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Unusual issue - Lost in the world of preaction protocols pleas help.

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  • Unusual issue - Lost in the world of preaction protocols pleas help.

    Hi, all,

    Please assist, this is a little unusual. I have a situation whereby I need to seek a court order to get a solicitors practice to answer a Subject Access Request. Some little history I submitted a SAR in October last year to the firm. No response and follow up sent. Template letter from the Information Commissioner's Office sent no response. Complaint to ICO. ICO upheld and told them to respond with in 14 days. Complaint to complaints partner at frim resulted in acknowledgement of complaint on origional time scales and a promise to action it, but, this did not happen. Follow up emails received no response. Complaint to SRA and letter to MP. So far no where. The ICO despite having powers will not pursie indvidual cases. So we are left with a situation where by a firm of solicitors can simply ignore the law unless I take the matter further. The ICO insist they are not an ombudsman.

    So which pre-action protocol do I follow, and which court should I apply to request a court order to get them to comply?

    Looking at the practive direction:
    Steps before issuing a claim at court

    6. Where there is a relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should comply with that protocol before commencing proceedings. Where there is no relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should exchange correspondence and information to comply with the objectives in paragraph 3, bearing in mind that compliance should be proportionate. The steps will usually include—

    (a) the claimant writing to the defendant with concise details of the claim. The letter should include the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts, what the claimant wants from the defendant, and if money, how the amount is calculated;

    So is there a preaction protocl for this, if so how do you know there is such and how can I find it?

    Any other advise welcome, please!

    best

    JRL

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hello. I am not an expert on pre-action protocol, but if your complaint has not bee responded to correctly, then you can go to The Solicitors Regulation Authority who are effectively the "Ombudsman"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by monsal View Post
      Hello. I am not an expert on pre-action protocol, but if your complaint has not bee responded to correctly, then you can go to The Solicitors Regulation Authority who are effectively the "Ombudsman"
      Unfortunatly not. The matter has already been raised with the SRA. The SRA, lice the ICO will only take regulatory action they do not get involved in indvidual cases. Hence the question concerning the pre-action protocol.

      Comment


      • #4
        The Legal Services Ombudsman is effectively the Ombudsman!
        Lawyer - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you cannot identify a specific pre action protocol, follow this one: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...action_conduct
          Lawyer - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by atticus View Post
            The Legal Services Ombudsman is effectively the Ombudsman!
            The legal ombudsman can only act if you are a client of the firm. I was not and was involved as a relative of their client therefore from my understanding I cannot take this to them.

            Comment


            • #7
              I was responding to Monsal's suggestion that someone other than the Ombudsman is 'effectively' the Ombudsman.

              Your relly can take the matter to the Ombudsman.
              Lawyer - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ATTIUS View Post

                I was responding to Monsal's suggestion that someone other than the Ombudsman is 'effectively' the Ombudsman.

                Your relly can take the matter to the Ombudsman.
                I am sorry to be so dim, but, I do not follow you. To whom? If you are talking about the Legal Ombudsman (https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/) and click start the answer the questions (which are about is this a regulated entity, and it is) as explained above I was a 3rd party and answering that it was a service for someone else you get:

                In order for the Legal Ombudsman to investigate a complaint, it should relate to something a service provider did for you as a direct client, or on your behalf.
                • If you are the beneficiary of an estate, we can investigate complaints about work done on an estate.
                • We cannot investigate complaints about someone else's lawyer - for example, if you were buying a house and you think the seller's solicitor took too long to respond.
                • If you are bringing this complaint on behalf of someone else – a friend or family member – we will need proof that you have been given permission to do this.

                The easiest way is to complete a representative authority form which can be downloaded here.

                Which means you cannot get help from them. Also as explained above the SRA will not intervene in indvidual cases so you are snookered.

                Can you please clarify what you mean, who else is there to take this to?
                Last edited by Julian Lineton; 13th August 2022, 10:16:AM. Reason: mistaken quote

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by atticus View Post
                  If you cannot identify a specific pre action protocol, follow this one: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...action_conduct
                  Hi,

                  Thank you for this. In partially answering my own question there is also https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...cations-claims which is very helpful. But I am now confused as I have two sources. How do these interact and which takes president.

                  Please help

                  Thanks again

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If yours is a "media and communications" claim, then the practice direction in your link will apply. NB it is not a pre action protocol.
                    Lawyer - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by atticus View Post
                      If yours is a "media and communications" claim, then the practice direction in your link will apply. NB it is not a pre action protocol.
                      Yes your are right it is the section on Rules and Practice Directions. Hence I assume that I use as you said above the generic pre-aciton protocil. However in that practice direction it says:
                      Scope of this Part

                      53.1

                      (1) This Part contains rules about media and communications claims.

                      (2) A “media and communications claim” means a claim which—

                      (a) satisfies the requirements of paragraph (3) or (4); and

                      (b) has been issued in or transferred into the Media and Communications List.

                      (3) A High Court claim must be issued in the Media and Communications List if it is or includes a claim for defamation, or is or includes—

                      (a) a claim for misuse of private information;

                      (b)a claim in data protection law; or

                      (c) a claim for harassment by publication.
                      .
                      (4) Subject to Part 63 and any other applicable provisions, a claim not falling within paragraph (3) may be issued in the Media and Communications List if the claim arises from—

                      (a)the publication or threatened publication of information via the media, online or in speech; or

                      (b)other activities of the media,

                      and the claimant considers it is suitable for resolution in that list

                      Hence although my claim will be just a data protection claim it is covered by these rules as it is a "(b)a claim in data protection law; or". Hence you may appreciate my confusion. Do I simply follow the generic pre-action protocol or follow this or meld them together? This is where it gets confusion.

                      I look forward to your reply

                      Thanks agian

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A pre action protocol covers steps before you commence your action; the Practice Direction covers the commencement of action and steps thereafter. There is no overlap, nothing to "meld" together.

                        I suggest that you read the protocol in my link and write your letter.
                        Lawyer - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by PM.

                        Comment

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