challenging a legal bill
If you feel for any reason that you have been overcharged while paying for a lawyer, look no further. Our expert network of civil litigation lawyers can ensure you succeed if you want to challenge your bill.
Contents For Challenging a Legal Bill
Challenging a legal bill
Lawyers’ fees often lead to disputes between their clients. It is not uncommon for certain lawyers to charge you a low price, and then over time suddenly add on expensive charges without informing or explaining why. However, you must understand there a specific legal requirement which regulates lawyers when billing clients, which protect your financial standing.
You should know…
1. If you have any doubts or suspicions that a lawyer has overcharged, you have a limited timeframe to challenge your lawyer’s bill.
2. Seeking legal advice in the early stage of a dispute can lead to success as every case has its problems that need careful consideration.
The 3 most common reasons your lawyers bill has surpassed the original estimate
Three most common reasons to why your bill is higher than the original estimate
There are various reasons to why a lawyer’s bill can increase and surpass the original estimate. These include factors like a lack of experience, professional negligence, unforeseeable circumstances (such as additional work), dishonesty and lack of communication. The most common cases our partner solicitors come across are:
- Further work has been required
- Professional Negligence
One of the most common reasons why a legal bill surpasses the original quote is because further work has been required. Further work entails work which was not originally foreseeable at the start of the case but has been required at a later date. This usually occurs because the legal situation has developed or circumstances have changed in the case.
An example of further work being required could be that a lawyer has needed to acquire land registry documents or specific reports. Originally, these costings may not have been foreseeable by the lawyer and therefore have been added on to the bill.
Professional negligence is another common reason why your bill may exceed the original estimate. These types of claims occur when a lawyer fails to perform their job to the standards which are reasonably expected by them, resulting in a client suffering damage, loss and money.
The most common reasons a solicitor can be negligent include:
– Providing advice to why you while also acting for another party who has a conflict of interest with you.
– Missing court deadlines, resulting in you being able to pursue a claim.
– Failing to provide advice on all elements of your matter, for example failing to advise on the tax consequences of a transaction.
It should be noted, professional negligence is a common fault of internal procedures rather than a mistake of law.
What can I do if my previous lawyer has charged to much?
If you conclude that you want to challenge your lawyer’s bill, you are going to need to get everything right from the get-go.
The first strategic step to assess if you have been overcharged is to seek a lawyer who can write a request to your previous lawyer which requires them to send a full breakdown of the work involved and your rights to contest the bill. This is also referred to as requesting for a ‘statement of account’, a ‘full narrative’ or a ‘statutory bill’. This step is favourable as it may save you time and money if the outcome is successful.
Key Benefits of Using a lawyer to challenge your previous lawyers bill
1. Formal Communication
A lawyer can assist you by writing to your previous lawyer to request your file which includes any invoices, and a full breakdown of the financial costs.
Prepare and submit your file for a costs draftsman to review.
3. Costs Draftsman
Identify a costs draftsman on your behalf, instruct them to look for unfair additional work and unjust, or unreasonable fees.
4. Legal Ombudsman
A lawyer can write to the legal ombudsman with our findings, and additionally request a reduction of costs.
5. Creating Applications
Writing an application to the court can be difficult; however, using a lawyer can resolve this as they can make an application to the court on your behalf and provide support for you attending court.
How LGBT Lawyers Can Help you challenge your previous bill
By using a lawyer to challenge your previous legal bill will ensure you save time, money, and stress. It can be a problematic situation when challenging a previous bill, and using a lawyer will increase your chance of success.
It can be complicated to assess and differentiate between unfair additional work and unjust. However, a lawyer can source a costs drafter to ensure you can identify if any costs have been added on unnecessarily.
Furthermore, if you want to take a lawyer to court over a previous bill, you must ensure you have a strong case. Otherwise, it could lead to legal expenses surpassing the amount you have been overcharged. A lawyer can advise you on what to do, how strong your case is and represent you if you decide to settle in court.
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