Firm closure

Why do firms close?

There are two main reasons why a firm may close. The firm may plan to close, or we may have to close a firm which is known as an intervention.

Planned firm closure

The owners of a firm may decide to close their firm, for example, due to retirement or illness. We would expect the firm to contact you before it closes to let you know how the closure will affect you. If the firm cannot finish your case, they may need to find another firm to take over your work.

If a firm has closed and you have questions that the firm has not answered, you can contact us at

We close a firm

We may have to intervene and close a firm. We would only do this if it was necessary to protect you and other members of the public.

We may close a firm for several reasons, for example:

  • we suspect that someone at the firm has behaved dishonestly
  • there is only one person authorised to carry out legal work at the firm and he/she has been made bankrupt, sent to prison or his/her authorisation has been taken away
  • the firm has been abandoned
  • there has been a serious failure to follow the CILEx Code of Conduct or the rules for accounting for money

When we close a firm, it cannot carry out any further work for you. We will arrange for another firm (known as an intervention agent) to take control of the firm’s:

  • case files, and papers that belong to clients; and
  • accounting records

The role of an intervention agent is only to manage access to case files and to reconcile the monies held by the firm.


How will you know we have closed your firm?

The intervention agent will aim to contact you to let you know that your firm has been closed. If you have any questions, you can contact us at

What should you do?

If we close a firm, and your case is ongoing, you will need to instruct another firm to carry out your legal work. You should contact the intervention agent and ask them to pass on your case file and papers to the new firm you have arranged to take your case.

What if there are urgent matters to be dealt with?

If your case is urgent (for example, your house sale or purchase is due to take place, or you have a court hearing, on the day we close your firm or the next day) the intervention agent may help you make arrangements for this urgent work to be done.

What happens to your money after we close a firm?

We take control of any money which the firm is holding, including money belonging to clients. There will be a process where the money is checked against the financial records of the firm to work out who it belongs to.

If you urgently need money that you have paid to the closed firm, you can contact us at

What happens to documents and papers?

We aim to contact owners of documents or papers held by the firm (for example a will or court papers) so they can be returned to them.