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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10099
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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A claims company signed my signature on a application form

Customer Question

 


I had a personal injury claim progressing for over a year, I attending physio and medical examinations when I was instructed to by the Solicitor that the claims company referred me to.


 


I have withdrawn from the process as it was causing me a lot of distress i.e. medical exams, constant letters etc.


 


Now the solicitor are saying I need to pay their outlays as I signed a agreement saying if I did withdraw at anytime then I would be liable to pay their fees and outlays as they would be unable to recoup their outlays from the 3rd Party insurer.


 


I never seen any terms of engagement from the solicitor or signed any application form. The claims company that miss-sold the claim to me – I was entitled to claim for my whiplash injuries, they guaranteed me a payout of over £5000, promised that the claim would be settled within 6 months and that if I withdrew my claim at any point, I would not have to pay anything. The claims company that made all these false promises actually completed the accident claims form and signed my signature! Now that I have withdrawn from the process the solicitor is threatening taking me to court for their fees – they have accepted that I didn’t sign the form and that the claims company have committed fraud. However, they say that this is a separate matter and I need to report it to the claims company to the police, but regardless of the circumstances they still expect me to pay their outlays.??? Even though I didn't sign any agreement or was aware of being responsible for any costs.


 


Are these empty threats or do the solicitor have a case even though I was not made aware of the correct terms & conditions and didn’t sign/agree to them?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

If you did not sign the no win no fee agreement and it was wrongly signed by the claims company then the solicitors cannot claim their outlays from you and you are right to consider an SLCC complaint.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi


 


Thanks for this. I've looked out the form that the accident management company/claims company and I can't see no win no fee working used in the form. The from is a medical mandate with the solicitor t&c's below. I've written word for word their terms from the medical mandate from on funding;


 


“FUNDING OF YOUR CASE


Your case may be funded by a legal expenses insurer (LEI) on the basis that you adhere to the terms and conditions of the policy. The terms of your policy provide that if you act reasonably and follow our guidance, the costs we incur in pursuing your claim will be recovered either from the responsible drivers insurers, failing which your own LEI will meet any shortfalls in fees or outlays. NO CHARGES WILL BE PAYABLE BY YOU. Funding will remain in place wherever we can say to your LEI there are reasonable prospects of success in your case. If you terminate the agreement you shall become liable to pay our fees, outlays and any client investigation fee that we may have paid in respect of your claim that have been incurred prior to the date of termination.”


 


Is this no win, no fee terms?


 


The form with this term on it wasn't signed by me and my signature was forged by the claims company.


 


Thanks in advance


 


Tahir

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
This is not a no win no fee agreement. It is an agreement to accept legal services under a legal protection insurance policy whereby your legal costs and outlays are met by the insurer if your claim is unsuccessful.

Had you signed this agreement then withdrawn from the process you would have been responsible for the solicitor's outlays. However, as your signature was fraudulently added to the form you can dispute this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi


 


What do you mean by dispute? The solicitor are still saying they are going to raise court proceedings if I don't meet their outlays. If I dispute and it goes to court what are the chances that i would lose?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
You can dispute that you are due to pay their outlays. If you didn't agree to do so then there is no contractual obligation on you to do so.

You thought your case was covered by insurance even if you did decide to give it up. You were not aware of the clause above because you did not sign the agreement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


So do you think that their threats to take me to court are empty ones or can they take me to court and win?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
From what you have told me they are on difficult ground and I don't think they would win on the basis that you have no contractual obligation to pay them.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Not once during the process did I put pen to paper or write my signature anywhere! The only correspondance they have from me is in email. They have a email from may saying that i understand that I am liable for fees if there is a negative outcome to the cliaim. As there was no outcome and the claim was terminated surely they can't use this email in their defence? Do you think the email will count against me?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
I don't understand that as a negative outcome would normally mean that you lost the case. That eventuality should be covered by insurance. A negative outcome is not normally taken to mean that you drop the case.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10099
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi,


 


I contacted the solicitor saying that I can dispute paying their outlays, but on the other hand that I was keen to avoid court proceedings. They said someone would call me to discuss. 3 weeks later they have sent another letter asking for paymnet of their fees and outlays - basically doubled the amount previously quoted.


 


Why are they doing this still?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
I can't answer that but from the information you gave me before they should not be doing so.

Have you considered reporting them to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission? That would be a way forward for you on the basis that the solicitor is attempting to charge you for work that should not be charged for on the basis that you have not agreed to pay the charges nor is there any terms of business whereby you should be charged.

See www.scottishlegalcomplaints.com
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I did request the complaints form from SLCC, I didn't fill in and return at the time as I thought they had dropped the file. I have now emailed them stating that I have raised a complaint with the SLCC and have requested a meeting with their Client Relations Partner. Also as advised by the SLCC I have told them that they have 28 days to respond to my complaint.


 


Many thanks for all your help!


 

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
No problem. I sincerely hope you get it resolved.

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