What is the appropriate way for a solicitor to act when their client requests an offer be made to their spouse during divorce proceedings? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
What is the appropriate way for a solicitor to act when their client requests an offer be made to their spouse during divorce proceedings?
Hi, I need advice please. Going through divorce. Had a meeting with my solicitor regarding what I wanted to offer spouse as starting point to settlement. Had not heard anything for some time so emailed to ask if the offer had been drafted. Solicitor responded to me stating that the offer had already been sent to spouse’s solicitor. I then asked for a copy. Copy was sent to me and was not the offer I discussed. It was more in the favour of my spouse, and costs were not included as discussed. It also did not contain the phrase “without prejudice”. I feel this has damaged my position as the legal costs have escalated due to ex-spouse’s behaviour (can be proven). My Solicitor states that my offer was unrealistic so this is what was sent. Is this the way solicitors operate? I was under the impression that even if my offer was “I want everything” (it was not), then this is the offer the solicitor should send? Many Thanks in Advance

Anonymous

9th April 2022

Top Answer
NQ but have a divorce solicitor at the moment. My solicitor sends me everything to make sure I agree and that it's all correct before he sends anything to anyone, and for then for me to reply in writing that I agree for it to be sent. I would have thought this would be standard practice, or at the very least, they could have had the conversation with you first if they thought what you had asked for was in any way unreasonable.

Ken Hall

9th April 2022

3 upvotes

NQ - Any solicitor you employ is working to your instructions (being Instructed is the term used by the system) they're supposed to advise you on the law and then act upon you subsequent instruction. If you've instructed them and they've then ignored this, without attempting to advise you first and without securing your agreement, them they're acting outside of their remit. If you have proof, in form of written communication, then you should have a strong chance of any complaint being upheld, as well as them being held responsible for any liability they have created. You didn't raise this but it would seem wise to find another solicitor, this one has fairly clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to represent your best interests. Its not uncommon for solicitors to behave in this fashion, at the end of the day the thing they're most concerned about is being paid for their time, anything after that will heavily depend on the individuals ethics and ability.

Gerald Hangartner

9th April 2022

1 upvote

Solicitor. Your solicitor, as would be good practice and in accordance with the SRA codes of conduct, should fully advise you on the range of offers which would be reasonable to make and to ensure any offer letter is sent to you in draft and should await your express instructions on whether it is agreed to go the other side and in fact whether it should be in open terms. It does appear your current solicitor has not acted in your best interests and perhaps not only should you complain (through their grievance procedures first of all) but you need to consider whether your relationship with them has now broken down to the point you need to consider appointing fresh representation.

Susanna Ruiz

9th April 2022

1 upvote

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