What I said was that if the executors agreed that the file should be released, the court is unlikely to order otherwise. What I mean is there are likely to order not to be released.
It’s not unreasonable for the solicitor to hang onto the file original until such time as the estate has been finalised but that purely from a practical point of view. He has no more right to hang onto the file than anyone else does. The file belongs to the estate.
I have already mentioned about paying for the file copy (which you are not obliged to do) and then making a complaint about the solicitor asking for that for actually suing him in the Small Claims Court to get the money back on the basis that you paid under duress.
I just can’t see why court would allow him to hang onto the file and not release it although, as I said earlier, what he doesn’t want is the file to be messed up before the estate is finalised which would explain his reluctance if he is happy to let you inspect it in his office.
All the executors should be kept fully informed. In effect, they should be working with the solicitor whereas in this case it appears the solicitor is doing his own thing.
I wouldn’t suggest that you made any court application until the estate had been finalised. It is likely to slow the administration and that is not in the best interest of the beneficiaries. There is no reason why, when the estate is finalised, the solicitor should then not release the original file and if he does not, then you make the application to court.
If you made the court application now, it is likely that in view of the fact that the solicitor has said you can see the file and the estate is not finalised, that they would say your court action was premature. The other matter of course is that until the estate is finalised, if you have the file, work will stop. that is not in the best interest of the beneficiaries. It would be different if the estate was finalised.