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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10953
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I inquired about using a solicitor from Shoosmiths and expressed

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I inquired about using a solicitor from Shoosmiths and expressed the interest in using them. I sent them all the relevant documents to do with the property in preparation. The solicitor said that they could not start without payment in advanced that I have in one of the emails. At this time, and without receiving, signing or paying for the fees I found another solicitor that I proceeded with.
As soon as I received the engagement letter, which was much later on, I informed them that I did not want to proceed with them and that I had chosen another firm. In which they responded saying they had already started the work despite the fact I hadn't paid or signed the engagement letter.
They are now saying that I said they should proceed verbally and asking for over £1k.
Please can you advise? I feel like they are using scare tactics saying they'll take me to court if I don't pay.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Am I liable to pay? There is nowhere written me asking to proceed. I expressed interest and sent documents in preparation but wasn't expecting them to start until terms of engagement were received signed and paid.
1. This is high-handed behaviour from Shoosmiths. I would advise you to formally write to the Legal Ombudsman and make a complaint about the behaviour of Shoosmiths as it is unprofessional behaviour to seek to coerce you into becoming their client. Here is a link to the Law Society page which sets out how to make a complaint about a solicitor Essentially seeking to raise an invoice of £1k when you didn't formally engage them is unprofessional conduct and you should ensure they don't get to sue you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also never received anything further documents of work.
2. Be aware that in law, you don't have an obligation to make payment until such times as there is a concluded agreement to engage Shoosmiths. This was also clear in their approach whereby they sent you a letter of engagement to sign. Now seeking to charge you for work you didn't agree to is not proper professional practice.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So do you think I should go to court? Will I have to pay for a solicitor?
3. So, you should formally write to Shoosmiths and state you will be making a complaint about their professional behaviour. If they don't re-consider, then make the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
4. Please Rate the Answer as unless you Rate the Answer your Expert will receive no payment for answering your Question.
5. There is no need to go to court. Use the free Legal Ombudsman process. This will avoid needing to hire a solicitor and you can do it yourself.
Buachaill and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks much appreciated