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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Should our solicitor have given advice saying the contract

Customer Question

Should our solicitor have given advice saying the contract was not in our favor? In hind sight the contract seems very poor as the purchasers received over £5,000 of our over payment of the major works service charged bill. should he have not pointed this out?

You may recall that the issue of the estimated service charge bill for the regeneration works that were undertaken in 2009 was raised prior to exchange of contracts. The buyers and their solicitors knew that the estimated bill still provided a potential liability when final accounts for these works were prepared and we raised this matter with Southwark Council. In reply we received an email from Mahta Kidam, a pre-assignment officer at the council, who acknowledged our query on the final accounting for these works but could only advise that they did not yet have a timetable for the production of the final account. Clearly, that account has now been produced. In Paul’s email to me received on 30th October you confirmed that it had been agreed between the parties that you would not accept any liability for any further bill raised by Southwark Council in respect of these works and that you will not expect any reimbursement if the finalised bill was less than the estimated bill. This agreement was incorporated into the contract.

I trust that this clarifies the position.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

It would appear that there was a previous question, but we are unable to see it.

Can you let us have the background to your question, please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Can I help?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Hi Jo,

Should our solicitor advised us on whether he felt the contract fair for both parties? we waved the right to the rebate of the major works bill, the purchasers have simply had over £5,000 paid to them.


In hind sight it it was a poor contract we should not of signed. Should the solicitor advised us it was a poor contract? Is there anything we can do about this?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I am just travelling home at the moment.

Please bear with me and I will respond as soon as possible. Thanks.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the time.

Any service charge provision should be apportioned up to the date of completion.

If that cannot be done because it is done by estimates there should be a substantial retention to cover the eventuality that there is not enough money to cover the charges up to the date of completion.

If any reason that is not possible, it should have been pointed out by the solicitor.

Ultimately, what you require is the only be responsible for the proportion of the charge up to the date of completion.

If the solicitor has not done that, he is potentially on the hawk for a negligence claim.
If that was not possible, he should have clearly pointed that out that you may have a liability which could not yet be determined.

However, there is no reason why that could not be in the contract, giving you the right to pursue the seller.

If you have suffered loss, I think you have a claim against the solicitor.

Can I clarify anything for you?