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Barrister and Solicitor in court???

  • OBEs 1 canoodly
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14 Sep 07 #3358 by OBEs 1 canoodly
Topic started by OBEs 1 canoodly
Hi all, Can anyone help please??? I am all set for my FH next week!!!

However, first and foremost can anyone tell me? I went to have counsell with my Barrister last week and the solicitor's assistant came along as well. I said I didn't want her there as I really cannot afford any more spiralling costs. However, they told me she had to be there and I have been charged 150 pounds for that on top of the fee already paid for the Barrister for the session.

When I left the FDR hearing in July my solicitor told me that if it goes to a FH that I wouldn't want both her and a Barrister to be there because it would cost me for both. Therefore I accepted it would just be me and my Barrister next week. I have now been informed by letter that my solicitor's assistant must be there as a representative of their firm to be able to prompt the Barrister if necessary. This is going to cost me a further 300 pounds on top of the Barrister's fee. I cannot get my head around this. Is this my solicitor's way of pulling the wool over my eyes to increase their fees in this case or is this a necessity??? Does anyone know the rules on this? I am happy to pay this if this assistant is going to benefit me by being there!

Also, I have now had yet another request at the eleventh hour that my ex's solicitors have requested further documentation. i.e further years bank statements, previous years accounts to date which is impossible it doesn't work like that, details of my ISA and further CETV values. All this with a weekend in between and 4 days to the FH??? How ridiculous is this and how necessary? I have complied all the way through....apart from having giving them my underpants I have bared my soul to this woman and her solicitor I have hidden nothing....I don't feel inclined to respond to this now, it is far too late in the day and ridiculous beyond belief but how will this stand up in court? I do not want the court to think I have not complied but this is nigh on impossible request to get all this extra information together in the time given. Is it possible this is the reason they have done it to make me look like I am trying to hide something because they couldn't be further from the truth!

When you are relying on third parties to issue this kind of information i.e accountants, banks, building societies and insurance companies it is a known fact they work on the usual basis of yes sir we can do that and we will have this information to you within the next 7-10 working days!!!!

Well no, actually for my accountant to work out a years set of accounts along with my tax liabilities would usually take him at least 2-3 months!!!!!

Help ..........I thought I had all this sorted and could get some sort of sleep, bad as it is anyway, leading up to next week!!

What is this new ruling on costs as well?? I keep hearing peopleon here saying that costs are awarded and yet I am also informed that each were responsible for their own after a ruling that was passed last June/July? It just annoys me if I end up with nothing out of all of this apart from a small pension that I can't get my hands on or even a deferred charge on the FMH that I can't get my hands on either, that this ex of mine will have pushed me towards a FH that I never wanted to begin with, much preferring the cheaper route of negotiation that she has snubbed all the way through! I will have to try to find the money to pay off all my costs.....costs that she has caused by taking it this far!!! I wish judges would see the stubborness here when considering a case, in my mind none of this was necessary to go this far - we are not fighting over a massive pot - still thats the problem but then I feel what she has incurred in fees could have been towards my pay off - stupid woman! Can I not at least have my costs put against my FMH - lets face it it is my money tied up in there too!!!!! Hey yes, I live in cloud cuckoo land some hopes eh? Work all yer life and still have to pay. I'd rather have a huge mortgage than a wife I know what the cheaper option is!!! At least once you've paid your dues the lender clears off out of your life for good!!!! he he he!!!:P

Help!!!:blink::(

OBE

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14 Sep 07 #3360 by DownButNotOut
Reply from DownButNotOut
Re: these late requests for further disclosure.

If these requests are in a letter from the solicitor...then as i understand it there is no compulsion to comply. i.e. I would send off to building society/pension co for requested info but not worry too much if it aint gonna arrive in time. Just take this late dated sols letter to court and they will see how late the request is.

If this disclosure has been ordered by the court after a directions hearing (i.e. u have a court order specifically requesting all this stuff)...then you need to make more of an effort to comply as the court formally wants this info.

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14 Sep 07 #3364 by wscowell
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Dear Mr Sinatra(!)

Court rules require advocates to be accompanied by someone from the firm of solicitors with "sufficient" knowledge of the file. After all, who is going to do the note-taking, marshall the evidence, tug Counsel's coat-tails if a point has been missed or under-emphasised? No, I don't think the firm is trying to fleece you, but the Barrister is a skilled advocate but has picked up this case recently from a standing start. Ideally, the firm should send along a trainee solicitor, at a reduced hourly rate, rather than a fully fledged soicitor/legal exec.

If the delays are your ex's, then you may get a costs order against her. The new costs rules only apply to cases where the PETITION was issued after 4 April 2006.

If so, the Court has power to punish "unreasonable litigation conduct" with costs. This includes refusing to accept a settlement offered, and then not doing better at trial.

Before the new rules, the only way of getting a costs order was by making an offer to settle "without prejudice" in a Calderbank letter. Courts are notoriously unwilling to make costs orders, so don't fear, but you might get one against her. But then, could she pay them? Your solicitors should of course have offered all the above information without you having to prompt for it.

Hope this helps.

Will C

  • OBEs 1 canoodly
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14 Sep 07 #3371 by OBEs 1 canoodly
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thanks DBNO and Will c,

No the court haven't ordered these documents her solicitor has on behalf of counsel. I put an exceptionally good offer into her through her solicitors two weeks ago which although she hasn't turned it down she asn't accepted either.

According to my solicitor she feels now the ex's barrister has had sight of my offer (and it is fair and good) that he is saying she should consider it and we feel that the solicitors are asking for this last minute documentation because up to now they have been of the opinion that she stands to win all the FMH. Now I think they are realising I need to get something from all of this and are trying to find a new way to bury me. Strangely enough I don't mind sending in anther years worth of bank statements, unlike the last lot I sent with my form E they show I am not living the life of riley and am in fact ending up with less than she at the end of each and every month!!! To say I am the higher earner, my standard of living at this time in my life, what with starting all over again, has gone up considerably!!!!

As far as the costs are concerned my ex has snubbed every offer I have made to either have collaborative law style meetings, mediation, or even to negotiate a reasonable settlement. I on the other hand have done the gentlemanly thing all down the line trying to negotiate, trying to offer very reasonable solutions by keeping her in her home etc etc!! If anyone has been unreasonable I think she has, but probably not to the point where she will have to pay my fees mores the pity!

I thought that was probably the reason why someone from the firm would have to be there to take notes. It is the solicitors assistant and as it happens she is very good.

ONE THING YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ADVISE ME WILL?????

The offer I made to her.........the barrister has told me the judge won't see that until the end? This concerns me. I know the barrister is going to try for more for me but I would settle tomorrow at the offer I made and I am afraid if the judge doesn't see this offer that I could end up with a hell of a lot less???? I understand the Calderbank thing and this sounds a bit similar I think it is playing with fire. Does the judge get to ask if there have been any offers before he makes his conclusions???? I would hate to miss a vital point over the sake of a few extra grand!!!

By the way thanks for the Mr. Sinatra he's my favourite but my NP loves the Clooney fella!!!

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14 Sep 07 #3372 by wscowell
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Well with the "old blue eyes" moniker it was a shoo-in wasn't it? But seriously.....

I understand you being worried about the "don't tell the Judge about the offer" thing but that is the system. Here is the reason: you go through the hearing, the Judge gets all the info he needs about needs, contributions, assets, earning capacities etc etc, and if by then the two of you have not come up with an agreed solution he imposes one.

This is where your barrister jumps in with a request for costs *if* it's appropriate. The basis for that would be: "We made this offer before trial. She hasn't done better as a result of going to trial. Therefore the entire cost of that part of the case has been incurred unnecessarily. So we want an order that she pay us the wasted costs".

If the Judge knew about the offers made before the hearing (or during it) the knowledge of them would influence his decision. The impartiality would be compromised. So we are stuck with the system, which is designed to ensure fair play at the trial, even if there hasn't been any beforehand.

If there hasn't been any monkey business, then a costs order isn't appropriate. Hope this helps.

Will C

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