Firm Says A Letter Has Not Been Received When It Has Been Tracked And Signed For.

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jourdain2 | 21:06 Fri 16th Apr 2021 | Law
17 Answers
This really is for a friend of mine. She was badly done-to by a firm of solicitors she employed to fight a case brought against her by a chap who claimed half her house as squatters' rights. To cut a very long story short, she employed solicitors when it came to County Court at Leeds and they insisted that she she employed a barrister. She is a widow and not wealthy by the way. Anyway, she is very organised, presented her own case (the Barrister said the solicitors were a waste of space) and won convincingly with the judge awarding monies to her on pain of imprisonment of the plaintiff if unpaid.. These total over £19K. The solicitors were supposed to collect this from the claimant - turns out he was on legal aid. Nothing happened. This was over 10 years ago. Her enquiries went nowhere apart from encouraging her to hire a private detective to check if the Plaintiff had any undisclosed means.

Recently another friend noticed that the solicitor's office was closed with a notice saying that claims should be sent to another solicitor's firm. She did that and they informed her that due to the time lapse she had to apply to an umbrella organisation in Birmingham which dealt with inefficiency by solicitors. I helped her to write the letter and it was posted Recorded Delivery about 6 weeks ago. We have tracked it and have proof that it was delivered.

No reply has arrived so my friend, 'P', rang. She was informed that they have no knowledge of this letter and that it has not arrived. We have expostulated that we can prove that it was received and was signed for. Now an email copy has been sent with a request for confirmation of receipt.

This is a bit of a nightmare of complete inefficiency and confusion. Where do we go from here, please? All suggestions welcome. P needs closure of a horrible part of her past. She won her case hands down. She is left in limbo and also the loser in cash terms.

Thanks for any advice as to next move.


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send it again?
ps many solicitors do not accept service by email
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We've done that by email, bedknobs and I'm going to print off another copy to send by GPO. Thing is, we can prove they already received it!
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The original letter was sent by post, Recorded Delivery, and was signed for - but we can't read the scrawl.
but they are saying they don't have it. The simplest thing to do is re-send it. Being able to unequivocally prove they received it does not mean they will suddenly miraculously find it.
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Well, that's what we are going to do, bedknobs, but it doesn't exactly breed confidence in the system. We are getting geared up to go to the ombudsman if we can't get anywhere. Meanwhile P is having to revisit a horrible period of her past and she desperately need closure - and certainly not another legal morass. Thanks for taking an interest. :)
i used to work in a reasonably large building where the post was dealt with by a post room. things used t go missing regularly.
in any case wont there be some statute of limitations on adebt over 10 years old? It sounds to me as if the person who owed the money did not have a bean. There is an old saying you can't get blood out of a stone. There ay not have been any incompetency by the solicitors - the debtor may simply not have had anything
Question Author
I think that mainly P wants the fees back from the solicitors. There is really too much detail to write here, but they did nothing (she did ALL the work for her defence)and the Barrister said that she had wasted her money employing them. It's pretty awful. She is now neurotic, reclusive and defensive - and she was completely innocent of the claim against her (brought by another firm of solicitors who should have known better than to believe the claim of a registered disabled man that he had re-roofed her house and done all sorts of other jobs). She was told to go to this firm because it was an old claim.
the realist in me says that if she needs closure, she should consider it closed - she got the CCJ, which would have affected his credit for years, she effectively won. Bringing it all up again will not help with closure and if he is still in the same position he still wont be able to pay, and she'll probably be out more money getting someone to chase the debt again for her. However, it's not my 19k, so it's easy for me to look at it like that of course
Deciphering the scrawl on the receipt for the letter wouldn't help you much anyway, Jourdain2, as it won't belong to anyone at the firm; it will just be the postie's signature (or possibly his/her own recording of the recipient's name).

Royal Mail hasn't been collecting signatures on (nominally) 'Signed For' deliveries for more than a year now:
If at all possible take another copy yourself. And take a photograph of who takes it. Like DPD etc do.

Solicitors are scum.
Question Author
Thanks ymf, but it's a long way to Birmingham :(
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^^^^ PS I completely agree with your final comment - after years of experience.
I wonder if its worth sending by DPD or someone like that who will take the picture then?
in my last job i dealt mainly with solicitors. i am rather reluctant to diss them, given a couple of my favourite posters work in law, but seriously they were awful, totally rubbish, not averse to breaking the law themselves on occasion, and on one noteabe occasion wrote be a letter both complaining we were dealing with them too slowly AND too quickly in the same paragraph! Most of the work was done by clueless paralegals who used to use (what they thought were) scary legal phrases completely out of context to try to intimidate us
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Good thinking ymfb! I'll mention that to her tomorrow. Thanks.
The problem with the legal profession is you can never sort them out with legal actions - they close ranks faster than a camel's bum in a sandstorm.

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