You can change Lawyers at any time during your claim.
This applies to any workers’ compensation claims, motor vehicle claims, or public liability claims.
In fact, it is a relatively straight forward process and you should not need to pay your Lawyer anything at the time the file is transferred to your new Lawyer.
If you are unhappy with your Lawyers' performance and have lost confidence in their ability to achieve a great result for you, then you should speak to other Lawyers to see if they can do a better job. It is very important that you are 100% happy with your Lawyer and the results they are getting for you as some claims can only be made once, and the difference between a Lawyer achieving average results and a lawyer achieving great results could cost you thousands in compensation.
In most personal injury matters, you would have signed a No win-No fee costs agreement or what is known as a Conditional Costs Agreement. This means that you do not pay any legal costs until the conclusion of your claim. If you have signed a no win-no fee costs agreement, then there is usually no difficulty in changing to another Lawyer.
In order to change lawyers you will need to: -
- Find another Lawyer to take over conduct of your claim;
- Sign a document authorising your new Lawyer to take over conduct of the claim from your old lawyers.
Once your old Lawyer receive that authority, you are no longer their client and they are not entitled to contact you, other than to send a bill of costs for work completed to date.
The old Lawyers should then forward the file to your new Lawyers on the undertaking that the old lawyers’ reasonable costs and disbursements will be paid at the end of the claim.
Often a Tripartite Deed is entered between the old Lawyers, new Lawyers, and the client to ensure that reasonable costs and disbursements will be paid to the old Lawyers at the conclusion of the claim.
Sometimes difficulties can arise where the old Lawyers refuse to release their file until the disbursements are repaid such as the cost of medical reports. In No win-No fee costs agreements most of the time you do not need to repay the disbursements until the conclusion of the claim.
Changing Lawyers is a relatively simple process. You do not need to repay any legal costs until the end of your claim. If you have lost confidence in your lawyers, then you should obtain a second opinion from a different Lawyer.
We always recommend that any Lawyer you chose to act on your behalf in a claim for personal injury should be a NSW Accredited Specialist in personal injury law.
GARLING & CO LAWYERS 2017