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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13858
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I have been asked to fill out and sign form EX160A by my

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I have been asked to fill out and sign form EX160A by my paralegal as part of my personal injuries claim. I do not need help with my expenses as my car insurance covers these, and I am not eligible for help as I have assets over £16,000, However I need to sign the form so she will be able to confirm if the court fee included in my proceedings can be reduced. "If this process is excluded the other side insurer may dispute that all necessary checks in relation to court fees has not been conducted,as such they may dispute this matter at a later date." I cannot understand why there may be a dispute and how it affects my case. In order to sign form EX160A I have to sign the Declaration and statement of truth at the end, which I am unable to do as I do not believe that my financial circumstances mean that I may be entitled to help with fees. To do so would be a lie. Without the form my paralegal has said she cannot request a court hearing and will have to close my case after almost two years since the accident when I was hit by, a tractor with spikes out exiting a field on a blind corner on a narrow country road.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I have only spoken to the paralegal and my insurance company about the situation . I live in England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: This case has been ongoing since August 2019. The tractor owner will not move from his stance that I came round the corner to quickly on the wrong side of the road which is 4 metres wide. I was driving for our GP Help Scheme at the time so although I always aim to drive carefully and courteously I would have been extra aware of my responsibility. However despite attempts at mediation I am told the only chance of compensation is by going to court a course I would have rather not had to take.
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 took the solicitor suggested by my Insurance company as I did not realise the options which were open to me, as over years of driving I have never had an accident before so it was a very traumatic event and as one is ignorant about such events and legal matters you take what you think at the time is helpful supportive advice. This has not turned out to be the case and as time has gone on I have regretted the course I have followed.I did try to change my solicitor a while ago but was told my case had gone on too far. I have the impression that there are other parties involved in hoping for payments. I hope you will understand my frankness but it is so difficult to get honest answers to ones questions. A solicitor has not been involved at any stage as far as I know and I have now had two paralegals working on my claim as the first one left the firm before Christmas.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

The EX160 form is a fee exemption, if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits. If you do not sign it, the law firm will have to pay the court fees. It sounds like the lawyer is arguing the other party may dispute their costs entitlement at the conclusion of the claim. If you do not sign it, you also risk breaching your retainer with the law firm meaning they may stop acting for you and look to you for payment of their charges to date. So that is a big risk to you for obvious reasons.

It does seem strange to ask you to sign it if you can evidence you have the savings - as it would mean you wouldn't qualify for the fee remission in any event. You may need to consider a complaint to the law firm, and if that doesn't resolve this, go to the Legal Ombudsman to ask them to help : https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/information-centre/consumer-resources/bringing-a-complaint-to-us/

If you sign a statement of truth knowing the contents of the form to be false then you could be held in contempt of court, so perhaps run that past the paralegal. You need to speak to their supervisor in my view.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
its outcome. I think I need to ask to discuss the matter with my paralegals supervisor. I have expressed concerns over the months and have been surprised they haven't been picked up. I have also requested a copy of the solicitors complaints procedure with the possibility of taking my concerns to the ombudsman. Your replies have come through so I will read them and be in touch again if there are other queries as I need to break off for a while. Thanks Jill

Hi Jill, thanks - best of luck with it.
Jim

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