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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35045
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My divorce lawyer recommended I use Novitas to pay his fees.

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My divorce lawyer recommended I use Novitas to pay his fees. I used the same firm of solicitors for the conveyancing of my FMH. I asked several times for a completion statement but never got one. All went through smoothly. However, several months later I had a call from Novitas saying that they had never received payment. It transpired that the solicitor had forgotten to pay them. I have since invested my settlement and cannot raise the money to pay them. Is my solicitor liable in any way or am I stuck with this huge debt?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstIs it the bill for the conveyancing or for the divorce as well that is outstanding?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's for the divorce. The conveyancing fee and various other payments were made out of the settlement before I received the balance.
How much is involved (round figures)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
About £30000
When you looked at the amount you received did you not think that it was more than you expected?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The settlement was around £300000 and there were numerous payments that had to come out of my share before I received it. Bank, mortgage, conveyancing, business loans etc etc. And I had given my solicitor instruction to repay the Novitas loan from the proceeds of settlement before passing final payment on to me. So, no, I trusted that they had made all the payments correctly and that the amount I received was correct. Although asked several times - verbally and in writing - for a completion statement I did not receive one.
I can see that it would not have been possible to realise that the funds had not been paid I note that they have accepted that they are at fault.Where are the monies now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I used the money to buy a flat. I have tried to get a mortgage to pay off the loan but have been turned down.
What income do you have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello my net monthly income is about £1500. Although I own a property outright I have a default on my credit report so cannot get a mortgage.
My question is : having given my solicitor an irrevocable and unconditional instruction to repay the loan from the proceeds of the settlement before passing the remainder on to me, are they are liable as they failed to do so?
The problem is that they were certainly negligent and the offer they have made is not adequate BUT that does not absolve you from responsibility for the debt.If the debt had been to them then it would have been easier (and believe me they would not have forgotten it) but the debt was to a third party to whom you remain liableThe issue is what you can reasonable expect the firm to help bearing in mind their responsibility for the problem.personally I would ask for them to pay the debt and proffer you an interest free loan to repay the debt over a period of say five years - or if for alonger period then you would need to agree to a charge on your home.I appreciate that this is not necessarily the news you hoped for - do please ask if you need further informationClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That is a great suggestion and one I hadn't thought of. Thank you. Do you think the law firm would be allowed to do that? Perhaps I could ask the lender too?
Novitas will not be involved - they will not be interested.There is no reason why the firm should not do this - it is a commercial issue for them - better than you making a claim against their insurance!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I will give it a go!
You are welcome - good luck (and remember this is THEIR fault not yours)
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you