PM
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Originally Posted by homelessmat View Post
Exactly 4 weeks to the day since my original scheduled completion date.
The original WH file still hasn't come to light, and my new solicitors have informed DWF that they are re-creating it. DWF have asked for a copy of it when it is complete.
My new solicitor has now received all of my searches back and given the undertaking to the seller's solicitors that I will pay their costs of £500+VAT to photocopy their half of the file and send it over to my new solicitors. DWF now require certified copies of my ID to be sent over to them. My application to the emergency compensation fund went in last Tuesday, but still no news yet on a timescale on when those funds will be released. I'm told that all my other expenses (storage costs, hotel costs, solicitors fees etc) need to go to the "normal" compensation fund and will be treated seperately.
Will keep everyone updated when I find out how the new completion process will happen and when I get a revised date for my funds to be released to my new solicitor such that completion can happen.
Must admit that the SRA/LCS are confusing me re. Compensation
http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/wolstenholmes.page

From the link
"Whilst the LCS can award compensation for distress and inconvenience, the amount may be small in circumstances such as yours. There is no guarantee that the solicitors will be able to pay the award. Awards of compensation for distress and inconvenience directed by the LCS are not covered by the Compensation Fund. The solicitor's insurers may pay out if the LCS makes an award, but this is not guaranteed"

So the SRA will pay, if they deem it proper, to compensate for money lost to WH and hopefully the cost of a new solicitor to sort everything out.
Then if any of us feel we have been stressed and inconvenienced by this whole shambles we have to make a separate claim to the LCS for compensation!??
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# 851
Horrified Solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 3:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mjmal51 View Post
Must admit that the SRA/LCS are confusing me re. Compensation
http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/wolstenholmes.page

From the link
"Whilst the LCS can award compensation for distress and inconvenience, the amount may be small in circumstances such as yours. There is no guarantee that the solicitors will be able to pay the award. Awards of compensation for distress and inconvenience directed by the LCS are not covered by the Compensation Fund. The solicitor's insurers may pay out if the LCS makes an award, but this is not guaranteed"

So the SRA will pay, if they deem it proper, to compensate for money lost to WH and hopefully the cost of a new solicitor to sort everything out.
Then if any of us feel we have been stressed and inconvenienced by this whole shambles we have to make a separate claim to the LCS for compensation!??
The LCS exists primarily to reimburse money that has been nicked by solicitors. Compensation for stress and inconvenience is a separate matter, and is more properly part of a negligence claim against WH, which falls to be deal with by their insurers. Unless you've actually suffered a nervous breakdown, the awards under this head of damages, are usually pretty small, and you're hard pressed to get more than say, £1,000.
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# 852
shocked_solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 3:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 2010nodebt View Post
Just received this

In response to your email below, on matters where we did not receive consent from clients to act for them, these files have been sent to DWF Solicitors in Manchester as they have now been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to act on behalf of Wolstenholmes, therefore your file has been sent to them, a member of their team collected the files from this office late yesterday afternoon.

If you would like to collect your file and the deeds you will need to liaise with DWF and they can be contacted on 0161 603 5000, the person that you need to contact is

With regard to obtaining a refund from Wolstenholmes, you will need to get in touch with the Solicitors Regulation Authority on 0870 606 2555 and you can also email them at contactcentre@sra.org.uk
This has come from Stirling Solicitors - would you mind saying who he author is so that anyone having trouble locating their files can have a contact name so if they wish to make a complaint re missing files to the LCS, SRA or Law Society they can do so.
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# 853
homelessmat
Old 19-01-2010, 3:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Horrified Solicitor View Post
The LCS exists primarily to reimburse money that has been nicked by solicitors. Compensation for stress and inconvenience is a separate matter, and is more properly part of a negligence claim against WH, which falls to be deal with by their insurers. Unless you've actually suffered a nervous breakdown, the awards under this head of damages, are usually pretty small, and you're hard pressed to get more than say, £1,000.
Whilst I've not had a nervous breakdown, being homeless for a number of weeks with no indication of when it might be resolved is not something I would want to wish on anyone. Particularly around Xmas time.
I wonder whether I can put a claim to the compensation fund for a few years supply of "Just for men" to cover the numerous grey hairs that have sprouted on my head since this whole debarcle started
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# 854
Simply Me
Old 19-01-2010, 3:49 PM
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Originally Posted by homelessmat View Post
Exactly 4 weeks to the day since my original scheduled completion date.
The original WH file still hasn't come to light, and my new solicitors have informed DWF that they are re-creating it. DWF have asked for a copy of it when it is complete.
My new solicitor has now received all of my searches back and given the undertaking to the seller's solicitors that I will pay their costs of £500+VAT to photocopy their half of the file and send it over to my new solicitors. DWF now require certified copies of my ID to be sent over to them. My application to the emergency compensation fund went in last Tuesday, but still no news yet on a timescale on when those funds will be released. I'm told that all my other expenses (storage costs, hotel costs, solicitors fees etc) need to go to the "normal" compensation fund and will be treated seperately.
Will keep everyone updated when I find out how the new completion process will happen and when I get a revised date for my funds to be released to my new solicitor such that completion can happen.
You may need to check with your mortgage company that their offer is still valid and that they are happy to complete.
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# 855
Simply Me
Old 19-01-2010, 3:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mjmal51 View Post
Must admit that the SRA/LCS are confusing me re. Compensation
http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/wolstenholmes.page

So the SRA will pay, if they deem it proper, to compensate for money lost to WH and hopefully the cost of a new solicitor to sort everything out.
Then if any of us feel we have been stressed and inconvenienced by this whole shambles we have to make a separate claim to the LCS for compensation!??
Your guess is as good as mine as I am equally confused but take heart as I think the SRA and LCS are confused also!
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# 856
mjmal51
Old 19-01-2010, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Horrified Solicitor View Post
The LCS exists primarily to reimburse money that has been nicked by solicitors. Compensation for stress and inconvenience is a separate matter, and is more properly part of a negligence claim against WH, which falls to be deal with by their insurers. Unless you've actually suffered a nervous breakdown, the awards under this head of damages, are usually pretty small, and you're hard pressed to get more than say, £1,000.
The SRA link I posted says the claim is to the SRA compensation fund for money lost to WH. LCS is for the nervous breakdown!
That is the confusion.
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# 857
homelessmat
Old 19-01-2010, 4:02 PM
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You may need to check with your mortgage company that their offer is still valid and that they are happy to complete.
Thanks for the advice. I think they are. It's First Direct, so any experiences anyone else has had with them would be welcomed. I rang on the day of the original completion and they were not entirely helpful or even bothered that their money may have gone "walkabout" and they advised that I contact the LCS. Subsequently I've advised them who my new solicitors are, and they have approved them and sent over copies of the offer and various other bits and bobs to my new solicitor. I'm pretty much leaving it in the hands of my new solicitors now though who, in fairness, seem to be doing a reasonable job but I will double check with them.
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# 858
Horrified Solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mjmal51 View Post
The SRA link I posted says the claim is to the SRA compensation fund for money lost to WH. LCS is for the nervous breakdown!
That is the confusion.
To explain it a little more - LCS deals with complaints of poor service and has power to order the solicitor to pay compensation of up to £15,000. This is similar to, but not exactly the claim as negligence claims which are deal with by the solicitors insurer.
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# 859
homelessmat
Old 19-01-2010, 4:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Horrified Solicitor View Post
To explain it a little more - LCS deals with complaints of poor service and has power to order the solicitor to pay compensation of up to £15,000. This is similar to, but not exactly the claim as negligence claims which are deal with by the solicitors insurer.
So is a solicitor failing to complete on a purchase, despite having all funds available in the solicitor's client account, poor service or negligence?
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# 860
Horrified Solicitor
Old 19-01-2010, 4:27 PM
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So is a solicitor failing to complete on a purchase, despite having all funds available in the solicitor's client account, poor service or negligence?

It's often both. Although poor service and negligence are not exactly the same, there is a substantial area of overlap.
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