AS two solicitors firms go into liquidation, clients of the firms are being urged not to worry about their documents.
Wilkins and Thompson, and Glandfield and Cruddas, both on Carter Street, closed their doors on Monday, as clients queued round the block to pick up their legal files, including wills, property deeds and powers of attorney.
Legal firms Tinsdills and Shoosmiths Access Legal will be taking care of a number of legal files from both companies and will be contacting clients over the coming weeks.
A number of documents have already been safely transferred to Tinsdills Solicitors, in Stoke-on-Trent for safe keeping.
Tim Cogan, senior partner at Tinsdills Solicitors said “We have taken delivery of a significant number of legal deeds and securities.
“We understand that for former clients of these firms, the transfer of documents may cause some concern but there is no need to be worried.
“Tinsdills Solicitors will continue to provide safe storage for your documents free of charge for as long as you require in our dedicated secure storage facility.”
Over the coming weeks Tinsdills will contact all of those people whose documents it now holds.
Tinsdills are also aware that some documents such as wills have been sent onto other firms out of the area.
Clients who prefer to have all of their documents held together should contact Jane Massey on 01782 652396 who can arrange the necessary transfer free of charge.
Shoosmiths Access Legal, the consumer and private client arm of Shoosmiths LLP, a top national law firm, is also to step in to protect the interests of clients who made wills or arranged powers of attorney with Glandfield & Cruddas.
Charlotte Dunn, partner and head of department of Shoosmiths Access Legal’s Wills, Probate and Wealth Protection team said: “Shoosmiths LLP has been looking after the legal needs of individuals for 160 years, so we understand the concern that many people will have had when Hacking Ashton LLP announced the firms would cease trading as from September 2013.
“It’s a sad day for any firm of solicitors, particularly local ones, when they can no longer provide valued services to their local community, however we are delighted to have reached an agreement with Hacking Ashton to safeguard the position of clients who made wills and powers of attorney with them going forward.”
The documentation is currently being recorded and sent to Shoosmiths secure storage facility and held on behalf of former Hacking Ashton clients free of charge.
Detailed explanatory letters to each person affected by these firms will be issued during the coming months.
Meanwhile anyone who has any concerns about any matter that may have been handled by Hacking Ashton LLP, Coopers, Bailey Wain & Curzon and Glandfield & Cruddas should call Shoosmiths Access Legal’s dedicated free helpline number on 0808 159 3876.
Paul Hopkins, solicitor at Cowlishaw and Mountford said: “We have heard that there are rumours circulating that we will be closing – its obviously concerning to people that we are now the only firm in Uttoxeter.
“We are not connected with Hacking Ashton and will continue to serve the community of Uttoxeter as we have done for more than 200 years.
“It’s an absolute tragedy for the town and we wish those who have lost their jobs all the best for the future.”