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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34119
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My solicitor has had my settlement from divorce in his bank

Customer Question

My solicitor has had my settlement from divorce in his bank account since the 4th August 2013. He released half of this money in March 2014 and says he is not allowed to release the remainder until Legal Aid tell him to?? I find this highly suspicious and am going to contact the law society in Northern Ireland about this. Would this be normal?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
The explanation given is correct - the time it is taking is excessive.
legal Aid is a loan and not a gift so it does have to be repaid from any assets recovered or retained using Legal Funding.
Accordingly the solicitor has to retain the monies until the Final Bill has been costed and the LSC repaid.
You should by now have been sent a copy of the Costed Bill (it has to be done in a particular way) so it would be reasonable to ask your solicitor how far the process has reached.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,

When my divorce began it was in 2006, so I do not have any money to pay back. The settlement fee of 56,000 was agreed in court etc and p[aid by my ex wife's solicitor into my solicitor's account 4th August 2013.

He maintains that legal aid have only granted half of it to be given to me in March 2014 and the other half later on?

I do not understand why this would be and find it extremely peculiar.

Thanks again, before I contact the Law society, I would like your views on if you feel it is unacceptable?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
No I am afraid that the Statutory Charge does apply and since you received a Financial settlement your costs will have to be paid from that - or at least some of them will be.
Until the LSC confirm that they will make no claim on it the solicitor has to retain the funds
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,

My solicitor gave me a 100% guarantee that I would be getting the other half of my 56,000 when they legal aid gave the advice to release it.

He definitely says I will be getting the full amount, he says they are just waiting on clearance?

why would they allow half of this amount 28,00O to be given to me?

Thanks,again.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
In fact the regulations say he shouldn't pay you anything without clearance.
Phone the LSC and ask when they will be releasing the funds
Clare
Clare and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,

Sorry to be such a pain...... he said he had been given clearance to release half of the amount and the other half would come later!!!

This is why I find it all very strange, that the amounts would be split up like this? Do you feel this is legitimate?

Is the LSC the law society and how would I get in touch with them and what should I say?

Thanks so much,

David

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,


 


Sorry to be such a pain...... he said he had been given clearance to release half of the amount and the other half would come later!!!


 


This is why I find it all very strange, that the amounts would be split up like this? Do you feel this is legitimate?


 


Is the LSC the law society and how would I get in touch with them and what should I say?


 


Thanks so much,


 


David

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The LSC deal with Legal Aid
http://www.dojni.gov.uk/legalservices
I have concerns - but more about the delay than anything else.
Call them and ask the current position
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,


Thank you so much for your help. I will contact them.


Regards,


David

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


who should I ask to speak to? Also how do I verify who I am, do I just need name etc? I wouldn't need case number etc as solicitor would have this?


Regards,


David

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You have a copy of your funding Certificate somewhere - you need the reference number on that
Clare

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