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Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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won a civil case with all costs but our lawyer has kept 5k

Customer Question

won a civil case with all costs but our lawyer has kept 5k as other side says lower level lawyer would have done I have not seen costs ombudsmen says everything ok I have been robbed by thieving solicitor what can I do
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here as you will get an email when I respond.
Alex Watts : I do not quite understand your question - could you explain a little more?
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

I signed an intial contract to which stated that the costs if won could be paid by us, however the lawyer on completion when I challenged him about the costs said the contract itself was complicated and unclear. The case was won by us and when settlement was agreed around the table with the other side our lawyer told me although he could not give them a figure for his costs it was agreed they would pay and I was present for this meeting.. However it went to a draftmans order ? and they said they would not pay all the costs so the shortfall has to come out of our settlement. If I had known this on the day I would not have agreed, furthermore he kept the 5000.00 shortfall although I am unaware of any breakdown or what it covers.

JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

also in the contract its states that any shortfall our lawyer would have the authority from us to seek the full damages, they have not done this just kept 5000.00. The ombudsman said that they believe the lawyer was fair as we signed a contract over 2 years ago. I repeat what I stated at the beginning I would not have agreed any settlement with unknown costs and it was clear at the meeting the other were paying in full.

Alex Watts : Have you taken it to court? You are £5000 out of pocket?
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

no I raised the complaint with the ombudsman which don't seem to understand what has happened.

JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

yes the other side paid the lawyer 30,000 which was the agreed figure however without authority he kept it all at first and now refuses to pay the remaining 5000 as he says the otherside state his fees are to expsensive so they are not paying even though I agreed a settlement based on the costs been paid via the other side.

Alex Watts : Given this is £5000 you could issue a small claim as the limit is £10,000
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

yes I can what is the legal position with an argument

Alex Watts : You would need to write and ask that the matter be dealt with within 14 days or you will go to court. If they refuse then you can issue proceedings which can be done either online at or by completing form n1 and taking it to the local county court.
Alex Watts : The court will then issue the claim which they will have a limited time to defend if not then you can enter judgment.
Alex Watts : If it is defended then the matter will be set down for a hearing.
Alex Watts : If you lose at court then you would only lose the court fees paid to issue and hear the claim.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

do you agree if a contract was signed and then a final meeting it was agreed that the other side lawyers would pay our fees will that be a good case as the ombudsman says the intial contract still stands

Alex Watts : Indeed.
Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply. Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’. Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

our lawyers argument is he is standing by the intial contract and the other side did not pay his costs in full, however at the final meeting is was agree that they would pay the fees and the 30,000 would be free from any costs.

Alex Watts : That would be for a court to decide.
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

thanks, how would rate the chances of success in the court with this.

Alex Watts : I can not say as litigation is never certain and decisions vary from judge to judge but I think it has reasonable success.
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

thanks the advise. I will do that

Alex Watts : Thanks and please be kind enough to rate m service before you leave. Thanks
JACUSTOMER-mprktluy- :

ok bye

Alex Watts : Bye
Alex Watts : Does the answer the question for you?