A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info


What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Can I still change solicitor

  • dragonfly
  • dragonfly's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
13 Oct 07 #4680 by dragonfly
Topic started by dragonfly
I am approaching the end of my divorce. I was fairly laidback and quite happy for the acting solicitor to deal with my case and take advice from her until now. She had sent the Bill of Cost to court without my approval. Tried to charge an extra £14.5 K and demanding a cheque to be paid to her company while I am still on Legal aid certificate. I questioned her about the £13K of my money she held in her account. She wont take calls and answer my e-mails. After endless phone call and e-mails, she eventually took my call and apologised for the oversight.
I told her that there are discripancies in her calculations and asked for a detail bill. She still ignore my requests. Her letter was received on the first week of October but dated on the 10th of September. Therefore the 21 days of my reply had been lapsed. I e-mail her immediately that I wished to be heard at court regarding cost. Please, please, please any advise would be very welcome.

  • Louise11
  • Louise11's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
14 Oct 07 #4699 by Louise11
Reply from Louise11
Hi dragonfly

i dont know what to advise you here except maybe give the Community legal aid helpline a ring and see if they can advise you as to what to do.

0845 345 4345.

This is their telephone number taken from their website.

Kind ones
Louise

  • OBEs 1 canoodly
  • OBEs 1 canoodly's Avatar
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
More
15 Oct 07 #4715 by OBEs 1 canoodly
Reply from OBEs 1 canoodly
Hello Dragonfly,

Unfortunately throughout the course of my life I have found it necessary to complain about my legal bills to 5 different Solicitors for 5 different reasons and guess what I think I may be heading for my 6th!!!!

If you contact the Law Society they have a Solicitor's complaints line and they may be able to advise you what you can do if you don't want to make a formal complaint against this solicitor at this stage.

I believe from reading your post that this solicitor has somewhat over inflated her fees? Am I also correct in thinking that you have had a pay out from your divorce settlement and that this has been paid into your solicitors account as you say she is holding on to 13k of your money?

I have never had to use the legal aid system so I am not sure where you stand on the fees she has charged although I was always given to believe that if someone is legal aid funded that the solicitor actually charges less? I am sure that Legal Aid would be interested to hear from you if you feel this has not been the case and as Louise says you should contact them in this regard. In my circumstances I wrote to the Solicitors agreeing to pay what I thought was fair. However,I would not be prepared to pay the rest on the grounds that .......then listed my reasons as to why I felt the fees charged were not fair or correct. I then went on to word the letter "if however, you disagree with my reasons and continue to persue me for the outstanding balance, I will have no alternative but to have your bill taxed by the courts".

This was the wording I was advised to use by the Law Society's legal helpline about 20 years ago when I had cause to complain about a Solicitor who tried to depleat me of my inheritance left by my mum...his fees I was told would be 2.5k for sorting out everything (that was fortune enough all those years ago considering my mum only left me and my sis 14k!!) However, he became the green eyed monster and suddenly his fees crept up to 7.5k!!!! Yeh right!!! Dream on...he was dealing with the wrong woman. By using the above wording I won needless to say! As previously mentioned I have had the need to use that wording 4 more times since then and it was effective BUT you must offer to pay something!

Also, if your Solicitor is holding on to your money please do remember that you can charge them interest as if you were receiving it from your own savings account because whilst they are holding it you are losing out on that interest.

As far as taking on another Solicitor - yes, it probably is too late at this stage me and OBE were feeling the same and were advised the same. Sometimes it is better to stay with the devil you know than the one you don't. Also another Solicitor would need to get up to speed with your file and unless you have paid off your previous solicitor you will not have access to your case files so I'm afraid if you can't pay their bill or in pute over their bill it would be difficult to take this to a new Solicitor. Is there not a Senior partner in the practice that you could move to? If you can remain in the same practice it is easier to sack your current solicitor without the worry of having to pay the bill to release the file...that's what we did!

Oooh sorry I've gone on longer than I should but hope that this information may be of help to you but certainly call the Law Society they are in the Aldwych (The Strand) in London.

May the luck be with you!

OBEs 1

  • OBEs 1 canoodly
  • OBEs 1 canoodly's Avatar
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
More
15 Oct 07 #4716 by OBEs 1 canoodly
Reply from OBEs 1 canoodly
Hello Dragonfly,

Unfortunately throughout the course of my life I have found it necessary to complain about my legal bills to 5 different Solicitors for 5 different reasons and guess what I think I may be heading for my 6th!!!!

If you contact the Law Society they have a Solicitor's complaints line and they may be able to advise you what you can do if you don't want to make a formal complaint against this solicitor at this stage.

I believe from reading your post that this solicitor has somewhat over inflated her fees? Am I also correct in thinking that you have had a pay out from your divorce settlement and that this has been paid into your solicitors account as you say she is holding on to 13k of your money?

I have never had to use the legal aid system so I am not sure where you stand on the fees she has charged although I was always given to believe that if someone is legal aid funded that the solicitor actually charges less? I am sure that Legal Aid would be interested to hear from you if you feel this has not been the case and as Louise says you should contact them in this regard. In my circumstances I wrote to the Solicitors agreeing to pay what I thought was fair. However,I would not be prepared to pay the rest on the grounds that .......then listed my reasons as to why I felt the fees charged were not fair or correct. I then went on to word the letter "if however, you disagree with my reasons and continue to persue me for the outstanding balance, I will have no alternative but to have your bill taxed by the courts".

This was the wording I was advised to use by the Law Society's legal helpline about 20 years ago when I had cause to complain about a Solicitor who tried to depleat me of my inheritance left by my mum...his fees I was told would be 2.5k for sorting out everything (that was fortune enough all those years ago considering my mum only left me and my sis 14k!!) However, he became the green eyed monster and suddenly his fees crept up to 7.5k!!!! Yeh right!!! Dream on...he was dealing with the wrong woman. By using the above wording I won needless to say! As previously mentioned I have had the need to use that wording 4 more times since then and it was effective BUT you must offer to pay something!

Also, if your Solicitor is holding on to your money please do remember that you can charge them interest as if you were receiving it from your own savings account because whilst they are holding it you are losing out on that interest.

As far as taking on another Solicitor - yes, it probably is too late at this stage me and OBE were feeling the same and were advised the same. Sometimes it is better to stay with the devil you know than the one you don't. Also another Solicitor would need to get up to speed with your file and unless you have paid off your previous solicitor you will not have access to your case files so I'm afraid if you can't pay their bill or in pute over their bill it would be difficult to take this to a new Solicitor. Is there not a Senior partner in the practice that you could move to? If you can remain in the same practice it is easier to sack your current solicitor without the worry of having to pay the bill to release the file...that's what we did!

Oooh sorry I've gone on longer than I should but hope that this information may be of help to you but certainly call the Law Society they are in the Aldwych (The Strand) in London.

May the luck be with you!

OBEs 1

  • OBEs 1 canoodly
  • OBEs 1 canoodly's Avatar
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
More
15 Oct 07 #4717 by OBEs 1 canoodly
Reply from OBEs 1 canoodly
Hello Dragonfly,

Unfortunately throughout the course of my life I have found it necessary to complain about my legal bills to 5 different Solicitors for 5 different reasons and guess what I think I may be heading for my 6th!!!!

If you contact the Law Society they have a Solicitor's complaints line and they may be able to advise you what you can do if you don't want to make a formal complaint against this solicitor at this stage.

I believe from reading your post that this solicitor has somewhat over inflated her fees? Am I also correct in thinking that you have had a pay out from your divorce settlement and that this has been paid into your solicitors account as you say she is holding on to 13k of your money?

I have never had to use the legal aid system so I am not sure where you stand on the fees she has charged although I was always given to believe that if someone is legal aid funded that the solicitor actually charges less? I am sure that Legal Aid would be interested to hear from you if you feel this has not been the case and as Louise says you should contact them in this regard. In my circumstances I wrote to the Solicitors agreeing to pay what I thought was fair. However,I would not be prepared to pay the rest on the grounds that .......then listed my reasons as to why I felt the fees charged were not fair or correct. I then went on to word the letter "if however, you disagree with my reasons and continue to persue me for the outstanding balance, I will have no alternative but to have your bill taxed by the courts".

This was the wording I was advised to use by the Law Society's legal helpline about 20 years ago when I had cause to complain about a Solicitor who tried to depleat me of my inheritance left by my mum...his fees I was told would be 2.5k for sorting out everything (that was fortune enough all those years ago considering my mum only left me and my sis 14k!!) However, he became the green eyed monster and suddenly his fees crept up to 7.5k!!!! Yeh right!!! Dream on...he was dealing with the wrong woman. By using the above wording I won needless to say! As previously mentioned I have had the need to use that wording 4 more times since then and it was effective BUT you must offer to pay something!

Also, if your Solicitor is holding on to your money please do remember that you can charge them interest as if you were receiving it from your own savings account because whilst they are holding it you are losing out on that interest.

As far as taking on another Solicitor - yes, it probably is too late at this stage me and OBE were feeling the same and were advised the same. Sometimes it is better to stay with the devil you know than the one you don't. Also another Solicitor would need to get up to speed with your file and unless you have paid off your previous solicitor you will not have access to your case files so I'm afraid if you can't pay their bill or in pute over their bill it would be difficult to take this to a new Solicitor. Is there not a Senior partner in the practice that you could move to? If you can remain in the same practice it is easier to sack your current solicitor without the worry of having to pay the bill to release the file...that's what we did!

Oooh sorry I've gone on longer than I should but hope that this information may be of help to you but certainly call the Law Society they are in the Aldwych (The Strand) in London.

May the luck be with you!

OBEs 1

  • dragonfly
  • dragonfly's Avatar Posted by
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
More
15 Oct 07 #4736 by dragonfly
Reply from dragonfly
Thanks Louise 11 and OBEs 1
I have hand delivered a letter to the acting solicitor just incase the postal strike action will futher delay my correspondence. I am giving her 7 working days to reply as her refusal to take my calls and answer my e-mails had compounded tremendous stress and anxiety with palpitations and hypertension. GP has given me 2 weeks off work. I am truely stressed. Took me several days to compose myself and able to write a letter constructively.
If I don't hear from her next week, I will be in touch with the organisations as suggested in your posting.

I will keep you posted of the outcome. Many,many thanks.

Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11