Metamorph: SRA Intervention

Wednesday 7th February 2024

What has happened to my solicitors?

MLL Ltd, BPL Solicitors Ltd, Beaumont ABS Ltd & Atray Ltd were closed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’) on 14 December 2022. This is called an intervention. Separately Knowles Benning LLP & Knight Polson Limited were closed by the SRA on 19 December 2022, Browns Solicitors (Buckinghamshire) Limited on 20 January 2023 and Parrott & Coales LLP on 29 September 2023.

These businesses traded under the names below and were all part of Metamorph Group Ltd:

Beaumont Legal

  • BPL Solicitors Ltd
  • Browns Solicitors
  • Donnelly & Elliott Solicitors
  • Knight Polson
  • Knowles Benning
  • Linder Myers Solicitors
  • Parrott & Coales
  • RJW Legal
  • SLC Solicitors
  • Terry Jones Solicitors
  • Verisona Law

Gordons LLP of 1 New Augustus Street, Bradford, BD1 5LL have been appointed to help the SRA with the closure of these firms. We are the SRA’s Intervention Agent.

The other practice within the Metamorph group of law firms, Beeton Edwards, has not been closed by the SRA, so are not part of the intervention. We cannot help with any queries about this firm.

What does this mean?

If you were a client of any of these firms they can no longer act for you. You will need to find another lawyer to act. Gordons are not acting for you.

You can find a lawyer by searching here: http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk or call The Law Society on 020 7320 5650 Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00.

If you need a legal aid lawyer, you can find one here: https://find-legal-advice.justice.gov.uk/. If you have a live legal aid certificate, we can only send your file to another legal aid lawyer.

What’s happened to my file?

The SRA has collected all clients’ files for ongoing transactions which were in the firms’ offices at the time of the intervention. We have received all these files.

If one of the firms have been acting for you on something which is ongoing and your file has been recovered, we or the SRA will write to tell you and ask where you want your file to be sent.

You or your new lawyer should let us know quickly where you want your file to be sent as there might be important time limits. You or your new lawyer can let us know at metamorph@gordonsllp.com.

You might be able to help your new solicitors to make progress for you without your file by sending them any correspondence/documents you received before the intervention. They may also be able to get information directly from any other solicitors/organisations involved in the case.

What do I need to do if I want my files sending to a new lawyer?

We need your consent to do this. You can email us at metamorph@gordonsllp.com. Please include contact details of your new lawyer.

If there are two or more of you named as clients, you all/both need to agree and tell us.

What do I need to do if I want my files sending to me?

We need your consent to do this. You can email us at metamorph@gordonsllp.com. Please include the full address to which the file should be sent, and send a copy of your identification (e.g. copy passport/driving licence).

If there are two or more of you named as clients, you all/both need to agree and tell us.

It won’t cost you anything to have your documents sent to you or your new lawyer.

What’s happened to my Will?

This depends on where your will was being stored. The custody of some wills was transferred to other organisations before the intervention. Below are details of where wills are currently stored and who you can contact.

Wills Held At

Terry Jones - Shrewsbury

Now Held At: 

Ashton & Co Legal Services Ltd

Contact Information:

01743 213 562
enquiries@ashtonandcolegal.co.uk

Notes:

Powers of Attorney from the Shrewsbury office also held by Ashton & Co Legal Services Ltd.

This information only applies to wills and powers of attorney made with Terry Jones (Shrewsbury), Linder Myers (Shrewsbury), Turnbull Garrard, Moss & Poulson or Scott Lister, and stored at the Shrewsbury office of Terry Jones.

Knight Polson/Parrott & Coales

Now Held At: 

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Contact Information:

0204 525 0250

Notes:

The SRA will contact you to ask where you want your will to be sent. Due to the volume of documents collected, this process will take time. If you want to get hold of any wills held by the SRA please complete a document request form. You will also need to provide a form of identification.

Knowles Benning – Dunstable/Luton

Now Held At: 

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Contact Information:

0204 525 0250

Notes:

The SRA will contact you to ask where you want your will to be sent. Due to the volume of documents collected, this process will take time. If you want to get hold of any wills held by the SRA please complete a document request form. You will also need to provide a form of identification.

Knowles Benning - Shefford (now occupied by Pellys)

Now Held At: 

Pellys Solicitors or the SRA, see Notes below for further details

Contact Information:

SRA – 0204 525 0250 / iaf@sra.org.uk

Pellys – 01279 758080 / info@pellys.co.uk

Notes:

I have given Pellys consent to store my will

Your will remains with Pellys and you should contact them.

I have not given Pellys consent to store my will

Your will has been collected from Pellys by the SRA to be stored safely. You should contact the SRA.

All other firms/offices

Now Held At: 

Right Legal Group

Contact Information: 

01332 424511

clientsupport@rightlegalgroup.com

 

Further information:

Further information regarding the wills collected by Right Legal Group can be found on their website:  https://rightlegalgroup.com/important-information/

Is my Will still valid?

The intervention does not affect the validity of your will. However, if your will names one of the intervened firms or its directors as your executors, we recommend that you speak to a new solicitor to change this, as these firms/directors will not be able to act as your executors. It is advisable to review your will every few years in any event and after any major change in your life, so this could be a good opportunity to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected in your will.

What’s happened to my house deeds/power of attorney/other original documents?

All deeds and other original documents held in storage by the firms are being collected by the SRA. If you want to get hold of deeds/original documents please complete a file request form. You will also need to provide a form of identification.

We understand that some of the firms stored powers of attorney amongst wills. Where the information above suggests that wills are held by Right Legal Group, it is possible that they, rather than the SRA, hold your power of attorney. You should still complete the SRA’s form using the link above but you may also wish to contact Right Legal Group at 0161 667 8516 and clientsupport@rightlegalgroup.com to ask them to confirm if they hold your power of attorney.

There is a large volume of house deeds and the SRA will be dealing with lots of requests, so it may be quicker for you to get hold of the information you want online. In most cases, deeds (i.e. evidence of property ownership) are now stored electronically at the Land Registry. You can find out more about this here: https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

What’s happened to old/archived files?

All old/archived files held in storage by the firms are being collected and indexed by the SRA. This is likely to take several months. If you want to get hold of old/archived files please complete a file request form. You will also need to provide a form of identification.

My solicitor is holding money for me. What should I do?

The accounts of the firms are now closed and no payments can be made from them. While we/the SRA will be working to identify and contact those who are beneficially entitled to money in these accounts, this is likely to take several months. In the meantime, we can’t send money to you.

If you wish to claim money held on your behalf urgently, you can make a claim to the SRA’s Compensation Fund. We can’t guarantee the outcome of any claims made.

You may need to provide evidence/documents to the Compensation Fund to help with your application. If you can provide this when you submit your application it will help the Compensation Fund to investigate your claim more quickly.

I want to complain about one of the intervened firms

If you want to complain, or already have a complaint in progress, about one of the intervened firms, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman – https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/. They can be contacted at

enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

0300 555 0333

PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

We are not representatives of the firms so will not be handling or responding to complaints.

I was an employee of the intervened firms. What can I do?

We understand this is a difficult time for you. Our role is however solely focused on the protection of clients and assisting them in whatever way we can.  We are not a representative of or successor practice to the firms. We are therefore unable to deal with issues relating to your employment. We suggest you seek independent legal advice. The links below may also help:

https://www.acas.org.uk/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

https://www.lawcare.org.uk/

I was an employee of the intervened firms and am continuing to act for my former clients at a new firm.

If you are continuing to act for your former clients at a new firm and took files with clients’ consent before the intervention, please email details of the firm you used to work for and details of the files (client name/matter description) to metamorph@gordonsllp.com. This will help us to effectively direct any enquiries we receive about those files.

If you need your clients’ files from us, please email your clients’ written consent to transfer their files to you to metamorph@gordonsllp.com.

How can I get more information?

You can:

    • speak to Gordons on 0113 227 0385 (Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:30). You can leave a message outside office hours and we will call you back as soon as possible.