Dealing with Vulnerable Clients

As solicitors we have a duty, so far as reasonably practicable, to assist vulnerable clients to express their wishes, understand relevant advice, give valid instructions and carry through valid acts and transactions.

In doing this we require to deploy a number of skills which generally are not taught at law school.  We need to ensure that, as well as discharging those duties, we are also clear that our clients have got capacity to give us instructions on any given point.

At Gilson Gray we have a team of private client practitioners who are well versed in doing this.  Starting with the initial interaction we can offer meetings on a flexible basis, in different locations and at times of the day (or evening) which suits with the routine of the person involved.  At the moment working from home has led to a whole new range of options – we have been conducting meetings in gardens, through windows and even through a letterbox!   When back open our offices are accessible and private to reduce background noise and ensure a professional environment, should that be the best place to conduct the meeting.

When we communicate in writing (either traditionally by letter or by email) we always try to avoid jargon but we can also simplify our documents to suit the recipient, use different (large) fonts and can adapt to using different types of technology.  We are aware some people find reading on a screen more straightforward than on a page and others the reverse.

Our instructions don’t always need to be by spoken word.  Clients can write things down and we can ask questions in that way.  For others blinking or hand gestures can be used to answer a series of questions and obviously there are other aides which can be deployed such as hearing aid loops, magnifying classes or working with a trusted person using sign language.

We enjoy working with all our clients and offering flexibility to make the experience good for everyone.   Please do not hesitate to contact us to set up discussion about any of the things which we offer through our private client team – your Will, your Power of Attorney or any other private matters.

If you would like further information regarding the topics discussed in this blog, please contact:

Dorothy Kellas by email: or by phone: 01620 897 174 / 07711 984 919

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.

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