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1.4.2 No Duplication in Dealing with Representatives of Claimants
It is important that where a client elects to be represented by a legal firm or an ESO advocate, all correspondence concerning the case is directed to the representative. It is then the responsibility of the representative to inform the claimant accordingly.
A letter from a solicitor on a Firm's letterhead advising that they act for a client is sufficient evidence that a solicitor has the authority to legally represent the nominated client.
When a client appoints a representative, that appointment is to act for the claimant, thereby effectively removing the claimant's rights to deal directly with the department until such time as that appointment is revoked.
There will be times when the claimant will ring or visit offices seeking information on their claim. This could cause problems where the appointed representative is not aware of the direct dealing with the client. However, a pragmatic approach should be adopted in these situations if the client insists we should deal with his or her enquiry. The appointed representative should be informed of the detail of any dealings with the client to ensure consistency of communication.