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I have a disagreement with my solicitor. He instructed Counsel on my behalf and has raised an action inter alia for counsel's fee plus interest but I am informed by Counsel's clerk that months after raising the action my solicitor hasn't paid Counsel's fee which he is claiming in the action
The fee that is claimed for Senior Counsel was for a second opinion on a matter that Junior Counsel had given an opinion on. Senior Counsel advised that he hadn't read the case papers, attended a 10 minute meeting and advised that he regarded Junior Counsel highly and would not in any circumstance contradict him. Unfortunately he only advised us of his position at the meeting so we didn't get a second opinion but our solicitor still advises us that he wants his £1500 fee paid to him. What would be our best way of defending this.
There was no written opinion from Counsel and no verbal opinion ( it was simply stated that he would not contradict Junior Counsel ) My solicitor will not help or not question the position although I know that circa 12 months after the meeting he still hasn't paid Counsel. His rate actually equates to £9000 per hour which is circa £360,000 for a 40 hour week. I have complained directly to Counsel's stable in Edinburgh but they are very blase and will not defend or address the matter stating that my contract was with my solicitor.
I have sent the matter to the SLCC but from what I hear wouldn't expect much success from that. ( they have a very poor reputation and are not really taken seriously ) The problem I have with your second suggestion is that I have been advised that Senior Counsel has certain privileges which includes not having to attend court to justify/defend his position. Is this correct?
How can the action be defended if senior counsel will not attend court to give evidence? Are the court not just likely to accept that my solicitor has incurred the cost of counsel's fee?
I do see what you are saying but does the solicitor not simply need to produce Counsel's fee note to the court as evidence or will he have to defend Counsel in court and produce an answer as to why we didn't receive what we contracted for i,e. a second opinion either verbally or in writing. We did email the solicitor the day after the meeting was held detailing our concerns I presume we can produce this email in court and question why our solicitor didn't put the matter directly to counsel at that time?