Sarah Waddington Solicitors, a firm specialising in timeshare matters has had a number of Legal Ombudsman rulings against it regarding poor service and has been ordered to refund monies.
The ombudsman website details 4 cases between June 2021 and January 2022 that require them to refund / pay compensation for failings, citing emotional impact, disruption and losses – see below.
Previous to these cases, KwikChex has been made aware of another case where the ombudsman was particularly critical of lack of progress and poor advice and summed up by ordering a refund to the affected clients of nearly £6,000, whilst also stating –
“I am concerned that the firm did not inform (the clients) that their approach to this type of claim was speculative and was in the main an untested challenge. The firm’s client care letter says that they were of the opinion (the) case had a reasonable prospect of success. As a reasonable service, the firm should have clearly informed (the clients) at the outset of the risks of embarking on a claim before they were requested to pay a £5,950 fee in advance. Under the Solicitors Code of Conduct, the firm are required to act in the best interest of their client and to keep them informed of such matters. In this instance, I find the firm’s failure to do so is exceptionally poor service and is a matter, which will now be referred to the firm’s regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority.”
Additional concerns have been raised by clients of the firm of a similar nature and also regarding third party marketing / lead generation businesses used by Sarah Waddington Solicitors. These and the behaviour of employees of the business are being provided to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in order that they can assess them.
Consejo – in addition to only using regulated law firms, it is also recommended that timeshare owners protect their interests and ensure they are receiving clear advice by obtaining written details of all pertinent matters prior to entering into contracts / paying fees. Such diligence will help avoid situations like those above. See ‘Stop & Check’ advice here.