Hi thanks, XXXXX XXXXX part 1, this is part 2. Not sure if there is an additional charge, please let me know.
The same lawyers were instructed only to deal with assessing the merits (via counsel) to facilitate a meeting with the bank. We had already had (without them) various meetings and letterly a full mediation (which the bank paid for in full including flying 2 Hogan Lovells partners, a Barclays Legal VP and a partner from their gib law form and a QC mediator out to Spain as my wife was immobile Mmmmm, think they wanted to settle). An agreement had been made to meet again and a substantial 6 figure sum was offered by the bank but not the millions we had lost. We wanted to be sure we were maximising our case so had approached the firm you advised on earlier to look at that aspect so the benefit of the next and hopefully final meeting could be maximised. This was theirs and counsels instruction.
The law firm, agreed on a speculate to accumulate basis presumably to conduct all work, bar a few hundred pounds for no charge. They prepared the bundles, instructed counsel and attended con. We did pay them counsels fees. Very generous of them but does not override their duties to us as clients though. They saw something in the claim anyway and a desire on the part of the bank to settle and expected a positive outcome from counsel.
Following the con, which was VERY negative from counsels perspective (we had no claim and had wasted 4 years fighting them, against all other advice we had had and should have sued the valuers and the last lawyer) it was clear the bank wanted to settle so we agreed to discuss further options with the lawyers for meeting the bank. They knew we had little money (this matter has virtually destroyed us, we were millionaires once) so they proposed in writing to represent us at NO COST at a meeting with the partner and solicitor. We accepted that offer in writing and I even discussed it on the telephone with the partner afterwards. He said they would essentially have to bill us but would not seek payment hoping to get costs from the bank but said if the meeting was unsuccessful, that was it, no downside to us. Bear in mind this was a further mediation/meeting, not part of the claim progress in court etc. We notified the bank this firm would be with us and began to think about dates for meetings.
Then a week later, out of the blue the partner wrote to us saying that he had discussed this with the other partners and as they could not define 'success' and/or how they would get their monies off the bank if successful they would not be able to operate this way and now required £12,000 to act for us. You've got no money, dont expect you will instruct is now so let us know how it all pans out !!!
In my view they had made an offer, we accepted, a contract existed and they were backing out. I do not think they can do that. We have now had to hold off meetings with the bank as we cannot go unrepresented at this crucial stage and so we look weak as we will not be able to use this firm having told the bank we would.
However, would you agree a contract exists and if so what is the remedy IF both parties feel they could not work with each other, paid or unpaid. My understanding is that the partner was incorrect even to offer his services in this way but that is not our fault, he made an offer and we accepted. it, he backed out, we are compromised
I guess its a simple (ha ha) matter of does a contract exist in the above scenario and if so what is the remedy for it being broken.