Choosing a medical negligence solicitor

This information applies to England and Wales.

It makes sense to speak to a few solicitors who have experience dealing with medical negligence cases before deciding who you wish to use.

An initial meeting with a solicitor should be free and leave you with no obligation to use them.

Making a claim can be difficult and emotional for parents and carers, especially in the early stages.

Making a medical negligence claim

Choosing a solicitor with the right experience, understanding and knowledge can make things much easier.

Questions to ask a medical negligence solicitor

Is the solicitor a member of the Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme?

Members have to maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in clinical negligence. Your solicitor should be a member of:

Does the firm have Lexcel, ISO9001 or equal accreditation?

Lexcel is the Law Society's standard for case management, customer care and risk management. Lexcel assesses firms every year.

ISO 9001 assesses firms every 6 months to ensure they meet Solicitors Regulation Authority requirements.

Will the solicitor you meet deal with your case?

Find out who will be dealing with your case. Make sure they have experience of conditions like yours or your child's. Your solicitor must have enough time to assess your case and take part in all the important steps.

Does the firm have a good record of successful medical negligence claims?

How many recent cases have the practice dealt with? What were the outcome of those cases?

Independent directories are a good source of information about solicitors.

How many medical negligence specialist solicitors does the firm have?

This may show a firm's experience, ability to move a case forward and keep you informed.

How will the solicitor keep in touch with you?

Make sure your solicitor agrees to keep in regular contact with you. Is there another member of the legal team familiar with your claim if your solicitor is absent?

You should agree at the start how they communicate with you. This could be in the office or at your home, by email or by telephone.

Does the firm have a Legal Aid Agency Clinical Negligence franchise?

Only firms with this franchise can apply for a Legal Aid certificate from the Legal Aid Agency if available.

Legal Aid Agency

Does the firm offer education, welfare benefit, community care, Court of Protection and public law expertise?

It helps if you can deal with all these issues within the same firm.

Make sure a solicitor is right for you

A good solicitor will expect you to ask questions.

  • Make sure you understand their answers. If you do not understand the answers, ask for more explanation.
  • Perhaps take someone with you to take notes.
  • Meet a couple of solicitors if you can. Any firm should provide a free initial interview, without obligation and should be happy to visit you.
  • Remember you have the right to change solicitor at any point if you are unhappy with their service. The Legal Aid Agency may need to approve this if you are receiving their funding.

Finding free or affordable legal help (Citizens Advice)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 14/02/2024

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