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Unexpected solicitors bill

  • fluffy76
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18 Apr 12 #324805 by fluffy76
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Hi everyone,
I finalised my divorce in 2010. I paid my final bill. I have just received a bill for a few queries after the final hearing but before receiving and paying the final bill.

I have just received a bill for £190, two years later. I''m disappointed. Is this normal practice and if I pay it am I going to get another bill in two years time?

I will pay it but can anyone advise me of a polite way to say this is a bit unfair and unreasonable? He was a fantastic solicitor so I don''t want to be a cow but I do think it''s a bit sh**ty.

Thanks.

  • epitome title
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18 Apr 12 #324813 by epitome title
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Hi

I would definitely raise a query on this, ask them to explain why the dates are before the final bill but were not included in the final bill, from my understanding a final bill means that is the final bill - doesn''t make sense otherwise.

Just write a polite letter expressing your surprise at receiving this bill and ask them to explain why two years later you have received another one.

If you are polite, they should also be.

Good luck

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18 Apr 12 #324833 by fluffy76
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I have just done some digging, turns out solicitor has entered into an IVA and has conditions on his practising certificate or something. Found out on sra site. Found my final bill and I have paid it.
Might sleep on it but then again might as well just pay it. Don''t want the hassle of him chasing me for it.

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18 Apr 12 #324847 by epitome title
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Hi Fluffy

If he has conditions on his Practicing Certificate and has entered into an IVA it rather sounds like he is struggling financially but either way if I had already settled a final bill, I would not expect to receive a further bill two years down the line.

It is entirely up to you but if it were me, I would not be writing him a cheque without asking him for an itemised summary of exactly what he was requesting payment for and why he waited two years to raise a bill. You say that the further bill contained work that was carried out before the final bill was raised, well the question surely is why were these items not included in the final bill. Have you checked that they were not included in the final bill?

£190 is not a huge sum of money in the scheme of things, however it is better in your bank account than his and even if he was a fantastic solicitor I would at least question it.

Kind regards

  • .Charles
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19 Apr 12 #324920 by .Charles
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Solicitors should bill regularly and promptly. You should complain in the first instance and use the term ''inadequate professional service'' and say that you had been led to believe that you had settled your account and that this bill had caused you some distress (all of this appears to be true from your post - I don''t want to put words in your mouth).

If there is no joy you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman who will recommend that a fine is paid if there are findings against the solicitor.

Whilst I have no qualms with delivering a bill a couple of months later, it is a little remiss to wait 2 years. At the very least you should question what work is being charged (and to what period that work relates) and ask why there has been a delay.

Charles

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