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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have a useless court order due to my solicitors bad advice

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I have a useless court order due to my solicitors bad advice and forcing me to agree the terms at my FDR. It has left me with debts that I need to pay back urgently otherwise I could face bankruptcy. The situation is so bad as he is retaining the lump sum awarded claiming all sorts of costs to absorb it. This will leave me with very serious financial dilemma.
I repeatedly asked him to provide me statement as I know I have paid him for every service.
Please advise.
1) how can I get my money from him?
2) Is it possible to appeal against the order due to his bad advice and forcing me to agree them? He admits that my ex husband his getting away with a lot and loading debit in the marriage on me. I felt he was more of my ex husbands solicitor than mine throughout.

Hi, thank you for your further question.

In relation to the money that the solicitor holds, they are entitled to take any costs that are owed to them from the sums, however, any costs that they seek should be reasonable and you are entitled to request an itemised breakdown of their work for your consideration before this is settled.

In relation to the court order, I recall that this was made by consent at the FDR and therefore will not be appealable as you had voluntarily agreed to it at the hearing.

I appreciate that this may not be the answer you would have hoped for, but if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My solicitor forced me to agree and bully me in the conference room before appearing before the judge. he said I had 15minutes to decide as we would be called in. I had me sitting for more than an hour whilst he and the barrister were in and out of conference with the other sides lawyers. He had influenced the barrister who did a good job at the first FDR. They both acknowledged the conflict and that they've got a problem. He said if I did not agree what my ex husband offered and went to FH he would testify against me and made sure the FH would prove very expensive for me. He had made a lot of mistakes by not putting my position forward and lied to the other side all along that he was awaiting my instruction. I only found that out in court on the day when I read their note and complaint to the court regarding none response from my solicitor for their request to negotiate.

Also, regarding the cost. I had paid up front. He also made me deposited what he said the cost for the day in court for the adjourned FDR hearing. Now he said it is still to be paid. Now he said I owe him the total in lumpsum. I asked for itemized bill and it only recorded less that 1/2 the money previously paid to him. I have asked my bank to send me print out of all money paid to him. The initial contract stated less that 1/4 of what I have paid. This was high figure. He also said that he is retaining the lumpsum because he could see that I'd have to make some further application in respect of my son's needs under the no order order for his educational needs. You have just told me it would be extremely difficult for me to make such application. I gave in to his bully because he said that my son's needs would not be affected if accepted their offer.

What remedy Is available to me? Please what can I do because the situation could lead to bankruptcy as all the debit cause by my husband as been loaded unto me. He is saying he could help me with bankruptcy so I could make a fresh start and part of his reason holding the lumpsum. I am devastated and worn out. what can I do to get out of his claws and get my money from him please. It's serious.

Thank you for the further details.

Given the details you have outlined you will need to consider pursuing a complaint against your legal representatives. If you do not have their complaints procedure then they have to provide this to you upon request.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't have their complaint procedure. Is their a template I could use or you could suggest to make the request? who do I make the request to? would I need a solicitor to help me? or would I need a barrister or both?

can I work with a barrister alone?

In relation to the complaint you do not need a solicitor to deal with this and can do it yourself. I would suggest you either telephone or write to the firm to request their complaints procedure and they must give it to you. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your internal complaint you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman which deals with complaints independently - more information on this here:

Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your help previously. I have another question that I hope you could help with.

I have just received my Decree Absolute sent to me by my solicitor. It includes 2 Notes. Note1 is about Divorce affecting inheritance under a will.

Note 2 is as below and it is urgent that I understand this:

2. Divorce affects the appointment of a guardian.

"unless a contrary intention is shown in the instrument of appointment, any appointment under section 5(3) or section 5(4)of Children Act 1989 by one spouse of his or her former spouse as guardian, by virtue of section 6 of that Act, deemed to have been revoked at the date of the dissolution of the marriage."

please what does this mean? I have no idea of what the sections in children Act or their implications or what I must do now.

My son lives with me. He is 16 years of age and in full time education which will continue into further education.

1) Please break this down for me and advise.

2) Also should my solicitor have included a note of explanation for me on the 2 notes in the Decree?

His cover letter just confirmed the attachment of the Decree and that it was in my favour by cross-petition presented by me.

I'd eagerly await your reply.


Thanks - I have responded to this in the other thread