Hello, I had a solicitor recommended to me. I attended an initial meeting with her before deciding to retain her services. I understood there was no charge for this. My divorce is on hold until our family home has sold and we can make a clean financial break.
In the meantime she has sent me emails asking for an update on progress. I emailed with a couple of quick queries to which I have received very short responses.
I have now been sent a bill for just short of £900 for doing about 20 minutes work.
Is there anything I can do. As I have been unable to work through all this there is absolutely no way I can pay it.
I have not received any indication to date that I was going to be charged this amount. It has come completely out of the blue (much like my divorce)
Were you given a document setting out charging rates and terms of engagement?
Solicitor''s charges can appear eye wateringly high. They are not charities though and it is reasonable that you should pay to have the benefit of their advice.
One problem can be that, if you have retained a solicitor, they then become the point if contact for the other side and you can unknowingly rack up bills for them receiving communications.
Also there is no such thing as a quick query really. To be sure they are giving appropriate advice, the solicitor may well have to do some research which takes time.
If you have received a bill that you feel is inappropriately high, you can ask for a breakdown of charges. If you feel you have been overcharged, you can write to the complaints partner and ask for a reduction.
You may also want to review the terms of your relationship with the solicitor. Perhaps consider asking to take advice on an ad hoc basis while acting for yourself? There''s lots of support and advice available here ..... and wikivorce is free .
Many thanks. I will most certainly be asking for a breakdown of the costs as this was not included in the invoice. I''ve spoken to my ex and he has also had no contact with his solicitor so I haven''t inadvertently been racking up bills at his end.
As you say I have no problem paying someone for their work and expertise. I do not know how anyone can justify those kind of charges for two short and very general emails (I can prove she didn''t even bother to open my case notes)