Over the last year the circumstances of my life have meant I've had above average contact with lawyers. Although in the past I have worked with some fantastic lawyers, this year has been a pretty negative experience and I'm glad it's over. So I was very surprised to get an email today from a law firm (who I gave up on at the end of last November because they asked for money above the agreed fee and hadn't replied to my message of late September) asking me to confirm whether I required their services. I replied to the email writer whose mercenary job title is 'Legal Fee Earner' (see Tivoli's comment on this below) and checked on the firm's website to see whether I could copy in the managing director. Unfortunately his email address was not there but I did blind copy my email to the firm's generic email address just in case the recipient decided not to share it. I wrote that I had put the whole business behind me but that their gall meant that I would now alert other people to avoid them. I then wrote two reviews on the internet which included words such as 'avoid', 'unprofessional' and 'incompetent'.
And guess what? At 19:41 I got a phone call from the managing director (number withheld) telling me that their litigation department had found my 'defamatory' reviews, that this was very serious and that it would cost me if I left them there. Interesting, eh? Positive reviews are ignored, regardless of their honesty but the writers of negative reviews are
threatened with told about court. I defended myself robustly, told him not to interrupt when he tried to talk over me and told him that the organisation that referred me to his firm had also tried to get a response out of them but had failed and then referred me elsewhere. I agreed to remove anything defamatory but said that I would leave in incontrovertible facts. So my review now reads:
I am very unhappy
I was referred to [firm] on 31 August 2020 by [referrer].
On 3 September I sent their completed questionnaire and all supporting documents.
On 28 September I received the first email from them asking me to pay more money (I had already paid the agreed flat-rate fee) and asking a question that I felt I had already answered in the documentation I had previously sent.
I replied the same day asking for clarification but got no reply.
On 21 October I chased and got no reply.
I waited another month but still heard nothing.
On 25 November the referrer transferred my case to another solicitor.
Now, 49 weeks after I first sent the information that [firm] asked for, they have emailed to ask whether I still I want their services.
I'm wondering whether to add that I edited my original review after an evening phone call from the MD telling me it was defamatory.
(If there are any English lawyers here prepared to tell me whether I'm writing anything unwise I'd be grateful.)
The most amusing part of our 15-minute conversation was when I told him that I recognised his name and had wanted but been unable to copy him into my email to the firm this afternoon. Audible surprise in the momentary silence. 'You wrote to us?'
So, they employ people to trawl negative internet reviews within minutes but they don't look at their emails. I wonder what that says about them...
Anyway the tone suddenly became much more conciliatory and included words like 'resolve' and 'talk with staff'.
I volunteered at the mass vaccination centre this morning. Two highlights: I managed to prevent someone from fainting; I had an interesting conversation with someone in the RAF who has been involved with evacuating people from Kabul. One long downer: watching the young people getting second vaccines and thinking about my daughter's 24-year-old friend who died from Covid three weeks ago.
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