What has happened to Helen Philippou’s practice, Philippou & Co Solicitors?
The practice of Helen Philippou and Philippou & Co Solicitors of 127 The Chine, Grange Park, London, N21 2EG has been intervened by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘the SRA’). The intervention took place on 22 March 2023. Shakespeare Martineau of 1 Colmore Square, Birmingham, B4 6AA is supporting the SRA as an intervention agent.
Please contact Shakespeare Martineau’s Interventions Team on 0300 247 2470 if you wish to speak to someone or email email@example.com
What does this mean?
Unfortunately, the firm can no longer act for you and you will need to find another solicitor. We have not taken over the firm and cannot act for 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 lawyer.
What happens to my money?
Shakespeare Martineau and the SRA are in the process of recovering and reconciling the closed firm’s accounts.
Shakespeare Martineau or the SRA will then 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.
The accounts of the firm has been closed and no payments can be made from them. While we and the SRA work to ascertain the rightful owners of any money held.
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 the SRA Compensation Fund.
If you urgently need money that the closed firm was holding for you, you can apply 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 Compensation Fund’s other rules.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0121 820 2580.
What happens to my file?
The SRA is in the process of collecting all client files and documents from the firms’ offices or storage locations.
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.
If your matter is legally aided, then your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes this type of work.
What do I need to do if I want my files sent to me?
We need your consent to do this. You can email us at email@example.com Please include the full address to which the file should be sent, and send a copy of your identification (e.g copy passport / driving licence). Our team can provide further support if needed.
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 to be sent to you or your new lawyer.
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 the intervened solicitor was holding for you then your file (if recovered) will be held at the SRA’s intervention archiving department.
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 alternatively you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 SRA interventions by clicking here. 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 email@example.com or called on 0300 555 0333 or written to at:
PO Box 6806
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 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:
Get In Touch
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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