‘Cannibal’ solicitors who are persuading clients to sue their original Personal Injury solicitors for errors and lower-than-expected settlements are continuing to grow in number, according to Citadel Law.
Lesley Graves, Citadel Law’s managing director, says that she has observed one too many firms prioritising quick earnings over a careful consideration of the claimants they serve. Consequently, dissatisfied clients are looking to take action against their former solicitors, and are finding an increasing number of law firms advertising for such a service.
Graves says that her consulting firm has specified a number of areas of concern that PI firms need to address as a matter of urgency. These include “wising up” to the capital lock-up cycle involved with noise-induced hearing loss; addressing the use of hourly rates to make up for shortfalls in fixed recoverable costs; and choosing experts on merit alone, with full instructions and in a CPR compliant manner.
“These problems have built up over a period of 15 years during the rush to commoditisation in PI,” said Lesley Graves. “All processes must be underpinned by strong legal expertise at key points to ensure a proper evaluation of a case and avoid professional negligence.
“I fear that some PI law firms are creating the sector’s next big storm – a market of it’s own making. A failure to properly serve clients is opening up a whole new market for “cannibal” lawyers who are out to capitalise on professional negligence claims.”