What has happened to Harley Solicitors and Rayda Pauline Lee-Nichols?

Harley Solicitors formerly of 64 Harley Street, London, W1G 7HB, has been intervened by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘the SRA’). This is called an intervention.

The intervention took place on 14 July 2023.

The law firm Shakespeare Martineau LLP of 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B4 6AA is helping with the intervention.

Please contact Shakespeare Martineau’s Interventions Team on 0300 2472470 if you wish to speak to someone, or email interventions@shma.co.uk

What does this mean?

Unfortunately, Harley Solicitors can no longer act for you and you will need to find another solicitor or law firm to represent you. Shakespeare Martineau has not taken over Harley Solicitors and does not act for you.

You can choose any solicitor you like to act for you. If you don’t know another solicitor, your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you. If you have internet access you can also search for a new solicitor by going to this The Law Society page:

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

What happens to my money?

Harley Solicitor’s bank accounts have been frozen and any balances transferred to the SRA to protect clients’ interests.

Shakespeare Martineau or the SRA will look at the bank statements and Harley Solicitor’s financial records to establish who client money (in other words money held by Harley Solicitors on behalf of its clients) belongs to. Once these tasks have been completed contact will be made with clients and where possible (see below) money belonging to clients will be returned to them.

You will need to make an application for money to be returned to you.

Establishing who funds belong to can take some time. If you require the funds Harley Solicitors held for you quickly you can try contacting the SRA Compensation Fund. You can find out how to apply via this link:

https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/compensation-fund/

However, there is no guarantee that you will receive a payment. You must prove that the solicitor was holding your money and satisfy the Compensation Fund’s payment criteria.

For more information, please email claims.management@sra.org.uk or telephone 0121 820 2580.

What happens to my file?

You can have your file sent to you or to your new solicitor.

If your matter is funded by Legal Aid, your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes the type of work in question.

If there are two or more of you named as clients, you will need to agree where the file should be sent. If you want your file to be sent to you, you will need to provide some copy identification – the process for which you will be guided through. It will not cost you anything to have your documents sent to you.

How do I access an old closed file, will, deed or another record?

If your enquiry relates to a will, deed or another document of record that Harley Solicitors was holding for you then your file (if recovered) will be held at the SRA’s intervention archiving department.

Shakespeare Martineau does not routinely hold any files that relate to closed or completed cases, wills or deeds at our offices. Such files are held at the SRA’s archiving department.

The SRA’s archiving department will be in touch to see what you would like to happen to your documents. If however, you have not heard from them yet then you can arrange to complete a file request form which can be accessed from the SRA’s website:

https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/claim-papers/#intervention-archive

Alternatively, you can contact them at interventionarchivefile@sra.org.uk or telephone them at 0204-525-0250.

How can I get more information?

Find out more about SRA interventions by visiting their website:

https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/solicitor-closed-down/intervention

If you would like to talk to someone in our team at Shakespeare Martineau, please call 0300 2472470.

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Published: 2nd August 2023
Area: SRA Intervention

How We Can Help

Solicitors Regulation Authority Intervention Agents

We have been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as one of four Intervention Agents acting on its behalf. The SRA is responsible for the regulation of solicitors’ practices and solicitors across England and Wales and our role as Intervention Agent means that we are instructed to assist the SRA when law firms close and assist the SRA through the Intervention Process. On this page you will find information about our intervention team, FAQ’s and recent interventions.

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