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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I was a director of a company set up as an SPV vechicle to

Resolved Question:

I was a director of a company set up as an SPV vechicle to aquire options over a site to acheive planning permission,this was unsuccesful I am now bieng held responsible for the debt which is 33,000k,I at no time took nor agreed to cover these fees the lawyers involved
would have recieved an enhanced payment if the deal was succesful.The company has now been dissolved I notified the lawyers of this,can I be held responsible fordebt.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name is***** can help answer your question.

tdlawyer :

On what basis is it suggested that you're liable for these fees, and who is it that you're said to be liable to?

tdlawyer :

Hello

tdlawyer :

On what basis is it suggested that you're liable for these fees, and who is it that you're said to be liable to?

tdlawyer :

Are you there?

Customer:

The lawyers involved carried out work on a speculative basis before the ltd company was set up for this prodject and although the option failed,they are saying because I was a client before the formation of the company that the fee liability fell with me,there was another director in the company and they are not pursuing him,even although they are still working with him on the same project on a differant peice of land.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes please keep looking for me thanks
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Did you ever sign a personal guarantee for these fees?
Did the lawyers ask you to sign a retainer in your personal capacity?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I only ever signed terms and conditions when introduced with production of passport etc,I at no time personally guarented any fees in relation to this ltd company.
The lawyer in question said that I didn't have to because I was already there client so therefore liable
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I would write back to the lawyer as follows:
1. Say you deny you were personally liable for the fees;
2. Say all terms and conditions were signed on behalf of the SPV to engage work for the SPV;
3. Say that pursuing someone for money they do not owe is a criminal offence under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 ;
4. If they continue to chase you, you will have to consider making a complaint to their Regulator and the legal ombudsman;
5. Say that trying to demand money from you without an effective personal guarantee being and when you are not even the client for the work in question is underhand and discredit to the legal profession.
6. Say that if they want to pursue this matter further they should discuss it with the liquidator of the SPV
My only concern for you is, you should check the retained and ensure it is in the name of the SPV and the terms and conditions do not contain a Personal Guarantee?
Have they issue and invoice in your name? Or threatened court action?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The bill was issued in my name then the companies name then back to mine
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
The certainly should not be doing, it does not give a very good impression of solicitors.
When you signed the retainer with their terms and conditions and quote - did that say the company was the client?
When the initially invoiced you, did they then invoice the company instead because you asked them to?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In answer to your first question no I was there client
The reason they issued it in the company name was to enable both the company and the solicitors to retrieve payment from a third party who at the time of signing the option agreement wanted control of the company this was all agreed.they were supposed to pick up all fees
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Did the solicitors not advise you to get an undertaking for the fees?
If they were signing you up as the client, they would have know full well that would make you personally liable for their fees?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He was told verbally by the third party and we were all aware this was the case
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Was the third party ever giving instructions to this solicitor directly?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can't remember this case goes back nearly three years I will have to check emails
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Unfortunately if you are personally the client then you are liable for the fees on face value.
That said I am not sure if the law firm will be able to justify this, if they knew of the arrangement with this third party and this third party gave them instructions.
Potentially they either should have:
i) Advised you to get an undertaking for the fees;
ii) They should have had your written consent if they were to accept instructions from a third party.
Can you check this point and revert to me?
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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