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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18742
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My solicitor has told me that I have an excellent case and

Customer Question

My solicitor has told me that I have an excellent case and has said I have 80% chance of winning . My solicitor instructed counsel, who has also confirmed that I have an excellent case. I am the defendant. My parents wills left me a commercial property. They actually transferred the property to me in 2017, to ensure that I get it. My brother has his own law firm and they wanted to try and stop him from preventing me getting the property. My father died July 20, and my brother now has complete control of my mother. I have not been allowed any access to her. It is him t hat is really bringing the case, with my 94 year old mother as the claimant. I cannot afford to continue with the case due to the costs estimate of around £70K to go to trial, nor could I afford to pay my brothers costs given there is always an element of risk. I am now having to consider transferring the property back to my mother (brother will take it) because I cannot afford the costs. Is there any funding option that could allow me to continue?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Manchester, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Irwin Mitchell are my solicitors, my brother has issued the claim and I have until 25 May to either concede or put in my defence
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have paid for a barrister to look at the case, but do not have their written opinion. I had to tell my solicitor to pause any work because I do not have the funds.
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

your father left you the commercial property and not your brother -

and is your mother mentally capable of knowing what is happening?

what exactly is this commercial property? worth?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The property was being left to me in both of my parents (mirror) wills. They both actually transferred it to me in 2017. My father died July 20. My brother, apart from having his own law firm, also has 2 care homes. Since my father's death, he has supplied my mother with 24/7 carers in order for her to remain in her own home. He has had 2 mental capacity assessments done, and my mother has capacity. However, she has not been allowed any contact with me, (or my children, or her 77 year old brother), and my brother has threatened me with an injuction if I attempt to see my mother. Her phone is either disconnected or her 'carer' hangs up the phone. My mother is being used by my brother who has told her that she needs to get the property back to pay him for his care fees. When my parents transferred the property to me in 2017, it was agreed that I would allow them to continue to receive the rent and that my brother's firm would continue to manage the property. Mainly so that he would not find out. Once my brother started sending me threatening letters from his firm, I have dealt directly with the tenant who has started to pay rent direct to me, since Jan 21. I have offered to agree to pay my mother the rent I receive, but my brother wants the property returning. He has also said that he has made a new will for my mother. My parent's last wills (2014) were made by another firm of solicitors so that my brother was not aware of their contents. The property, currently trading as a Kosher restaurant and take away is worth around £275K- £375K.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

what exactly is your brother claiming for?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
He is claiming the property be transferred back. The particulars of claim are issued in the name of my mother and my brother on behalf of my dad’s estate. I am an executor of my dad’s estate but my brother has excluded me from the grant of probate. His firm is dealing with my dad’s probate. He alleges that they wrote to me, but it’s a lie. It’s all a massive conflict of interest.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

It’s interesting that the solicitors says that you have an 80% chance of winning but then doesn’t want to continue on a no win no fee basis.

Armed with 80% chance of winning, you may get a solicitor to deal with it on a no win no fee basis and if the barrister will give 80% chance of winning, then the solicitor can obtain After the Event insurance that would pay the legal costs in the event that your defence is not successful.

The fact that the property was transferred to you 4 years ago works in your favour unless your brother is alleging that the transfer was fraudulent or that you in some way influenced or coerced yourself to get the property.

Do you have any specific questions I help with?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Irwin Mitchell do not offer no win no fee funding. Nor have they suggested an insurer. Can you advise of a solicitor and / or insurer who could assist?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I would be happy to agree to selling the property to cover an agreed fee percentage, and for a charge to be registered pending a sale
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

I thought that may be the case.  Whilst they are a very well respected solicitors, they are extremely large and obviously need to get the freezing so they will not speculate.  You will probably need to find a smaller firm.

I’m afraid that we are specifically not allowed to take instructions from here.

If the site were to be a source of potential clients, we would no longer be independent because we would have an interest in pursuing litigation.  With no interest in pursuing litigation, we can be really objective with our view is to whether something has a good chance or a limited chance of success.

In any event, for logistical reasons you would be better using a local solicitor .

You can search the Law Society website by postcode and specialism.  There is a section “find a solicitor” and you can also search by firm name and individual names if you know them.

I wouldn’t give up until you had spoken to about 30