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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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As I was not getting very far with a solicitor in a professional

Customer Question

As I was not getting very far with a solicitor in a professional negligence claim I contacted a barrister who dealt in direct access. He charged me £2400 for looking at my documents and a conference .
After I had had the conference I did not feel he gave me any further relevant advice and would not answer questions I asked by email. Eventually realising that he would not answer because I was supposed to pay him for this privilege, which he had not informed me . Also as he would not give me a definitive answer as to what his 'fixed' fees were for any ongoing work he would carry out from me I decided not to go ahead with his assistance and asked for my documents back. To which he replied that he had the right to keep my documents for 6 years and us refusing t return them . Is he allowed to do this when I don't owe him any money ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.
Have you complained about the service you received?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No because I needed to know if he could do this before I responded
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
A solicitor is only entitled to keep your documents if there is an outstanding bill. In other words he can exercise a lien over your papers until the bill is paid. However, he cannot retain your papers if there is no outstanding bill and must return them to you.
But you are not entitled to correspondence and attendances which he has generated in the course of working on your file: those documents are his - in other words any documents he created he is entitled to keep. He only has to return any documents that you actually gave him or any of your documents he came into possession while working on your matter.
So there is a distinction between your documents which should be returned. And his documents generated while working on your case which he is required to keep on his file.
Alice H and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure. Have a good weekend.