How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask ukfamilysolicitor Your Own Question
ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1088
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
74916426
Type Your Law Question Here...
ukfamilysolicitor is online now

I have a colleague who was accused of offences, went

Resolved Question:

I have a colleague who was accused of sexual offences, went through a criminal trial and was cleared of all charges.
Two years later civil action was taken against him. He used a new solicitor who twice did not submit court papers in time. The consequences were that the judge at the trial in the High Court, where he represented himself that said no defence had been offered an he was unable to put his case forward. Judgement has been made against him on the balance of probabilities. He is on a low salary and works in a supermarket and his total assets are worth no more than £10,000. But the judgement against him is for multiples of this amount. He has no ability to pay and cannot afford a solicitor. What will happen next?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
How much exactly has been awarded?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
A Court Order for damages is not self enforcing. If the order is silent in respect of when payment should be made then the rule is that payment should be made within 14 days. If your colleague does not have the funds to be able to pay then the claimant will have to seek enforcement through the courts.
This guide details some of the enforcement options that could be pursued:
https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/enforce-a-judgment
In respect of the representation that your colleague received by his solicitor and their failings to represent his case - your colleague should consider making an official complaint.
Your colleague has to have to have complained to the law firm in the first instance and given them eight weeks to either resolve his complaint or to tell him that they can’t or won’t do any more.
If he's been through the solicitors complaints service and his complaint hasn’t been resolved satisfactorily - he can make a complain to the Legal Ombudsman. Contact details are here:
http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/contact-us/
Your colleague must make sure he complains to the Legal Ombudsman within six months.
The Legal Ombudsman can make solicitors put right the work they’ve carried out or pay financial compensation. The range of options open include:
– Making the law firm apologise.
– Making the law firm reduce or refund legal fees.
– Making the law firm put right work it’s already done.
– Making the law firm pay your colleague compensation of up to £30,000. This is for inconvenience, emotional distress and upset and is the maximum payable. In most cases any compensation is likely to be far less.
Your colleague should also seek an independent lawyers advice in respect of appealing the Judgement. Appeals have a strict time limit - your colleague would only have 21 days from the date of Judgement to issue an application for permission to appeal. I'm sorry to say that your colleague won't be able to get legal aid for this.
Please don't hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Please kindly remember to rate positively. No credit is received for our work unless positive feedback is received.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I have had a look through the enforcement options. He lives in a rented house with his wife and grown up kids. If they send bailiffs around how would they distinguish between what is his and what is owned by the rest of the family?If the figure owed is way above what he can pay, what happens. Does the court make an order based on abaility to pay or does he come to an agreement with the claimants solicitors.Is it worth him going to Citiznes advice or is this way above their abilities
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your response.
If your colleague is worried about the uncertainty of what enforcement might be used - then he can by all means make an offer of a repayment schedule at a rate that he can afford.
The claimant could refuse the offer - but each enforcement option for them incurs costs so they are likely to accept a reasonable repayment offer if he is honest in relation to what he can afford.
Enforcement can continue until full repayment is made.
This link explains what bailiffs can take:
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/action-your-creditor-can-take/bailiffs/your-belongings-and-bailiffs/what-goods-can-a-bailiff-take/belongings-a-bailiff-can-take/
Whilst I can say the the Citizens Advice will be able to give good advice in respect of the judgment debt and proposals for repayment - If your friend is looking to appeal the Judgement it remains my advice that he gets another solicitor or barrister to look through his papers and advise in respect of the merits of appeal.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Please kindly remember to rate positively so that we are credited for our work.
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1088
Experience: Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
ukfamilysolicitor and other Law Specialists are ready to help you