A north-west firm has been fined for failing to keep clients updated about the involvement of third parties.
According to a regulatory settlement agreement published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Meade Law Ltd made no communication with consumers about the use of two businesses named as EI and IPTS.
The companies provided services related to personal injury claims including witness statements, locus reports and translation services.
But Meade Law, based in Bolton, failed to list their fees as potential disbursements and made no written agreement with either business.
The SRA’s review of client files also found no communication with clients notifying them they would be contacted by EI.
The firm admitted failing to act in the best interests of its clients, failing to provide a proper standard of services and failing to run its business effectively.
In mitigation, Meade Law confirmed it has ceased using EI and IPTS, changed its standard client care letter to include third-party charges as potential disbursements, and ensures clients know third parties may contact them.
The firm also agreed with the SRA that any agreements with third parties will be in writing.
Meade Law was fined £2,000 – the maximum allowed before cases are referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – and ordered to pay £1,350 investigation costs.
The firm accepted that it may be referred to the SDT if it fails to comply with the undertakings made.