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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32980
Experience:  Over 25 years experience in law
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HiI have a rather complicated situation with which I really

Customer Question

Hi
I have a rather complicated situation with which I really need some help please, as I do not know which way to turn first. We have been involved in some lengthy and very costly litigation over the last couple of years as a result of a commercial dispute. The costs have already been hugely disproportionate to the sum involved. It got to a point where we were given a trial date in August of last year. Round about the end of June, we were awaiting an appeal hearing regarding our counterclaim, and our solicitor said that this would delay the whole process, and the trial would be delayed until probably the end of the year, so this gave us some breathing space to decide what to do.
However, as the date in August neared, we were being asked various questions from the other side. When I asked our solicitor why they were suddenly asking questions, I was told that they were preparing for trial. The date had not been changed as they told us it would. We were very worried, as we had told them that we did not have the money for a trial. However, they went ahead and organised a barrister, only for us to then be advised the day before the trial that we should settle. It was all very confusing and frightening, as the whole situation had become very complicated over the 2 and a half years or so that this saga had dragged on. We went with their advice, and agreed to settle although we had been told all along that we had a good chance of winning. It has since been pointed out by the other side's solicitor that our solicitor got a complicated point of law wrong, which is probably why we were advised to settle at the last minute, although we were obviously unaware of this at the time. There is a lot more detail, but basically our solicitor has since demanded a further £37 000 in fees. They have put a CCJ on us for this, and also applied, and got, an interim charging order. We are also liable for the other side's not inconsiderable costs. We need to get the CCJ taken away as a matter of urgency, as it is causing us problems running the business (adverse credit against a director). We need to know what course of action we can take against our solicitor for leaving us in this position. It is obviously a difficult situation because it involves a solicitor, but we do not know where to begin, as it seems to us that they have not acted in our interest.
Thank you very much
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
The starting point is in determining whether the solicitor did indeed act negligently. I can reassure you that solicitors sue solicitors all the time where there has been negligence - there is no closed shop to worry about. You should either get a solicitor or go direct to a barrister for them to assess whether the solicitors were negligence. That is where you start. If they have then you can bring a claim against them. I would suggest that you commence this action as soon as possible. Happy to discuss but please rate positive.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response, it does sound though that it is going to be extremely costly to get a barrister to go through the considerable correspondence? Also, the more urgent matter at this stage is to remove the CCJ. They asked us to not to contest a charging order to my property, as they came up with the figure of £37k, and we had no means of paying this imminently in cash. We figured that if we went along with their request, it would buy us some time to investigate their potentially harmful actions over the previous months/ years, of which we were not aware until pointed out by the other side solicitor after their charging order hearing. They were prepared to speak to us directly by this point, because our solicitor had submitted the relevant forms to say that they were no longer representing us. Obviously the other side solicitor is the party with the most detailed and informed information about what has happened. They have commented that our counterclaim was only an equitable assignment and not a legal assignment, as the case was being bought against us personally as they believed we had fallen foul of Section 216. As I said previously, it is a very complicated case, but incidentally, we have NOT been prosecuted or in any way accused of any wrong doing under section 216. We have been exonerated by both the Official Receiver and the department for Business, Innovation & Skills. This was a point that the other side solicitor pursued like a dog with a bone, but our solicitor failed to convince them otherwise, despite the letters we had.

So, the other side solicitor has recommended that we attempt to resolve the point about the assignment with our solicitor, and if this does not work, then refer it to the Ombudsman.

In the meantime, I am more concerned about the CCJ being on our public record. We understood that they would apply the charging order to my property, without it affecting my public credit record, which is why we agreed to not contest it. The fact that they obtained a CCJ, and now simultaneously have an interim charging order does not seem right, especially as they have never justified this sum. We have called them and emailed, but they have not replied. The CCJ is affecting our business because we need to renew leases on our vehicles, but are unable to do so under the circumstances. Please can you advise? Thank you

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
I had taken into account the intention for you to remove the CCJ but therein lies the potential negligence with your solicitors which is why you need to undertake the determination as to whether they have been negligent.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response, but I would like clarification of whether or not they should be permitted to leave the CCJ on our record now that they have obtained the interim charging order? Do we need to instigate an application to have this Judgement set aside, or should it be a quicker process if they were to instigate it from their side? At the moment, they are doing nothing, presumably because we have not pushed them to, as we do not understand the legal position sufficiently. Please could you clarify this point?

Thank you

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Happy to help but this is a new question so please rate positive the original
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am happy to treat this as a separate question, as I have an unlimited subscription and it doesn't really make any difference to me, but it seems to me to be all part of the same problem. I will rate, and then send another request for this question to be answered.

Thank you

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Thats fine and then I will happily look at not for you - please then rate positive - thanks
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