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Probably every month that passes sees a zombie firm feature in a local paper. The reportage is along the lines of, “Mr So and So, a highly respected local solicitor, was found dead in his office.....Clients should contact XXXX”
It’s tragic for all concerned, but those who suffer most are the clients of that solicitor in the twilight zone, who still have an active matter - particularly if the nature of that matter is thankless and financially unrewarding, such as acting for parents in child care disputes, where public funding is no longer available. If it was, I expect a successor practice might have been found.
I do some pro bono work for such people steered to me by a councillor friend and what I do, if I can, is help them to find another solicitor who will take over conduct of the matter.
It is hard work and I do it describing myself as Cllr X’s PA.
Somehow, funding has to be found from somewhere to enable people leave an oversubscribed profession. At one end of the scale, someone in their late 20s early 30s made redundant by a factory firm with only a statutory payment is not going to have the client following to be employable elsewhere or set up on their own account, even if they are prepared to take the risk; while at the other end is the poor old soul who can’t retire.
There needs to be some sort of fund to help with the provision of run off cover - or just keep SIF going as a charity - and retraining help.

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