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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am at the end of my tether. My daughter and I have been

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I am at the end of my tether. My daughter and I have been through an appalling 18m, which has been made worse by the law firm which I hired to represent us. Basically, in Sept 2014, my daughter told me that she had been sexually assaulted whilst abroad on a business trip by one of my then business partners that she was a PA to. She was terrified of this guy.We went to the police etc but little they could do since it was out of jurisdiction, no evidence etc. I complained about this guy to one of my other business partners and within 36 hours, my job was being advertised, and the company was then deliberately folded to avoid making me any payment. I employed a law firm to represent me - they charged me £10k to attend one meeting, and £5k for a letter, which was a cut and paste of a letter sent on behalf of my daughter for which we settled recently for £650. In total they have charged about £40k for work which entails a few e mails, one meeting as described previously and another meeting at their offices, together with a few letters, none of which actually achieved anything. I then had to act as a litigant in person to win an ET and control of the company liquidation. For all of this time I have been unemployed. I have paid over about £15k in fees already, and they are pursuing me for the rest. They gave me a S36 offer to settle for £12k within 7 days, but I can't even do this within 7m - they are aware that I have no income. Today, I received a stat red payment for £4K and transferred it into their account together with a letter offering another £2k pcm for 4m. The court date is 28th July. This will leave me with hardly anything to live on per month. They have rung me saying that the offer has expired and that they want £18k now to include costs of £7k. Throughout this time, they have been bullying and threatening, and have told me that they are to proceed with court and disclosures so that the fees will be even higher. Nothing seems to satisfy them, and I feel that hey have put more effort into getting fees out of me than they did in representing me. I accept that litigation doesn't have to be successful in order to be fee paying but feel that their fees have been excessive all along. I have been charged for compiling bills, admin and also 3.5hrs of partner time on one letter who I didn't even know.
Any suggestions as to what I can do? On top of everything else, I am now becoming seriously depressed about the whole matter
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Have you had a detailed work printout please? Have you ask for details of what work has been done?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

sorry, was having internet problems. Yes, I have had a full print out of what they have charged, but the hours taken seem excessive. I am used to dealing with law firms since I have been involved in many property deals, but £10k for a meeting which took one hour ( I did the majority of the talking) , about 4 hrs of travelling and about 1hr of prep seems excessive.

You have a right to have the costs assessed by the court. You should contact the solicitors firm and say you want to do this.
The matter will be listed at court and a judge will assess the costs. They will see what has been spent on each specific piece of work and how long. The court can allow or reduce the time and charge.
So ask the solicitor and say you want a detailed costs hearing.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Since they charge such exorbitant fees, and they say that they have already clocked up another £2k in court prep work this week, I am concerned that I will have an additional £10k+ in fees to pay when it gets to court? They are using the threat of additional costs as a incentive to try and get me to pay the £18k now rather than the £12k now - neither of which was realistic. They are also saying that they will win the case and then instruct bailiffs - on top of what we have been through already, it is starting to make me ill. Can I complain to the Law Society about their overcharging and behaviour?

They can't say they will win - they dont know that.
Yes you can complain to the Law Society and the SRA about overcharging.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you - what does SRA stand for?

Solicitors Regulatory Authority:
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.