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Useless Bloody Solicitors!

Discussion in 'Get it off your chest' started by pjgtech, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. pjgtech

    pjgtech I shoot, therefore I aim......

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    Apologies to any solicitors on here, but I'm gonna complain about you.... :down:

    In my job, for the last 30 years, I have to deal with solicitors on a fairly regular basis, and IMHO they have all been fairly clueless.

    NB: I won't tell you about my experiences with estate agents and landlords, thats a whole other thread!!! :facepalm:

    Now in my work. I happen to work in a specialist area, (Housing and Environmental Health) which is a fairly specific area, so I appreciate that some may not be specialist in that area, so may not be fully up to speed on some of the specifics, but honestly some are so clueless (in general) that you wonder how they actually manage to practice law at all. Most of my interactions with them has been to provide them with information that they should already know, or which could be easily sourced by them....and its often required yesterday, cos they have left it till the last minute...

    So now for my current complaint, I am selling my house and buying a new house, so we got a solicitor, months ago, (one we had used previously a couple of years ago, for sale of MIL's house after she passed away) and we hoped to complete before stamp duty holiday, solicitor advised (verbally) that he could do it, he had capacity, and he had other conveyancers on standby. Well, we did not make the deadline, so its now gonna cost us an extra £10k+, not happy.

    Now I accept that we are not alone, thousands of others have also been trying to beat the deadline, etc, and lots did not make it. Such is life, but....

    Our solicitor has been consistently so slow to progress matters. We have kept in touch with the other parties, and our solicitor has stated several time that delays were with other parties, and that may have been true sometimes, but at every step of the way, he has had to be prompted by us, on several occasions, to actually chase things. Things that he should have been chasing anyway.

    Every time we have emailed him, (he is difficult to get hold of on the phone!) it has taken him at least five days and sometimes up to a week to respond, and on each occasion he only then has taken the action that we have prompted him to take, when in fact he should have been taking the action without us having to prompt him anyway! It has been so frustrating to say the least.

    Our legal fees for buying and selling will be around £3000 to £3500 and I really struggle to see how they can justify such daylight robbery when they seem to have done sod all, (without us prompting them), apart from request some searches and provide copies of (fairly standard and template form) conveyancing documents.

    Needless to say we will not be using him again, but as stated above, my 30 years experience of most solicitors is that the have all been bloody useless in the most part. I'm sure there must be some good ones out there.... there must be.... I just seem to never encounter one.

    Rant over.... :facepalm:

    PS, yes we are in a small chain, (so not just our solicitor involved) but our buyer is 1st time buyer and the guy we are buying from, is not buying another house, so its not a long chain, and we have been in contact with other parties and its almost always been our solicitor holding things up, not progressing things, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
    OldGreyDog, trebike0, Ossie and 2 others like this.
  2. Lightning22

    Lightning22 Engaging Member

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    I’m afraid my experience has been similar, the last time I sold a house I had to ride them every inch of the way. The amount of times I was told they couldn’t speak to the alleged hold ups in the chain because it was ‘unethical’ was ridiculous.

    I ended up doing the calling myself, my money, my ethics.
     
    Wurzel1, twocore and pjgtech like this.
  3. PolzeyLad

    PolzeyLad Keyboard Hero

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    Ours wasn’t toooo bad but £3k for a no chain cash buy still seemed very excessive.
    I’ve also dealt with them in business and found them to be a useless waste of money.
    Add the fact that I find them bloody arrogant and I’m not a fan.
     
    Cam., twocore, Byronic and 1 other person like this.
  4. Lostkiwi

    Lostkiwi Tomorrow will be a good day.

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    As my dad used to say about solicitors and accountants... If you find a good one shoot him before he turns bad!
     
    zippy1, Andy_J, maz1 and 4 others like this.
  5. Trisiboi

    Trisiboi Busy Member

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    I am an accountant, and I deal with solicitors daily and can assure you if we did not do our jobs properly and check every little detail to the letter you would be first to complain when it came back and bit you in the rear end, you just do not realise what it entails as we have a job that has to be done to the letter or it could cost you thousands so you must surely see the other side but then most people never do
     
    papaver, SJC, Daibhidh Sco and 2 others like this.
  6. pjgtech

    pjgtech I shoot, therefore I aim......

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    Yep, I know that things need checking, (I deal with legal stuff myself as part of my job), and I know the general procedure for buying and selling a house, (eg: via the Law Society conveyancing protocol, etc) and TBH its not that hard is it, its hardly rocket science, most of it is just checking lists and ticking boxes.

    Our sale is a bog standard fairly straight forward sale, with no major issues or complications, so should be simple bread and butter work for any good solicitor.

    My issue is that most solicitors that I have dealt with (my personal experience, with many, many solicitors) is that they are usually just not that good, and usually require lots of nudging / hand holding to get things done.
    Bearing in mind they are supposed to be qualified professional people, they should not need nudging / hand holding.
    As I said, I'm sure there are some good ones, I've just not met any (yet).

    I've not had to deal with any accountants so I can't comment. :)

    I know that (generally) you get good and bad (or competent and incompetent) people in all walks of life, but with solicitors, IMHO, it seems to be skewed one way....
     
    PolzeyLad and Lostkiwi like this.
  7. jesim1

    jesim1 Kit bitch to the Stars

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    I totally agree with you, I've bought and sold loads of houses, and have seldom had a solicitor who knew what day of the week it was (particular about contracts) :mad:

    The biggest problem is they farm it out to office juniors with little checking of the quality of their work. I've just had to instigate another sale and am going through the tedious process of telling them how to do their jobs yet again - they do the most stupid things - like send me a non editable PDF and ask me to complete it and return it electronically to speed things up :facepalm: The one I spoke to asked me to use an e signature rather than post them - fine I said, how do I do it, "I have no idea" was the answer :facepalm: They got the price wrong by £40k :facepalm:, and then told me to send them original ID - even though I'd completed it on line through their portal, which they confirmed was received, correct, and sufficient :facepalm: believe it or not - the list goes on :eek::facepalm:

    So any solicitors reading this - the vast majority of the fools in your profession should be barred from practising, the general standards I have experienced are utterly appalling, so I hope your an exception to this :loser:
     
    OldGreyDog, trebike0, Cam. and 3 others like this.
  8. pjgtech

    pjgtech I shoot, therefore I aim......

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    Yep, I forgot to mention that when we were asking for quotes, we got the actual solicitor, but since we instructed them, almost all of the actual conveyancing work in our case (so far) has been done by assistants and juniors, which is meant to be overseen by the solicitor, (but clearly is not, otherwise we would not have to continually prompt for progress). Another annoyance! As far as I'm concerned I want the most experienced and qualified person dealing with my case, not the most junior.
     
    OldGreyDog likes this.
  9. Byronic

    Byronic Good thing we are all different, eh?

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    Well, yes and no!

    Some of the Solicitors working in Criminal Justice are superb, motivated, devoted honourable people - even if some of the actions of their clients are indefensible.

    Housing Law solicitors are about on a par with Estate Agents, in my experience.
    Useless, ineffectual charlatans who think they have a right to help themselves to our money in large amounts for doing SFA.

    My last house purchase took 6 months!
    Long before Covid gave everyone carte blanche to be useless.

    Cash buyer, empty house.
    What could possibly go wrong?

    My solicitors kept me informed very well, weekly updates minimum and daily if any news - rarely.
    Needless to say, each Solicitor blamed the other!

    Eventually I simply told BOTH of them that if I did not complete within 2 weeks I would pull out, and they could sue me if they chose to - as the vendors representatives threatened to do!

    Oh, and I threatened to stand outside their offices picketing as well as complaining to the Law Society.

    Amazingly, suddenly, everything moved overnight.

    Coincidence?
    I doubt it.

    You know the old saying about if you see blood on the road then how do you know if the victim was a Solicitor or a dog?
    Look for the skid marks.
    There will be skid marks where they tried to avoid the dog!
     
  10. Daibhidh Sco

    Daibhidh Sco Plinkety Plink!

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    I used to work on local government and regularly had to work with solicitors most days. One or two were good, but many were bleeding awful (both council solicitors and private sector). I routinely had to double check and very often rewrite legal agreements and contracts they had drafted because they simply weren't sharp enough or were flawed. If I didn't check them, all sorts of brown stuff would have hit the ground. My own feelings are that whilst a law degree can give you the lingo and background knowledge, much of what solicitors actually do day to day isn't really all that hard for anyone with half a brain and knowledge of the subject matter. I differentiate between a bog standard solicitor and an advocate (or barrister, or whatever it is you call them on England). It's a bit like medicine too. Sure, there are some area of extreme specialism, but these days with almost all information, research and journals being online and accessible, if you've got a good brain on your head you can often get to understand a particular legal issue or medical issue far better than the so called experts. Of course, you won't get paid anywhere near as much as them!
     
  11. SJC

    SJC Shooter and golfer.

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    I don’t know if it’s true but most solicitors I know say that the worst people to deal with are people who work in housing and environmental health.
     
    MrYan and pjgtech like this.
  12. Seasicksteve

    Seasicksteve Keyboard Hero

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    Worst thing with conveyancing is you can do most of the searches yourself free of charge these days like mining report, flood risk and pollution.
    Why ever you still have to pay fir these and them take so long Is a joke
     
    OldGreyDog, Lorenz, pjgtech and 3 others like this.
  13. Trisiboi

    Trisiboi Busy Member

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    You don't have to use them you can actually do it all yourself if you want to and think you could ,so it's mo useoaning get out there and do it you will soon see what it's like council's can hold up searches forever ,my solicitor will not deal with people selling houses because he cannot put up with the constant moaning
     
    Lorenz likes this.
  14. Grey Man

    Grey Man Big Poster

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    Solicitors inhabit a different time frame to the rest of the universe.
     
    pjgtech, PolzeyLad and Daibhidh Sco like this.
  15. poorshot

    poorshot Engaging Member

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    2 years ago my solicitor refused to complete on my sale unless I explained why I was selling for less
    than the market price?
    I still cant believe it.
     
    pjgtech and PolzeyLad like this.
  16. rellum

    rellum Keyboard Hero

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    I’m going through the same debacle with my parents house up in Notts.
    I have to say solicitors and the estate agents have been lower than a pair of oil slicks.
    How they can justify their costs is a total mystery to me I’m in the wrong job .
     
    pjgtech, Wurzel1, jesim1 and 2 others like this.
  17. papaver

    papaver Posting Addict

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    A time frame that is still billed by the Earth minute though.
     
  18. papaver

    papaver Posting Addict

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    I sold a house at significantly less than the "market value" (rather, estate agents and greedy people valuation), one, because I thought their estimates was ludicrous on the high side, and two, because I needed it gone sharpish and I'm not greedy either.

    From "This house is worth £XXX,000 but difficult to sell because it's right next to the pub." to a sale with a happy buyer and a happy me within two weeks. Job done. My next door neighbour who loathed the pub didn't loath it enough to not spend years moaning whilst holding out for top price. She's still there, moaning about the boozer (a damned good boozer!) now.
     
    Lorenz, pjgtech, jesim1 and 2 others like this.
  19. Keith 66

    Keith 66 Busy Member

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    I finally sold mums house in Lancs approx two & a half months ago, I accepted an offer back at end september 2020, it took 32 weeks to complete, no chain & a buyer who was largely cash with a small top up mortgage.
    The buyer dumped his first solicitor two months in as they were so tardy & slow.
    I got no updates for months & frankly it was the most stressful experience. My solicitor lost documents not once but twice & in the end i threatened them with a formal complaint, all of a sudden everything happened & it was completed.
    Everyone blamed Covid & searches taking so long, i suspect they had simply taken far too much work on to be able to do it all, so those who shouted loudest got seen to first.
     
  20. HammyHamster

    HammyHamster Engaging Member

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    I'm not sure why estate agents get such flack, ours were superb and actively pushed for the sale. That said we didn't go with the cheapest one.

    However my experience of conveyancers was utterly abysmal.

    There was a reference to a lease on the title, which the solicitors needed to resolved and asked the vendors solicitor to locate and provide.

    I enquired what would happen if they couldn't find the lease, to be informed they would need to reconstitute the title and that would take months, our buyer wasn't in a position to wait months.

    So my next question was "are you providing them a deadline to locate the lease?"

    Their response was one of surprise, they don't give deadlines, and what would be the point? What would I expect to happen if they'd not located the lease within the deadline? How about the F'in obvious? If they've not found it in 2 weeks, they're probably not going to find it, and we can start reconstituting the title, rather than give them 10 weeks, and then start.

    Vendor informed me that they'd resolved the lease issue so asked our solicitor if they could confirm it was removed, so I could advise our buyer.

    Days passed, to get told they're not sure and will check, little did they know I'd already obtained my own title from land registry, and forwarded them a copy of the old, and new one, which clearly had one line of text removed and no reference to the word 'lease' and to my untrained eye it appeared resolved, but could they confirm. Zilch, nada, nothing, for days.

    Finally we get the legal stuff off them to sign the week of completion, and find 1/2 the garden is missing from the title plan... the bit of the garden the lease referred to!

    Of course that's a spanner in the works, and they need to check it belongs to us, inform the mortgage company, bla bla bla. Once again, my own searches on land registry showed didn't belong to the land behind the property, even suppling the plans, they still took weeks to respond.

    They're a bunch of charlatans, they're all in cahoots together to make sure their lives are as easy as possible, it's all smoke and mirrors to make it appear much more complex than it is to justify their fees.

    Oh and don't get me started on having to draw on map where I parked my car on a shared drive!
     
    pjgtech, jesim1 and Byronic like this.

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