Spiralling Solicitors Costs...
Posted on 4th February 2022
£41.66, I tried to call you but you didn't answer. £683, I wrote a letter...and posted it!!
Tomasz wants to see his son. His marriage has broken down and got a little acrimonious, so he believes his only option is to consult solicitors.
Tomasz attends a free 30 minute consultation with the solicitors to explore his situation.
The solicitors get him to fill in various client detail capture forms, they copy his driving licence and they go through their terms of business and ask him to sign a confirmation that he accepts them. Finally, they ask him to lodge £1000 with them which he will be required to top up each time the fund falls below £250.
At the end of the free consultation, Tomasz leaves having given no details about his case. The solicitor, who was actually an administrator, does not even ask his son's name.
An appointment is booked for Tomasz to meet a solicitor and discuss his case at a cost of £250.
Tomasz has topped up the fund twice so far, £3000 spent. He contacted me as an alternative because the solicitor is quite expensive...
We met yesterday for about an hour. He showed me the fees account from the solicitor. They had explained to him that his client rate is £250 per hour so everything they do is an increment of that rate.
The account included:
4 x £41.66 - occasions where they had attempted to call him but he had not answered, 10 minutes allocated per attempt.
1 x £683 - a letter written to Tomasz' estranged partner telling her they had been appointed to represent him and would be taking the matter to family court.
1 x £750 - the cost of completing the C100 which is a form applying to court to open a child arrangement case. This cost excludes the court fees. The completion time is an hour or so with amendments.
5 x £83.33 - 15 minute telephone calls to Tomasz to discuss the case.
Tomasz' first hearing in court is in the middle of March, the solicitor has let him know that they will be sending a barrister to represent him at a cost of £1800. The hearing is scheduled to last 30 minutes.
Tomasz has now written to his solicitor stating he no longer needs their services. Tomasz is now a client of McKenzie Picave. He understands there is no role for a solicitor to play in family court and categorically no role for a barrister to play.
I have explained our policy to Tomasz regarding failed attempts to reach him by telephone. I said (and I was fairly stern);
"in the event that I ring you and you can't take the call, I am going to leave a message and then wait until you ring me back. The cost for that failed call will be one bag of Maltesers. Do you understand?"
I entirely appreciate we all have to make a living. I entirely disagree with preying on the vulnerable and profiteering from their distress.
Anyone else had a costly but disappointing experience with the professional services industry?
Consider a trip to our fees page above, and you will understand how these people take advantage.
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