Hello and thank you for your question. My name is Lisa. I am a property solicitor and would be happy to assist.
I understand that you completed on the acquisition of your flat in June and believed that you had settled all of your legal fees shortly thereafter. It seems that you have more recently received an additional bill for disbursements relating to Land Registry charges.
Of itself this is not entirely unusual - processing a Land Registry application often takes several months, and it may be that this is the reason that the final bill was 'delayed' - your solicitor may have been waiting for the application to have been processed before closing the file and invoicing you accordingly.
That said, the invoice should not have arrived 'out of the blue' - your solicitor should have kept you advised throughout the transaction as to costs. Did you have any information at the beginning of your transaction (when the solicitor was first instructed) or later during the course of your instructions as to what the likely level of these disbursements would be? If not, and if you feel that they have not kept you sufficiently informed on costs throughout your matter, you may wish to pursue a formal complaint.
To do so, in the first instance, you should put your complaint in writing to your solicitors, stating that you believe they have provided inadequate costs information in relation to your transaction. Your solicitors' firm will have a complaints resolution process that they must follow upon receipt of your complaint.
If this does not resolve matters satisfactorily, this sort of complaint is one that you may escalate to the Legal Ombudsman. They can be contacted by telephone on 0300(###) ###-####between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and will be able to discuss the matter further with you and talk you through escalating your complaint to them. It is important to note, however, that they will not consider your complaint until you have first exhausted the firm's own complaints procedure.
I hope that this assists. Please do reply below if you have any further questions or would like any aspect of my response clarified. If my comments are of assistance, I would be grateful if you would confirm by accepting and rating this response. This can be done by selecting one of the five stars located on the top right of the question page and enables me to gain credit for the time taken in responding to your query. Please note that rating the response will not close this question - you will still be able to post below with any further queries or comments.