Cornwall Law Society statement

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Following the collapse of a Cornish law firm, the president of the Cornwall Law Society has issued a statement to reassure customers.

Follett Stock, which had offices in Truro, Exeter, Bristol and London, went into compulsory liquidation after a winding up order was made on October 30.

As a result the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) shut the firm down and appointed a firm in Southampton to take on the live cases and client money.

Jeremy Harvey, president of the Cornwall Law Society, said: “If there is one message I can put across to customers and businesses in Cornwall is that we work in a highly regulated sector and interventions such as this are rare.

“When issues do arise the rules are in place to ensure everything happens in an orderly way.

“This means that client money is ring-fenced for protection and everything is done for the client’s benefit.”

According to Harvey, who is also managing partner of Coodes Solicitors, this is first intervention from the SRA in Cornwall in recent history.

He added: “SRA interventions only happen occasionally and generally issues can be resolved before it gets to that point.

“There have been some high profile cases on a national level, but the SRA only intervene when all other options have been exhausted.”

Although client files and money have been passed to the SRA’s appointed firm, customers do have a choice of who carries out their legal work.

Harvey said: “In cases like this, the SRA will contact customers and outline the process allowing them to make arrangements to retrieve their files and monies and instruct another law firm to act on their behalf.

“The process is designed to facilitate protection of client work in a worrying and difficult time.”