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I am currently getting a divorce. I have two solicitors. One dealing with the family side and one dealing with the business. The one dealing with the business side is doing a lot of it as a friend. She has asked if I could get my family solicitor to call her. How do I ask this of him without sounding demanding?

Thank you.

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    Hey Karan! Please take a look at our good question checklist, specifically the part I linked. We ask questions to include some information on what they've tried/why they think 'just ask' doesn't work, to narrow down possible answers. Why do you think your 'usual' way of asking would be demanding?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jun 19 '20 at 5:40
  • Is saying "solicitor A asked if you could call them", perhaps with a more detailed reason, too demanding?
    – puck
    Jun 22 '20 at 9:02
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I have encountered situations like this in the past: you are working with two different people, who could see each other as competitors, or as collaborators.

It is in your best interest to encourage the collaboration as much as possible. You are already halfway there - your friend has expressed interest in communication with the family-related solicitor. It is now up to you to help facilitate this communication.

A key to not sounding demanding is to try to frame the meeting as something that is in the best interest of the family-solicitor. You are coming to them from the assumption that of course they would want to talk to the second solicitor (perhaps to ensure that they are able to share information, avoid redundancies, and optimize their individual plans as much as possible).

Perhaps something along these lines:

"Hi [firstname], I don't know if you were aware, but I have a friend who is a solicitor who is helping me to handle the business side of the divorce. They thought it would be best if you two could have a conversation, to ensure that you can collaborate as best as possible and avoid working on potentially overlapping areas. Is that ok? I am happy to set up the call, or give you their contact information. Of course, your normal rate will also apply for any time spent working with them."

Also, it is important to be clear with the friend/business-solicitor in advance what are the parameters under which you are employing the family solicitor, and to hear from them how they best see things working out between the two professionals. This puts you in the best position to set up a meeting of minds between the two that can be friendly and productive.

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One thing to keep in mind when dealing with professionals is that your request, whatever it is, is almost never the first or only time that they have heard this request. They do this job 40+ hours/week and after a couple years in the business have seen and/or heard most of what they're going to see and hear.

The important thing here is to be honest with the professionals. Inform each about the other and what you expect them to handle - they'll appreciate the dividing line and understanding of responsibilities. Also, apologize for not doing this right away. Once you have that established, then is the time to say, "I'd like to have you call the other solicitor regarding this. Their contact info is..."

Keep in mind that solicitors, if they are anything like American lawyers, will do whatever you ask them to do and will gladly bill you for it. They deal with all kinds of clients and your asking them to make that call would hardly be seen as demanding. In comparison to what divorce lawyers deal with, "please call this other solicitor" is a really mild request.

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