What has happened to Law Direct Limited and Volks Hedleys?
Law Direct Limited and Volks Hedleys have been closed down. The SRA intervened on 22 June 2023 because Law Direct Limited had gone into administration (i.e. it was insolvent). An intervention is a statutory power given to the SRA to take possession of a firm’s files and documents and also any money it holds in order to protect clients.
Law Direct Limited owned a number of firms which are all covered by the administration and some of which are also included in the intervention by the SRA.
The SRA intervention relates to the following firms:
- Law Direct Limited (SRA ID 557789)
- Brinley Morris Rees & Jones (SRA ID 67402)
- Ellison & Co (SRA ID: 49334)
- Davies Phillips LLP aka Davies Ingram & Harvey (SRA ID: 525362)
- Geoffrey Bryant & Co Limited (SRA ID: 629592)
- Strain Keville LLP (SRA ID: 560466)
- Dakers Solicitors (SRA ID: 598193)
- Volks Hedleys (SRA ID: 30288)
- Kirk & Partners (SRA ID: 515554)
- Griffith Smith Conway (SRA ID: 63484)
- Beverley Davies Penny
The SRA has appointed Emma Porter of Shakespeare Martineau LLP to assist with the intervention (known as the intervention agent).
You can call the Shakespeare Martineau team on 0300 247 2470 or email email@example.com
Please note that Sussex Law which was affiliated with Law Direct Limited has not been closed by the SRA. That firm continues to operate and we cannot help with any query about it.
What does this mean?
Unfortunately, the closed firm(s) can no longer act for you, and you will need to find another solicitor. We have not taken over the closed firm(s) and are not representing you.
You can choose any solicitor you like to act for you. If you don’t know another solicitor, then 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 clicking here: The Law Society.
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 laywer.
What has happened to my file?
Prior to intervention, certain aspects of the business and assets were sold to Alexander and Partners, a firm of solicitors based in North West London. This included the transfer of some client files.
Redfern & Co
All of Redfern & Co’s client files, as well as wills, deeds and closed files were included in the sale. If you were a client of Redfern & Co please contact Alexander & Partners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other branches
If your file relates to the types of work detailed below, then it may be with Alexander & Partners. You can contact them at email@example.com. Please note, the sale of your file only takes effect if you give consent to Alexander & Partners to act for you. You do not have to instruct Alexander & Partners and you are free to choose another firm.
- Commercial Conveyancing
- Residential Conveyancing
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Wills and Deeds
- Closed Files
If your file does not relate to the categories above, it is not part of the sale and will be collected by Shakespeare Martineau LLP. 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.
If your matter is legally aided, then your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes this type of work.
How do I access an old closed file, will, or deed?
If your enquiry relates to an archived file, will or deed you will need to contact Alexander & Partners at firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not hold any files that relate to closed or completed cases, wills or deeds at our offices.
What has happened to the money held by the firm ?
If your file has been transferred to Alexander & Partners, they may also hold the related balance. You can contact them at email@example.com to check.
The remaining money from the firm’s accounts is now held by the SRA. The firm’s accounts are closed and no payments can be made from them.
We or the SRA will look at the closed firm’s accounts to work out who the money belongs to, which may take several months. If you need to claim money held by the SRA urgently, you can make a claim to the SRA’s Compensation Fund. We cannot guarantee the outcome of any claim.
How can I get more information?
Find out more about SRA interventions by clicking here. If you would like to talk to someone in our team at Shakespeare Martineau, please call 0300 247 2470.
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.legalombudsaman.org.uk/ and they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or called on 0300 555 0333 or written to at:
PO Box 6806
The Legal Ombudsman will handle your complaint, but we 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 practice. 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:
An intervention by the SRA is a client protection measure. It only relates to client papers and money held by the firm.
As part of the intervention, the SRA does not deal with trading debts and liabilities to suppliers and any other creditors. The joint administrators of Law Direct and the firms it owns are dealing with the trading aspects of these organisations.
If you are a trade creditor and wish to discuss any element of the administration please contact the Joint Administrators to Law Direct Limited who are Stephen Katz and Paul Cooper at Begbies Traynor (London) LLP, Pearl Assurance House, 319 Batlards Lane, London, N12 SLY. The Administration into Law Direct occurred on 20 June 2023. The Administrators can be contacted on email@example.com
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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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