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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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4 years ago I red a law firm to prepare a court case. They

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4 years ago I hired a law firm to prepare a court case. They prepared all the files and after paying them in full I decided to change law firm.
Shorttly before going to court, the claimants requested that my lawyers disclose why some documents had been redacted (the number of concerned documents was 13, out of 13 cartons of documents).
We needed to get this info from the previous lawyers who provided us with the info and subsequently sent an invoice of £1,500 for the work allegedly carried out. We did not pay.
We now need the files in these lawyers hands and they will not release them until we settle the open invoice.
I find it very curious that we are asked to pay for what I would consider improper or inadequate handover of files but we need the files as a matter of urgency as we are about to file a claim.
Do I have to pay?

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Did you sign terms and conditions with this older law firm?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did but do not have a copy anymore. Should be the standard t&c for a city-based firm

In short they were negligent, is that right?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i would have used the word sloppy on this occasion... they generated over £200k of fees, prepared all the disclosure documents for trial but ask us to pay a 2nd time for extra work caused by their sloppiness.
They were fully aware of the time pressure the new law firm was under in order to provide the info on the redacted docs to the court

Ok, then you dont have to pay.

Why should you when they didnt do the proper work or disclose the correct files and documents.

If you refuse to pay they could try and take you to Court.

Given the value it would be a small claim and you could explain to the Judge how sloppy they were.

If you got a letter from your current Solicitor about the state of the file that may also help you if it went that far.

But do you have to pay given the shoddy work - no

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am convinced I do not have to pay. However they will not release the files to my new law firm if i do not settle the bill, a bit of a blackmail btw. Hence my decision to ask the question on this forum: on what legal grounds can I refuse payment and request/enforce prompt transfer of files?

I agree. Breach of contract - they failed to act with all reasonable skill and care.

Does that clarify? Alex

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