When you engage a legal professional, you want to be 100% confident that they’ll achieve the best possible result for you. An inexperienced or ineffective lawyer could cost you thousands in lost compensation.
Sometimes it’s better to change lawyers than risk the one you have. Here are some tips for ensuring a smooth process if you are Changing law firms during a case.
When to change lawyers
While changing lawyers mid-case is a big decision, there are some situations where you should consider it:
- You’re unhappy with your lawyer’s performance and don’t believe they will get the best result for you.
- Your lawyer isn’t prioritising you – they don’t return phone calls or they delegate your work to junior staff.
- Your lawyer doesn’t specialise in your type of compensation claim.
- You’re moving interstate where your usual lawyer can’t practice.
Is it the right decision?
You’re able to change lawyers at any time during your compensation claim. The process should be fairly quick – only a few weeks.
As most compensation lawyers work on a no-win, no-fee basis, your costs agreement should outline how to terminate your agreement. Make sure you understand this, as there could be unforeseen financial consequences if you don’t check before you leap.
Your prosed new lawyer can review the costs agreement for you and advise on any potential fallout from the switch.
How to change your law firm
Make sure your new law firm has the experience and skill to take over your claim. And that they will match the terms you had with your old lawyer. It may not be worth changing because it costs you more in the long run.
Also, understand what you want to achieve by changing lawyers – and that the new lawyer will solve that problem. If you feel the case is moving too slowly, make sure the problem is your lawyer and not some problem out of their control.
You will usually sign a document authorising your new lawyer to take over the case. When your old lawyer receives this, they’re no longer your lawyer. Your new lawyer can’t proceed until this is completed.
The new lawyer will usually request a copy of your file from your old lawyer.
Costs for work completed
A common question is about how much you will pay your old lawyer for work completed to that point.
They will usually send a bill of cost to cover that work. In a no-win, no-fee agreement, you will pay these costs when you win the case. Your new lawyer will analyse the bill and advise if it’s reasonable.
If it’s unreasonable and your old lawyer won’t discount the amount, your new lawyer can request a formal assessment of costs.
Do you have to start the claim over?
No, not necessarily. Your new lawyer will need time to obtain the file from your old lawyer and get up to speed on the case. But there’s no need to start the claim over when changing law firms during a case.
Lawyers in different states
If you’re injured while travelling interstate, the laws around your case will apply to the state where the accident occurred, not where you live.
As personal injury laws vary across states, your lawyer in your home state might not be across the laws where you are. Therefore, you should consider engaging a lawyer in the state where you were injured.
How we can help
We offer a free initial consultation and ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis to minimise the cost of changing lawyers. We can also negotiate the file transfer for you to reduce the stress of dealing with your old lawyer.
Changing law firms during a case doesn’t have to be difficult. Contact Main Lawyers today to see how we can help.