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Running totals of lawyer fees

  • peteringout
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18 Feb 08 #14317 by peteringout
Topic started by peteringout
Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right thread for my query, but here goes. I am respondent in divorce and am self repping. Wife is using lawyer and is on legal aid. She paid £94.00 upfront and was not 'originally' told that she would have to pay back legal aid if she 'won' money from the case. I advised her of that which she was not too pleased. I asked her to ask lawyer which she did and he confirmed it.

Lawyer also told her he would keep her informed of costs if they went over and beyond her initial 'deposit'. To date she has been told nothing and wife assumes it has not exceeded this and, again, not pleased that I am interfering with her decisions as an 'independant' person. Fair enough you might say.

However, I am aware that lawyer has written to me now on four occasions with copy to wife, all of which I have responded to as requested. She has also spoken with him on the phone for relatively short periods and met with him for about two hours in total.

Now, maybe I have got this all wrong, but I would have thought (from what little I know on the subject) that she may well have clocked up a couple of hundred pounds to date, at least? Maybe not, or lawyer has ommitted or forgot to inform her.

None of my business I have been told by my wife, fair enough I guess. However, she still is my wife and I care for her and would not want to see her being ripped off or ill advised.

What do people think? None of my business? Should wife be concerned? She will not ask him as he said he will keep her informed and "he has her best interests at heart".

For me to reply that I have as her best interests at heart does not go down well!! Understandable I guess?


  • DownButNotOut
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18 Feb 08 #14319 by DownButNotOut
Reply from DownButNotOut

Based on the work done by your wife's solicitor so far i would roughly estimate the current bill to be...

- four letters (at least) at 30 quid each = 120

- few short phone calls = wild guess = 150

- two hours meeting = 300

- additional time spent on case (e.g after each mtg) = 300

So around 900 quid to date.

It is very easy to rack up a couple of grand in sols bills before you know it.

I presume the sol has received the legal aid funding certificate for your wife's case and so is happily working away on the case knowing they will be paid by legal aid (which you correctly state your soon to be ex will have to pay back later).

She needs to ask for a bill to date and be very very clear in future that work should not exceed a set budget.

  • Louise11
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18 Feb 08 #14323 by Louise11
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Can I just state on here that if a Solicitor normally charges around £150 an hour on legal aid he/she normally gets around half that on legal aid cases.

So whilst the above would be normal on private funding the normal is any where between £60 to £75 per hour on Legal aid!

Whilst I TOTALLY understand what you are saying peteringout, the first I think (please anyone who knows the true figure) I think the first £3k you dont have to pay back. Although I am unsure that figure is correct. Also the figure you have to pay back is at 8 or 10% interest, far better to get a loan if at all possible.
I do understand where your sx2b is coming from though Peter, but it would probably be better to put it to her like this............

All the money that a Solicitor will earn from this is coming out of our assets and surely (if you have any) it would be better off in our childrens pockets than some Lawyer we dont even know!
Put like that I'm sure any woman would rather give it her children.
Whilst she does need to seek legal advice, if she doesnt she can always come back at a later date even years later and say she never had legal representation at the time.

Kind ones

  • attilladahun
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18 Feb 08 #14331 by attilladahun
Reply from attilladahun
four letters (at least) at 30 quid each = 120 [4 x £6.40 =say £27]

- few short phone calls = wild guess = 150 [say 4 £27]

- two hours meeting = 300 [64 x2= 128]

- additional time spent on case (e.g after each mtg) = 300 ??
say 30 mins [£32]

Total £217 + VAT nearer the mark

  • Fiona
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18 Feb 08 #14334 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
I think you need to attach a Saltire to your posts, Peter. :P

In Scotland legal aid works out at about £52.60 per hour out of court and £60 in court. When there are no finances to resolve or children under 16 it's possible to divorce yourselves under the simplified procedure but when there are finances and children involved the ordinary procedure involving writs or summonses which coupled with a lack of information makes it difficult to self represent. Very few people do.

To give you an idea our divorce was negotiated through lawyers over 4 years, albeit 5 years ago, and my costs without legal aid were about £3k including conveyancing. Once a settlement in Scotland has been recorded with the court it is exceedingly difficult to overturn whether or not a solicitor was involved.

  • DownButNotOut
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18 Feb 08 #14336 by DownButNotOut
Reply from DownButNotOut
I humbly concede that attilla/Fiona/Louise are probably much closer to the mark than my guesstimate. :blush:

My figures were based on the private legal fees I paid in my own case....i didn't realise that legal aid fees were pegged significantly lower.

Makes it even harder to understand how my ex (who was on legal aid) managed to rack up 8,000 in bills in just a few short months.....she must have had a LOT of phone calls and letters :unsure:

  • peteringout
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19 Feb 08 #14343 by peteringout
Reply from peteringout
Thanks all,

Just one other potential cost. Wifes sol will be drafting up 'minute of separation' soon and in effect all the detail has been laid out by myself and agreed by wife and presented to him in detail. All he has to do is 'copy and paste' the detail and put it in the proper/legal 'format' for us to sign. Anyone have any idea on how much that little document will cost wife?

Peter :unsure:

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