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Legal aid bill

  • Mayzie
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5 years 5 months ago #453593 by Mayzie
Legal aid bill was created by Mayzie
Hi

My solicitors have calculated my legal aid bill and it is pretty high compared to the effort they put into my case. They have even charged me for their time calculating the bill which I thought was taking the mickey.

Fact is, I don''t understand it and it will take hours to decipher what they have billed me for. I want to challenge it. Am I right in thinking I can appeal and get someone independent to check it out? Or the Legal Aid agency?

Thanks

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  • rubytuesday
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5 years 5 months ago #453797 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Legal aid bill
I think it would be worthwhile having someone else sit with you and go through the bill with you first. Is the bill itemised?

You can''t challenge a bill because you don''t understand it, I''m afraid. You would first need to ascertain what the exact issue is before trying to address it.

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  • .Charles
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5 years 5 months ago #453802 by .Charles
Replied by .Charles on topic Re:Legal aid bill
Legal Aid bills are subject to assessment whether you agree to the bill or not. Any items that are considered to be unreasonable will be deducted.

As the bill is in a specific format which takes time to prepare, the solicitor is entitled to charge for this.

Do you have any specific observations to make? You say that it is high considering the effort put into your case - how much is the bill and what was done?

Charles

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  • Mayzie
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5 years 5 months ago #453947 by Mayzie
Replied by Mayzie on topic Re:Legal aid bill
Thanks for replying.

One issue I do have is being charged for a solicitors time in court where he was actually with another client at the same time and spent more time with her than me.

I need to sit down with my paperwork and notes and compare to the solicitors figures.

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  • .Charles
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5 years 5 months ago #453956 by .Charles
Replied by .Charles on topic Re:Legal aid bill
It is common for solicitors to attend more than one hearing if the type of hearing and the listing time permits. If the solicitor had preferred your case over the other client''s you would be fine with that but what if your solicitor had said "sorry, I have another hearing listed at the same time - I''ll do that one and get someone else to do yours".

It''s not ideal to be at court on back to back cases but it happens and court listings are what they are. Your solicitor will have divided the time between the two files - or ought to have.

Charles

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  • Gillian48
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5 years 5 months ago #453965 by Gillian48
Replied by Gillian48 on topic Re:Legal aid bill
Solicitor do often cover more than one case at the court this happened with me and I was actually paying for their time as I presume the other person was too?
When you say the legal aid bill is pretty high are you comparing it to what the original quote was or comparing it to something else?

Charging time for calculating a bill is a little odd? But I get charged by my solicitors for sending automated emails saying they''re out the office!

It might be best as rubytuesday said sit with someone else and go through it together - were you given an estimate of what the costs would be when they were instructed?

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  • .Charles
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5 years 5 months ago #454043 by .Charles
Replied by .Charles on topic Re:Legal aid bill
A solicitor cannot charge for preparing a bill to their client who is privately paying.

However, in legal aid cases the solicitor is required to complete particular forms and the time spent preparing those forms is chargeable. One of those forms is a claim for costs.

It sounds odd but the solicitor gets paid by the legal aid agency, not by the client. If the client foots the bill at the end of the day they pay back the legal aid agency (very often via the solicitor who acts as a debt collector).

Charles

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