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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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We are disputing the cost advices we received for matrimonial

Customer Question

We are disputing the cost advices we received for matrimonial matters including the final fee for the solicitor, and barrister’s outlay.
As matters progressed we were provided with one fee estimate for the barrister of £4,000 (+VAT). Matters lasted for another year after this and we were not provided with any updates. We were aware that costs might be increasing but we were not advised of the quantum.
9 months after proceedings concluded we have now received a final fee for the barrister of £10,000 (+VAT).
At the final stages of proceedings the solicitor was asked to confirm her fee, she advised us it would be £2k or £3k on top of the barristers, which we allowed for.
The solicitor has now issued us a bill for her professional services for £15,000 (+VAT). She has stated that in relation to her fee advice, she meant that was we were to allow for £2k or £3k on top of the value of the barristers fee and that would be the value of the solicitor’s fee, and we would then have to add the barrister’s fee on top of this.
This was not made clear when she provided her advice; also we didn’t know that the barrister’s fee was £10,000 as it took a further 9 months for the bill to be issued to us.
The solicitor has said that as a rule the solicitor’s fee is always higher than the barrister – this was never explained to us so how would we have known that?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the solicitor gave us financial advice - which we took and used as part of our financial planning.

She is now saying that when she told us the advice she actually meant to say something different.

The result is we don't have the money to pay her fees.

Can she do this?

With regard to the barristers fee should we not have been informed that the fees were increasing?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Yes you should be given full costs details at outset and throughout the matter. However I note that you are in NI and the Law Society NI might have diferent procedure than the mainland so I will opt out for another expert
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As you have opted out of the question I am not sure how to rate your service?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Don't worry, leave it till another expert picks it up.

I am not certain that we have an NI expert so if none picks it up, please post up and I can give you details of how we deal with it in mainland and then you can take the same up with Law Society NI