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Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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I have been negotiating an extension to my lease and have

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I have been negotiating an extension to my lease and have just received a final settlement figure including both the cost of the lease extension and my own solicitor's fees. I believe that my solicitor has grossly overcharged me for his services and has been at times negligent during the process. However I do not wish to enter into a dispute with him until the purchase of the lease extension is finalized.
Can I pay him only the amount due to the vendor's solicitors and tell him to pay them (without deducting his own fees) ? If not--- is it ok to pay him the total amount now (with a "mild" protest about his charges and general conduct), and then, once I have the lease extension, complain in detail first to him and then the legal ombudsman,with a view to recouping some of his charges ?
Hi thanks for your question, I will assist you with this.
When you appointed this solicitor, did they give you a client care letter which set out their terms of business and provide you with an estimate of fees? Have the fees far exceeded their estimate?
Did this letter deal with their complaints procedure? Obviously the letter should have advised you of this process, you need to find this letter and review the same.
In terms of going forward at this stage to ensure the transaction is finalised without issue, I would suggest that you notify your solicitor in writing of your concerns in respect of his fees. At the same time, I would suggest you should provide two cheques, one for the agreed price for the vendors solicitors (you could make this out directly to the vendor's solicitors, unless there is an express prohibition of this in the agreement or the agreement is to be dealt with by transfer) and another for their fees.
I would make an express condition that you are paying these legal fees on account and you wish these fees to be held in their client account pending a full investigation and review of their costs.
This should mean that the transaction is finalised without delay and then the review of your complaint and costs can take place.
Obviously if their decision does not appear to be reasonable or satisfactory, advise them of this and invite them to review and reconsider this matter failing which you will make a formal complaint to the Ombudsman. You have to allow the solicitor the opportunity to address your complaint first.
I hope this assists. If you have any further questions on this please ask.
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