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Can Solicitors Issue Court Claim About Unpaid Fees When Fees Are Disputed?


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:confused: My friend is abroad and I am dealing with some issues in her absence. One is the issue of trying to get a Judgment set aside, this is for non-payment of solicitor's fees. The fees in question were in dispute and an agreement had been reached in a meeting (with a witness) to reduce fees and challenge barrister's account, because the solicitors had messed up and not filed papers into court, which contributed to the case being lost; and because the specialist barrister did not argue anything in the specialist field that he was employed to do. The last thing was a telephone conversation with solicitor's just before my friend went away where we said she was leaving the country imminently and we were assured of a return call. Iinstead I eventually received the summons, past the court filing date and which was marked with a date prior to the file date! (by the time her son who is at Uni had passed on the mail). I thought that if the claimant knew that the papers had not been received by the defendant then under Civil Rules 13.5 (I think?) they should have applied to the court to have judgement set aside and requested directions?

 

Both the court and the solicitors knew she was out of the country and still judgment was entered, even though I rang and I wrote to the court to explain and faxed it immediately, prior to judgment being entered, as requested by the court office! I applied for help through her legal insurance for two things, one setting aside the judgment and two negligence on the part of the solicitor and barrister. They batted it between two companies and at the last minute told me she was not covered for the judgment part of it. I applied for an adjournment to seek advice (faxed on Mon ready for Fri hearing) I heard nothing, eventually I rang Thurs and they told me the hearing was to go ahead. I had no option but to attend on her behalf and try to explain. The judge was less than sympathetic as I explained the stress that I was under and surely this should have been relisted for all the above reasons, she just said you chose to be here and awarded costs to the other side for attending! In my friend's favour I have 4-6 weeks to find good solicitor to defend her case as well as sending all relevant documents re negligence to the insurance company to consider whether they will cover the case!!!

 

Although they have instructed she must deal with it herself and instruct a solictor. She is abroad trying to fight to regain some of her mother's estate that was taken by her family whilst she was here in Britain. More soicitor's fees! She is a British citizen, albeit not with perfect English, which is why I am always party to her dealings to ensure she has understood everything!

 

Does anyone have any ideas?? I do have a lot on my shoulders right now and could do without this, but it is so unfair to do this to her when she is not here to defend herself!!

 

Any advice very much appreciated.

 

JQ

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Might be worth contacting the Legal Complaints Service to see if they can help.

 

LCS: Legal Complaints Service home

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Thank you Caro, will look at that tomorrow with fresh eyes and give them a ring; or should I say later today? I didn't know you could phone and ask questions, I thought you had to decide to complain and hand it over to them, so wanted advice from solicitor first. Perhaps it should be the other way round and save costs etc?

 

Many thanks again.

 

JQ

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No problem. I hope you get some help for your friend.

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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