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Hi, this is my first time here and I really need some help/advice.

 

My partner claimed legal aid on the advice of his solicitor. Neither we nor the solicitor ever received an order granting legal aid but Rossendales immediately began sending letters requesting approx £7,500 to be paid in 3 monthly instalments (gulp!!). My partner arranged with his solicitor that he would pay the solicitor privately for a reduced amount.

 

Apparently, because the solicitor can make a claim against the legal aid fund, Rossendales will not close the file until the solicitor sends them a "letter of undertaking" stating that he will not claim against the fund. After 4 months we are at the stage where the courts have been informed that the offer of legal aid has been refused, the court, the solicitor and my partner have all informed Rossendales of this but Rossendales still refuse to accept anything other than "letter of undertaking" laid out in a prescribed format.

 

The solicitor states he has told Rossendales that legal aid has been refused and now he will not enter into any correspondence saying that any contract between my partner and Rossendales and the LSC is nothing to do with him. Rossendales HAVE put my partners file on hold so no enforcement action at the moment, and they are writing to the solicitor.

 

Meanwhile, my partner has dispensed with the solicitors services due to his complete lack of help on the matter and the solicitor is requesting his fees immediately. My partner feels as though he is "stuck in the middle of" Rossendales and the solicitor with both demanding money and there is nobody to intervene on his behalf.

 

We have made a formal complaint to the solicitor who "rejects as frivolous" our complaints. The legal ombudsman is now starting an investigation but they suggest we should pay the solicitors fees now. Please don't think that we are trying to avoid paying as the solicitor has done the work but he is refusing to contact Rossendales who sooner or later will take enforcement action.

 

I have tried to find some way of contacting the LSC direct but their website seems to be for legal practioners. I have the feeling that the solicitor will start legal proceedings soon for his fees and I am at the end of my tether.

 

Thanks.

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I will try and find some help for you.

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Can you please tell us a little more about the actual debt and enforcement.

 

Why did you need their services in the first place ?

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4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

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Advice & opinions given by citizenb 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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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There is something not quite right with what you say. Normally for these things legal aid has been granted and payments made to the issuing authority - usually your solicitor. If it is then found you were not due to claim etc then the monies can be claimed back.

 

If you are saying nothing was ever granted then it should be up to the Legal Services Commission to call Rossendales off and it is to them you should look for an explanation.

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Sorry for delay in replying and tomorrow I may be without internet access due to changing supplier.

 

To citizenB - Legal aid was applied for and presumably granted but we never received anything form the LSC. The first notification we had was when Rossendales sent a letter saying they were contracted to act on behalf of the LSC to recover the contribution due from the my partner (£7,500 approx in 3 monthly instalments). At that point it was agreed with the solicitor that we would pay him privately and that the offer of legal aid was to be rejected. Obviously, when Rossendales did not receive the notification from the solicitor they continued to chase the first installment and then sent a letter stating we had 7 days to pay or they would take enforcement action. Thye now have the file on hold while thye try to make the solicitor send them a letter.

 

To ploddertom - I feel we may be at crosspurposes here. I understand that the solicitor can claim from the legal aid fund for his fees but the LSC want my partner to make a contribution towards the costs (£7,500) which is to be paid to the LSC. The LSC use Rossendales to collect these contributions. I would like to contact the LSC direct, explain the situation so they can either tell Rossendales to close the file or make the solicitor give Rossendales what they want so they can close the file but I cannot find anywhere where Joe Public can contact the LSC. Any contact details appear to be only for solicitors to contact the LSC so I was hoping that somebody on this site would be able to point me in the right direction re how to contact the LSC.

 

In the meantime, the legal Ombudsman has contacted me and appear to be incapable of understanding a word I have said and they have never heard of Rossendales _ I wish I hadn't either.

 

Thanks

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If the solicitor is at the end of the day, the only person who can stop this fiasco and he is being obstructive/uncooperative then a complaint to the SRA might well give him the prod he clearly needs....always worth getting in touch with them, I have found them very helpful in the past.

 

WD

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Thanks for your advice re the SRA. I have just been looking at their website and I will certainly contact them. A poster on a different thread has the contact details for the LSC so I will contact them also.

 

Thank you to everyone who replied.

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