PART 26 - CHANGE OF SOLICITOR
See also Practice Direction 26A
Part 26 CHANGE OF SOLICITOR
|Solicitor acting for a party||Rule 26.1|
|Change of solicitor – duty to give notice||Rule 26.2|
|Order that a solicitor has ceased to act||Rule 26.3|
|Removal of solicitor who has ceased to act on application of another party||Rule 26.4|
Solicitor acting for a party
Where the address for service of a party is the business address of that party's solicitor, the solicitor will be considered to be acting for that party until the provisions of this Part have been complied with.
(Part 6 contains provisions about the address for service.)
Change of solicitor – duty to give notice
(1) This rule applies where –
(a) a party for whom a solicitor is acting wants to change solicitor;
(b) a party, after having conducted the application in person, appoints a solicitor to act for that party (except where the solicitor is appointed only to act as an advocate for a hearing); or
(c) a party, after having conducted the application by a solicitor, intends to act in person.
(2) Where this rule applies, the party or the party's solicitor (where one is acting) must –
(a) serve notice of the change on –
(i) every other party; and
(ii) where paragraph (1)(a) or (c) applies, the former solicitor; and
(b) file notice of the change.
(3) Except where a serial number has been assigned under rule 14.2 or the name or address of a party is not being revealed in accordance with rule 29.1, the notice must state the party's new address for service.
(4) The notice filed at court must state that notice has been served as required by paragraph (2)(a) or, where rule 2.4 applies, in accordance with the court's directions given under that rule.
(5) Subject to paragraph (6), where a party has changed solicitor or intends to act in person, the former solicitor will be considered to be the party's solicitor unless and until –
(a) notice is filed and served in accordance with paragraph (2)(a) or, where rule 2.4 applies, in accordance with the court's directions given under that rule; or
(b) the court makes an order under rule 26.3 and the order is served as required by paragraph (3) of that rule.
(6) Where the certificate of a legally aided person (in this rule ‘C’) is revoked or withdrawn –
(a) the solicitor who acted for C will cease to be the solicitor acting in the case as soon as the retainer is determined under regulation 24 or 41 of the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 20121; and
(b) if C wishes to continue –
(i) where C appoints a solicitor to act on C's behalf, paragraph (2) will apply as if C had previously conducted the application in person; and
(ii) where C wants to act in person, C must give an address for service, in accordance with rule 6.26, unless the court directs otherwise.
(7) In this rule –
‘certificate’ means a certificate issued under the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 20122); and
'legally aided person' means a person to whom civil legal services (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012) have been made available under arrangements made for the purposes of that Part of that Act
Order that a solicitor has ceased to act
(1) A solicitor may apply for an order declaring that that solicitor has ceased to be the solicitor acting for –
(a) a party; or
(b) a children's guardian.
(2) Where an application is made under this rule –
(a) notice of the application must be given to the party, or children's guardian, for whom the solicitor is acting, unless the court directs otherwise; and
(b) the application must be supported by evidence.
Removal of solicitor who has ceased to act on application of another party
(1) Where –
(a) a solicitor who has acted for a party –
(i) has died;
(ii) has become bankrupt;
(iii) has ceased to practise; or
(iv) cannot be found; and
(b) the party has not given notice of a change of solicitor or notice of intention to act in person as required by rule 26.2(2),
any other party may apply for an order declaring that the solicitor has ceased to be the solicitor acting for the other party in the case.
(2) Where an application is made under this rule, notice of the application must be given to the party to whose solicitor the application relates unless the court directs otherwise.
(3) Where the court makes an order made under this rule, a court officer will serve a copy of the order on every other party to the proceedings.