What has happened to Novi Law Limited?

Novi Law Limited of 1 The Wharf, 16 Bridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2JS has been closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘the SRA’). This is called an intervention. The intervention took place on 10 July 2024.

Shakespeare Martineau of 1 Colmore Square, Birmingham, B4 6AA are helping with the closure.

Please contact Shakespeare Martineau’s Interventions Team on 0300 247 2470 if you wish to speak to someone or email interventions@shma.co.uk

What does this mean?

The closed firm can no longer act for you. You will need to find another solicitor. We have not taken over the closed firm and cannot act for you.

You can choose any solicitor you like to act for you. If you do not know another solicitor then your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you with this. If you have access to the internet you can also search for solicitors in your area by visiting The Law Society’s website at www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingandusing/findasolicitor or by calling the Law Society on 020 7320 5650 Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00.

If you need a legal aid lawyer, you can find one here: https://find-legal-advice.justice.gov.uk/. If you have a live legal aid certificate, we can only send your file to another legal aid lawyer.

What happens to my money?

The money in the closed firm’s bank accounts have been transferred to the SRA.

Shakespeare Martineau or the SRA will look at the closed firm’s accounts to work out who the money belongs to. The SRA will try to return any money the closed firm was holding for you.

You will need to make an application for money to be returned to you. If the closed firm’s accounts are not in good order, it might be hard to work out exactly how much money is owed—and to who. For that reason, it might take us or the SRA some time to return your money.

If the money cannot be returned to you or only part of it can, you, can apply to our Compensation Fund for a grant.

If you urgently need money that the closed firm was holding for you, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a payment.

There is no guarantee that you will get a payment. You must prove that the solicitor was holding your money and satisfy the Fund’s other rules.

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 legally aided, then your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes this type of work.

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. It will not cost you anything to have your documents sent.

The SRA is in the process of collecting all client files and documents from the firm’s office(s) or storage location(s).

If your file has been recovered, we or the SRA will write to tell you and ask you where you would like your file to be sent.

You or your new lawyer should let us know as soon as possible where you would like your file to be sent as there may be important time limits in place.

It is possible to support your new solicitors with making progress more quickly by sending them any correspondence or documentation that you received before the intervention took place. They may also be able to access information from other solicitors/organisations involved in the matter.

How can I obtain my will, deed an old closed file or another record?

All wills and deeds held by Novi Law Limited are now stored at our intervention archives department who will contact you.

A request for wills or deeds can also be made by email: interventionarchivefile@sra.org.uk or by telephone: 0204 525 0250.

We do not hold any files that relate to closed or completed cases, wills or deeds at our offices. These 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 or alternatively, you can contact them at interventionarchivefile@sra.org.uk or telephone them at 0204 525 0250.

It is important to note that the intervention does not affect the validity of your will. However, if your will names the intervened firm or one of its directors/partners as an executor, then we recommend that you take time to consider the appointment.

All deeds and other original documents held in storage by the firm are being collected. If you wish to get hold of deeds / original documents please contact us. You will also need to complete our identity checks.

How can I get more information?

Find out more about interventions at the SRA’s website: https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/solicitor-closed-down/intervention.page

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

I want to complain about the intervened firm? What can I do?

If you wish to complain or have already lodged a complaint about service then you can contact the Legal Ombudsman in addition to ourselves. Further information can be found at https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ and they can be contacted at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk or called on 0300 555 0333 or written to at:

PO Box 6806

Wolverhampton

WV1 9WJ

We are not representatives of the firm so will not be handling complaints but are keen to find out any information that may help us in dealing with the intervention in returning files and monies to the rightful owners.

I was an employee of the intervened firm. What can I do?

We understand that this is an extremely difficult time for you. Our role is to focus purely on the protection of clients and supporting them in whatever way we can. We are not a representative or a successor practice to the intervened firm. We are therefore unable to deal with issues relating to your employment.

Please feel free to contact us with any information that you believe may support us in our role of supporting clients. Regarding your personal employment position you may find the following links supportive:

https://www.acas.org.uk/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

https://www.lawcare.org.uk/

Written By

Published: 11th July 2024
Area: SRA Intervention

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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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