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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10796
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I inquired about using a solicitor from Shoosmiths and expressed

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I inquired about using a solicitor from Shoosmiths and expressed the interest in using them. I sent them all the relevant documents to do with the property in preparation. The solicitor said that they could not start without payment in advanced that I have in one of the emails. At this time, and without receiving, signing or paying for the fees I found another solicitor that I proceeded with.
As soon as I received the engagement letter, which was much later on, I informed them that I did not want to proceed with them and that I had chosen another firm. In which they responded saying they had already started the work despite the fact I hadn't paid or signed the engagement letter.
They are now saying that I said they should proceed verbally and asking for over £1k.
Please can you advise? I feel like they are using scare tactics saying they'll take me to court if I don't pay.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Am I liable to pay? There is nowhere written me asking to proceed. I expressed interest and sent documents in preparation but wasn't expecting them to start until terms of engagement were received signed and paid.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. This is high-handed behaviour from Shoosmiths. I would advise you to formally write to the Legal Ombudsman and make a complaint about the behaviour of Shoosmiths as it is unprofessional behaviour to seek to coerce you into becoming their client. Here is a link to the Law Society page which sets out how to make a complaint about a solicitor Essentially seeking to raise an invoice of £1k when you didn't formally engage them is unprofessional conduct and you should ensure they don't get to sue you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also never received anything further documents of work.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. Be aware that in law, you don't have an obligation to make payment until such times as there is a concluded agreement to engage Shoosmiths. This was also clear in their approach whereby they sent you a letter of engagement to sign. Now seeking to charge you for work you didn't agree to is not proper professional practice.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So do you think I should go to court? Will I have to pay for a solicitor?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. So, you should formally write to Shoosmiths and state you will be making a complaint about their professional behaviour. If they don't re-consider, then make the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
4. Please Rate the Answer as unless you Rate the Answer your Expert will receive no payment for answering your Question.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
5. There is no need to go to court. Use the free Legal Ombudsman process. This will avoid needing to hire a solicitor and you can do it yourself.
Buachaill and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks much appreciated