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Hello - A company of forensic accountants were ordered by the court to value my company during my divorce for there services I paid a very significant fee upfront. Because of this company and my solicitor there were numerous delays and the forensic accountant had to do an update. I was adamant with my solicitor that I would not pay any further money to this company as the price I had paid was already equivalent to about 3 years worth of work from my own solicitor. I never agreed or signed anything to say I would pay them anything further and now they are taking me to court. They have refused all meetings with me and I have just had notice that they are no longer using a solicitor but representing themselves. The divorce left me skint and their bad advice nearly cost me everything - they did not even have all the information for the update as it was rushed through a day before the court hearing and it badly affected my companies - I have told the court this when writing my defence - where do you think I stand?
It was all arranged via our solicitor the court instructed the company - the solicitor sorted it out and we paid the bill via our account with our solicitor. As far as I know there was no retainer letter. During our correspondence however leading up to this point I have asked them to produce something a letter etc where they felt I had agreed to paying this bill in the first place but they have not sent me anything - I have asked for several meetings by letter and they just refuse. I never agreed to pay these further costs and certainly never signed anything. Im confused as why they should drop there solicitor at the last moment too as its him I have been writing too all along.
They sent an invoice to the Solicitor but I think it must have had our name on it - otherwise who would the solicitor no who the bill was for - it was the solicitor who told us there was another charge but we had told our solicitor before this company did the so called extra over work that we would not pay anything else to that company as we had paid upfront. I am amazed if someone can just send an invoice to you which has not been agreed or accepted for them to carry out work - that means I could just invoice any of my past customers without their consent and then take them to court for not paying me? Also if this other company charges upfront why would they then send an invoice - why didn't they ask for payment upfront again? I can only think that the solicitor had ignored our statement made several times about not paying any further fees to the company and told them off there own backs to go ahead with the work perhaps - this is of course a guess as the company will not meet with us to try and resolve the issue.
I am just digging through the paper work now and have found the original invoice it says that the work was carried out under joint instruction - this was not given by our side - a further letter says that it is a matter between ourselves and our solicitors and that they are invoicing us following instructions and if there is a break down in communication between us and our solicitors thats not their problem as far as they are concerned they just want paying. We told our solicitors without a shadow of doubt that we would not pay any further costs to this company - (I had someone with me on a number of occasions when I said this who would go under oath to confirm this) before this work began so where are we left - is it our fault that our solicitor has gone and instructed them to do the work despite been told that we would not accept any further fees from them? We have not instructed anybody if the solicitor instructed them without our permission isn't that the solicitors problem?
Sorry I was out of the office yesterday.
The invoice was sent to the solicitors office titled Mr X c/o of the solicitors. But reading through correspondence it looks like the solicitor has told them to do the work despite me saying that I would not pay. The solicitor has sent the invoice to us to sort out - because we had told our solicitor we would not pay any further monies to the company and immediately the invoice was first mentioned we wrote to the solicitor saying - whats this bill for and who is paying we are really confused - because of course we had said we wouldn't pay the company anything further. If someone has acted without my permission why would it be up to me to pay the money - shouldn't the company go to the solicitor and ask them for the money - if they had ordered the work done?
I need to ask you another question as there has been a further development but I dont want to just go back to Just Answer as I would rather it be you than someone else as you are familiar with the story now - please can you tell me how we can do this.
On Friday we had an email through from our solicitor, I have not written to her asking why she acted even though she was told not too. I have copied you in on the email she sent below. It was the closing agreement for the divorce and these items have been covered and paid for but as I have already told you this extra over cost for this forensic accountant was never accepted even before the work began. The document says that we will cover all expenses so the other half hasn't got to pay anything - summing up at the end was the part about expert witnesses but it did not go in to detail about what was owed to who just an overall its up to us to pay those fees and we accept that responsibility. But again this extra over fee was not accepted. I think she is playing the threat card in trying to force us into paying this extra over money because it says that if we don't do what was agreed- my Dad can go to prison but we feel we have kept to that agreement and that this is an extra over charge that was never agreed to in the first place. What really baffles me is why she is acting as a witness to this - what exactly is she witness to - I can only assume that she will lie as I can hardly see her holding her hand up and saying - well Mr x told me he wasnt willing to pay any further fee but I did it anyway - which is exactly what happened. I think it is more like trying to cover her own backside. Please help I don't want my Dad to get in to trouble and I feel like the solicitor is trying blackmail us more or less here as she has a better understanding of the law.
I have written separately in respect of the witness statement the Court are likely to ask me to provide and I look forward to hearing from you further in that regard.
I did however think it right to remind you of the provision of the Consent Order made within the family proceedings and in particular Para 4(viii) attached. In the claim brought by Mall & Co, the Court are likely to ask for a copy of the attached family law order where responsibility for fees is clearly shown. Obviously there is also significant correspondence and telephone notes etc in the file re fees obligations.
The accountant was paid upfront - that is the problem he has already paid her a significant sum and that is why he said he was not willing to pay anymore - he told the solicitor this before the work was even carried out - In one email from the accountant to the solicitor it says thank you for your instruction to carry out the work it will be x amount - the solicitor has authorised the work even though My Dad has said he would not pay her anymore - the same day he sent an email back to the solicitor saying He was really confused and who exactly was going to be paying this bill - as he had already told her that he would not - the solicitor ignored the email and did not reply. She did that when he asked anything she did not like.