Paul Greatorex Barrister of 11 King's Bench Walk Review
Substandard work, poor understanding of risk/reputational risk/cost benefit/analysis, troubling communication, poor client care and poor understanding of people.
Before instructing him, Paul Greatorex was very communicative: answered to emails promptly, sent me a link to his website with lots of clients testimonials and even gave me a call. It stopped right after instructing him when he became unresponsive and unavailable. Just after instructing him, Paul Greatorex dumped me on his clerk, didn't answer emails or questions and didn't explain anything. Paul Greatorex didn't explain what I should provide for him to do the work and I felt completely left to my own devices. In the first email he wrote to me he seemed the complain about the amount I paid him, even though he had decided it himself.
Substandard work: I complained to 11 King's Bench Walk and a Deputy High Court Judge found that the work that Paul Greatorex had done for me was "was below the standard that [the client] could have expected and was entitled to".
Didn't answer question and didn't provide advice: I needed this help at the time I instructed him, but Paul Greatorex said nothing and this caused great difficulties to me as it was something I needed for the other side. The Deputy High Court Judge's report found that "It was not appropriate for him to leave the matter silent, especially as [the client] had specifically referred in [their] Instructions to [this issue]."
Missed out on help I could have got: Paul Greatorex didn't tell me that something was included in the work he did. I even mentioned it a few times in my emails, but he never even mentioned that he was going to help with it. I didn't know it was and didn't even cross my mind to ask. I only found out about missing out on this because Paul Greatorex inadvertently disclosed it in an email after my official complaint. Obviously, at that time, I could not make use of that help that I had paid for and was entitled to.
His "defence" to my complaint was "I still do not understand for the life of me why you simply did not call or email me at the time to ask any questions you had or just to speak to me about things". However, when I did email to ask him, he did not reply. Why should it be on me to call someone I am paying to give me a service? It should be common sense and good client care that the "expert" gets in touch to explain and guide, not the client. That's such poor client care. Also, how would I imagine if something or not is included with what I paid for? It should be the responsibility of the barrister to explain what I can expect to receive from them, but Paul Greatorex does not seem to understand he has this responsibility, even after my complaint.
Lack of communication: One of the worst part of Paul Greatorex's (lack of) communication, was that he sent me a document that he knew I was considering filing with the court imminently, but didn't tell me it was a draft that needed amending. After 12 days, Paul Greatorex got in touch to say it was a draft and that I should call him to discuss amendments! Paul Greatorex did not apologise for not telling me when he sent the document and in the report he justified this as "reasonable". It certainly wasn't "reasonable" from my perspective and Paul Greatorex's miscommunication caused me a lot of stress and to distrust him.
Troubling communication: When he returned the work, Paul Greatorex wrote an email I could not fully understand. He seemed to imply that I hadn't paid him enough or if I had paid him enough he would have done a different (better?) job. Paul Greatorex himself, through his clerk, had told me how much he wanted to be paid. If he had wanted more, he should have asked for me or he should have at least taken the time to call me and discuss payment. It was confusing and "troubling", as the Deputy High Court Judge wrote in the complaint report "This reads as though [the client] should have been grateful for what Mr. Greatorex had done. In my view, this is not something that a barrister should do, and to that extent therefore I consider that Mr. Greatorex fell below the standard that could have been expected of him."
Paul Greatorex also left me confused as to whether other things were included in the work but he didn't provide them. Can you imagine when someone has not got in touch with you at all and then sends you an email that you think means that you didn’t receive part of the service that you would have? That doesn’t answer questions you asked that you need an answer to?
It was more stressful to deal with Paul Greatorex than the other side. His lack of communication/bad communication and not explaining to me what I was entitled to and how to do things caused a lot of stress and difficulties at a time when I was already stressful time.
Doesn't understand people: Paul Greatorex put a condition on my offer for compensation and for an apology that I had to agree to the amount offered and, if I complained to the Legal Ombudsman, I would lose it. This was not in the original offer from 11KB. After I told him I would complain to the Ombudsman, he wanted to apologise in person or over the phone: from night to day, he went from not wanting to apologise unless I gave up my claim, to wanting to apologise in person, presumably because he thought that this would make me give up my claim. I told him that this felt like an insincere apology. The he went on to write me a email with a vague and generic "I apologise" at the top and bottom with 5 paragraphs in-between detailing why what he did was right and it was all my fault. That is his understanding of an apology! I don't think he understands people at all.
Helpful with strategy if you're against him: Paul Greatorex must be pretty bad at strategy, too. Uninvited and unasked, in his "apology" email Paul Greatorex inadvertently referred to things he didn't do and should have, which were useful for my Ombudsman claim. He also pretty much disclosed his defence, which I would not have had access to because of how the complaints system works, which was very useful to complete and strengthen my complaint against him. In the end, we settled before I complained to the Ombudsman, but he didn't even think of asking me to keep the settlement confidential. I don't think he understands situations or people, which has obviously resulted in damage to his own situation. You're lucky if the other side has Paul Greatorex as their lawyer!