Alex Watts : my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : How much is the dispute please?
Alex: Over £20,000
Alex Watts : Have you formally complained to the firm?
Yes. And LeO. No reply as yet. Trial due late March. Have to defend myself as cannot trust another solicitor ever again.
Alex Watts : Ok. Did you complain to the legal ombudsman ?
Alex Watts : did you ask the court to assess the costs ?
LeO, yes. Costs? can I do that? ask the court?
Alex Watts : Yes you have a right to ask the court to assess costs.
Alex Watts : I think you need to amend your defence and include a counter claim asking the court to assess costs.
Alex Watts : There is a provision under the solicitors act to do they.
Alex Watts : That.
Alex Watts : However it may be worth going direct to a Barrister given the value. You can do this via public access
Alex Watts : But check the Bar Standards Board website access
Alex Watts : But you can ask the court to assess costs
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything about this today please?
Do you feel the bodged contract is a factor or am I wasting my time?
Alex Watts : The court can amend the contract
Alex Watts : regulation 5 of the unfair contract terms in consumer regulations states
Alex Watts : Unfair Terms5.—(1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Probably not, Alex. He is trying to extort money. I hoped he had slipped up with the contract. Lots of other things he has wrong, but I hoped to cut it short by showing contract was suspect.
Alex Watts : Yes but you have a defence under this and the sale and supply of goods and services act as he has failed to act with all reasonable skill and care
I am afraid that on the day the judge will brush it aside and see it as a red herring. I feel it is important but I fear judge will not.
Alex Watts : If you plead it and raise it the judge must address it.
Alex Watts : You need to be treated fairly
I don't want it to detract from the other points I need to show. It, in itself does demonstrate that this solicitor makes lots of mistakes. (And then expects huge payment !)
Alex Watts : Indeed. But these are points you can raise
Alex Watts : 1) Unfair term
Alex Watts : 2) failed to act with all reasonable skill and care
Alex Watts : 3) assessment of costs
So, would you say to attack the contract but don't make it my main thrust?
Alex Watts : Yes.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Not at present. Thanks help. I will probably be back to ask some more in the near future.