High Court Notice of Motion for unpaid fees to a solicitor

Discussion in 'Askaboutlaw' started by mickeyg, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. mickeyg

    mickeyg Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    299
    I am looking for some advice. I have received a notice that an Application is being made in the High Court for judgment against me in amount €8000. The €8000 is for unpaid legal fees. i have made an offer of approx half of that which has been rejected and and obviously this is the next step. I genuinely have no money and ironically my current work contract expires at the end of the month. I intend appearing myself as I cannot afford the legal fees. The fee is totally exhorbitant and if i get the chance I will be stating that too.
    Question - is it ok to represent myself and do I disadvantage myself by not having legal representation??
     
  2. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    313
    Will taxation of costs not involve additional costs for that particular process ?

    Would there be any merit in OP asking a legal costs accountant to review the detailed account from the solicitor to see if the figures look right ? They will also charge a fee but they can usually give you a fairly accurate view on whether or not the account looks reasonable or what would be reasonable.

    Above all OP do not ignore the proceedings as that will give the solicitors a walk over by default.
     
  3. demoivre

    demoivre Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,385
    Why is this a High court case when the amount is only €8k ? District courts can deal with cases up to €15k. Op if you genuinely cant afford to pay there is not much the creditor can do. Getting a judgement is one thing, enforcing it is another if the debtor has no income or no assets to attach.
     
  4. demoivre

    demoivre Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,385
    Duplicate.
     
  5. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,291
  6. mickeyg

    mickeyg Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    299
    Thanks for all replies.
    The solicitor's affidavit mentions that the period allowed for "referral for taxation - 1 year - has expired". i did have the bill looked at by a cost accountant friend of a friend who said
    it definitely would not stand up - the first line of the detailed bill is €2250 for "general instruction fee".
    I too find it incredulous that this case is going to the High Court for an amount of €8000 The original debt recovery case for which I hired the solicitor was for a total of €65,000 which
    was taken in the Circuit Court at a time when the monetary jurisdiction of the circuit Court was €38092. Go figure!!!
    As was mentioned a judgment would not be enforcable as I have no assets against which to attach it - i don't even have a PPR - I am renting a house.
     
    noproblem likes this.
  7. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,291
    A complaint can be made to the Law Society that a solicitor's bill is excessive at any time within 5 years of the date of the bill, whether or not the bill has been discharged. If the complaint is upheld, the solicitor will be required to waive or refund all or part of the bill.

    The €3k limit on compensation awards for inadequate professional services is irrelevant to a complaint to the Law Society about excessive fees.

    A solicitor cannot issue civil proceedings (or proceed with such proceedings if already issued) once notified of receipt of a complaint re excessive fees. There is no need to enter an appearance or make any representations to the Court as suggested.
     
  8. mickeyg

    mickeyg Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    299
    Thanks again to all! I am somewhat confused however. Sarenco suggests that I need not enter an appearance. However, my intention was to make an appearance, plead that I cannot afford legal
    representation and appeal the excessive bill. No doubt the solicitor's strategy is to frighten me into paying up by holding this in the high Court.
     
  9. mickeyg

    mickeyg Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    299
    Sarenco, are you saying that if I have notified the solicitor in writing (which i have on a number of occasions) that I have a serious problem with the (excessive) fees being charged that he cannot then
    proceed with the Motion against me for Judgment??
     
  10. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,291
    No. The notification of the making of a complaint must come from the Law Society to effectively bring a halt to proceedings before the Law Society has completed its investigation (unless on application by that solicitor, on notice to the Law Society, a court orders otherwise).

    The link that I posted above details the process you should follow to make a complaint - it's pretty straightforward.

    Remember that if you are unsuccessful in defending these proceedings you will almost certainly be liable for the other party's costs. In other words, you could make a bad situation far, far worse.
     
  11. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,291
    I assume the OP is not planning on that always being the case.



     
  12. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,291
    Toledo

    A judgment does not only "last" six years as suggested.

    I have no idea why you insist on offering such ill-informed, reckless advice. This is not a game.
     
  13. Gordon Gekko

    Gordon Gekko Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,693
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
    Very dubious advice alright. Dangerous in fact.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  14. Sarenco

    Sarenco Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,291
    Toledo

    You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that a judgment creditor has no avenues available to him to enforce a judgment if his debtor has no assets. Have you ever heard of an instalment order? Are you familiar with the powers that are available to enforce such an order?

    There is a risk-free statutory facility available to the OP to appropriately address his complaint. I sincerely hope he avails of that facility and ignores your irresponsible "advice".