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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Does the Law Society recommend as good practice that when dealing

Customer Question

Does the Law Society recommend as good practice that when dealing with laypersons with no prior knowledge of a particular legal contract: To ensure that the client does fully understands any implications?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Is this a service issue or a professional negligence issue?
In other words are you saying your solicitor gave you a poor or inadequate service or are you going further and pursuing for professional negligence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am in a Lawsuit postponed until February for ADR; which they are not ready to proceed as yet? It is for Breach of his accepted Duty of Care? Professional Negligence?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

December 4th 2007 a Business Transfer Agent (ST) was handling the Sale of Land with outline planning Consent & the terms for an Option on adjacent land both Sites owned by me. Having discussed potential term over several weeks between ST, the Developers Land Director(NB) & myself we put the information in the hands of my Lawyer (DMR) who agreed, 6th December 2007 to act Personally on my behalf for both the Sale of Site A & the Option for Site B.

NB was clearly experienced & put forward the basis of a Formula for the Option. Whereas neither ST or Me had no knowledge or experience. I was unconcerned as my choice of Lawyer whom I had used before was an Expert in Options & Overage. Consequently I believed I was in safe & reliable hands?

From the outset from notes on an email; DMR disliked the formula? He permitted the Formula to remain in 2 Draft & a Final legal document? Void of any evidence to substantiate the claim! He claims "It would be a waste of Time & Cost" to change the formula as the other Party would not accept any change. This was never discussed with his Client? By not drawing my attention too & advising his Client of his Observed Risk or Trap. He Breached his Duty of Care & was Negligent?

Over the following 4 months he had numerous opportunities to explain any Risk to his Client? On 7th April 2008 I was shown 2 Legal Contracts: The Sale of Site A & The Option to purchase Site B subject to gaining Planning Permission. I asked a direct Question regarding the 27 page Option? "Is there anything in the Legal Document that I should be concerned about"? His 'Off the Cuff' Response was: "If Land Values continue to Fall as they are now you may only be Offered £1:00" My 'Off the Cuff' response was that I could never envisage Residential Building Land would be worthless!

On August 3rd 2010 when I was offered a Nominal £1:00 for my Option Land I realised that he knew from the start? I later realised he had not addressed my question? He was commenting upon the then Financial Crisis? Despite his knowledge he allowed me to sign Oblivious of any Risk or Trap?

The 12 month option was due to expire on 6th April 2009? However, a clause permitted the automatic extension if the other Party was waiting for Written Consent fro the Planners. They had up to 93 days from receiving Permission but not beyond the Long Stop Date of 6th July 2010! DMR maintained it had expired & the Variation was required to ensure that a decision was received in respect of the planning application so the Developers could decide whether they wished to exercise the Option for which they had paid?

I suspect he forgot who his client was? He was clearly aware of the Risk to my Financial Interests. It was an unnecessary 6 month Variation as there was up to 15 months more to the Long Stop Date? This was not in his Clients Financial Interests. Furthermore without any discussion DMR had permitted the Long Stop Date to be extended also by 3 months until 6th October 2010. But for the latter I would have retained my Land as of 6th July 2010. As the Developers did not receive the written decision until 13th August 2010. After the original L S Date! I was legally required to Transfer my Land to the Developers fo no further Consideration.

The Developers built 14 x 4 Bedroom Detached Executive Homes? The Variation was a Ruse as the 6 month was not required. I was a Ruse to extend the Long Stop Date. DMG denies this, however, there can be no other Logical reason! DMG showed a Gross Dereliction of his Duty of Care to his Client!

The case for the Defense is contrived by suggestions & erroneous assertions totally void of evidence?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
From your narrative the solicitor explained that there were circumstances whereby you might only be offered £1 for the option?
Do you accept that he told you that?
Have you had an expert solicitor examine the solicitor's file and a detailed statement by you and produce a report?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

NO read again: My Question:

"Is there anything in the Legal Document that I should be concerned about"?

His response does not refer to my question it refers to the then Financial climate?

"If Land Values continue to Fall as they are now you may only be Offered £1:00"

My Logical & 'factually correct' response was my literal understanding of his response? He made NO reference to the Legal Contract?

What are you referring too now "Solicitors File"?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Presumably his remark related to what the effect of the contract would be if land values fell so I don't think your approach to this is correct.
However, you case will be determined by what is in the solicitors file and the detailed advice you were given at the time. You should be having another solicitor examine the file and listen to your own evidence.
I sm opting out and in the event that another expert thinks otherwise they will take up your question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I don't understand final sentence? Are you saying that you are opting out? Did you mean "I Am"?

Before you do how do I get access to his File?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Presumably? Why should I presume that is what he meant it is not an answer! This is a waste of time! I cancel my membership with immediate effect!

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.

So what is happening now? I originally agreed to take a month for £38. You took that amount from my Bank account on 17th November.

I then noted a 7 day free trial for unlimited questions which I opted for & is about to expire.

You in fact indicate that a further payment is due today? Yesterday I made every Effort to cancel my account solely on the basis the answer's were in general unsatisfactory!

Please confirm ASAP what my position is? I have paid £38.00!

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
The Professional has opted out of this question. If you would like we can look for another Professional to assist?
I will contact Customer Support re billing and you should hear from them shortly.
Thank you,
Nicola

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