Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Family Lore Clinic: What do I do if a solicitor has signed a consent order without my permission?
Once again, I will assume that the term 'consent order' refers to an order setting out an agreed financial/property settlement on divorce.
I will also assume that by 'a solicitor' you mean your solicitor. Only a solicitor instructed by you may sign a consent order on your behalf, and only then if they have confirmed with you that you agree with the contents of the order.
It is also usual that consent orders are signed both by solicitors and their clients.
Leaving that aside, there are three things you can do.
Firstly, contact your solicitor, who should be able to resolve the matter for you. If the order has not yet been made then they can stop it being made, and if it has been made they can advise you regarding the possibility of having it set aside.
Secondly, if you can't for any reason sort the matter out with your solicitor, then you can instruct another one to sort it out for you.
Thirdly, if that is not possible then you should get in touch with the court and explain the position.
The other thing to say is that you may have a claim against your solicitor if you should suffer any loss as a result of their failure to act in accordance with your instructions.