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In November? 2015 a solicitor sent us a letter telling us we owed them money. A bill arrived in March 2016 which contained no specific details.

 

They were claiming that they'd done work for our family. We had not contacted them previously or engaged their services. There was no contract between them & us, verbally or in writing.

 

So obviously, we've not paid the amount they claim we owe them.

 

There is a little background to this. In 2012 the county council were involved in an incident with my mother in an attempt to frame me. They used this 'investigation' as an excuse to remove Mum from our home and put her into care. The police dropped the case vaguely and Mum was returned home.

 

As the council had failed in involving me, they had another go. This time they accused me and my brother of ill-treating Mum. Again the police were involved and this time charged us both. Mum was forced into care again.

 

Having had experience of where the legal process goes wrong (aka by using lawyers) I represented us both in court - firstly in magistrates and then in Crown Court. At the second hearing in Crown, following my submission of a preliminary defence, the prosecution admitted it had no evidence and my brother and I were formally found not guilty.

 

Mum was still in a care home and the Court of Protection had appointed this Solicitor to look after Mum's finances. About a month later, Mum committed suicide - and the Solicitors have not provided us with any evidence to show they have done any work for the family.

 

We've heard from this Solicitor since but not for a while - but until they show us some evidence of having done any work for us, they'll not be getting a penny.

 

Incidentally, does anyone know whether the county courts are running anything like smoothly ? Cases seem to be dragging on a lot this year.

 

Mike.

Edited by Andyorch
edited identifiable and allegations

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Nearly all County Courts are experiencing issues ranging from 5-15 day backlogs in correspondence right through to judicial unavailability and hearings being vacated last minute.

 

If they're billing you, you're entitled to a breakdown as to what that bill is for, therefore my suggestion would be to start by asking them to provide a breakdown. Someone else may of course come along with different advice.

 

I'm no expert in matters of the Court of Protection, however a quick online search appears to show there are fixed fees they can charge if they are appointed https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications/court-of-protection-practice-directions/ - see Practice Direction 19B:

 

Category III Annual management fee where the court appoints a professional deputy for property and affairs, payable on the anniversary of the court order

(a) for the first year:£1,440 (plus VAT)

(b) for the second and subsequent years: £1,140 (plus VAT)

 

Provided that, where the net assets of P are below £16,000, the professional deputy for property and affairs may take an annual management fee not exceeding 4.5% of P’s net assets on the anniversary of the court order appointing the professional as deputy.

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Are you saying that the solicitor was initially engaged, but you then sacked them and represented yourself?

 

If you had engaged a solicitor and they did work on your case or work preparing for the hearing, they are entitled to be paid for that. The solicitor should however be able to provide a breakdown of what their charges are for.


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