Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Solictors Regulation Authority - whats it all about?

It may be me - I could have completely the wrong body to report matters to, but I recently noticed a will writers firm masquerading as a solicitors practice, and being a responsible citizen, decided to report them, even though they were advertising on Google Adwords and showing on this very site!

I completed an Solicitors Regulation Authority enquiry form online, indicated what my query was - ie that IWC Limited were committing a criminal offence (I think?) by calling themselves solicitors when they were not (their advert read Will & Probate Solicitors Low Cost Probate Service Guaranteed Qualified, Friendly Staff, Call Now IWC-LTD.co.uk). In fact for the avoidance of doubt, here is my form!

Title: Mr
Name: Jonathan Fagan
Phone Number: 01352810850
Enquiry: Advert seen on Google Adwords from a company as follows - this company do not appear to be solicitors and hence committing criminal offence. suspect this is your remit?
Will (sic) & Probate Solicitors Low Cost Probate Service Guaranteed Qualified, Friendly Staff, Call Now IWC-LTD.co.uk

Imagine my surprise to get the following email back again from someone who obviously struggles to pay very much attention to detail, and leaves me wondering why the SRA is any better than the Law Society was at self-regulation:

Dear Mr Fagan
Thank you for your e-mail of 04 February 2011. I have carried out a search of the records held by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and am pleased to provide you with the following information:

I cannot locate a solicitors firm by the name of IWC-Ltd.

If you can provide any further information then I will happily search our records again.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you have any further queries that you would like to discuss, please contact us by telephone on 0870 606 2555. Our lines are open 09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday. If you are calling from overseas please use + 44 (0) 1527 504450. Please note calls may be monitored/recorded for training purposes. Alternatively you can e-mail us on contactcentre@sra.org.uk

Thank you for contacting the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Yours sincerely

Nicola Hicks
Contact Centre Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Fax: 0207 320 5964
Email: contactcentre@sra.org.uk
P Go Green; keep it on screen.

Is it me, or is this completely bonkers? Perhaps it is just me.... need to get out more..

Jonathan Fagan, www.ten-percent.co.uk

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3 comments:

headless said...

Appalling. Suggest you make a complaint here:

http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/complaints-service.page

Jonathan Fagan said...

I feel though that it is not really my place as a lowly legal recruitment consultant to tell the SRA what they ought to be doing in these circumstances.

How on earth is the public supposed to be protected from shysters and people pretending to be solicitors if the SRA are not even keeping track of advertising and then even when they are tipped off? I even took a screen shot of the ad ready to send through to them.

Bonkers.

IWC Wills and Probate said...

Jonathan, thank you for pointing this problem out.

As you may or may not realise we have outsourced our adwords campaign to another company who have tried to target the search of the word "solicitors". I am certainly not aware of any illegality with regards to targeting this as a key word within Google rules. Our website clearly makes no reference to us being solicitors.

If a member of the public requires a solcitor they are referred to a solicitor.

For our part, I can assure you our probate staff are LLB law degree qualified, STEP members and or members of Ilex as necessary.

I too have phoned the SRA to enquire as to the legitimacy of our adverts but it appears they cannot give me an answer.

For the avoidance of doubt however I have immmediately pulled our adwords campaign as I can assure you we are not one of the shysters.

Kind regards

Tony Crocker
Director IWC
www.iwc-ltd.co.uk
Tel: 07801 428966