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Is it reasonable to expect solicitors to provide copies of documents like deeds or land registry documents?

(2 Posts)
cartoad Wed 18-Sep-13 22:28:28

Just wondering if I'm being unreasonable or the solicitors are...
If you have engaged some solicitors to do work for you - like registering land with the land registry, and making a deed to transfer 'power'/owernership from a retiring trustee to the 4 new trustees - would you expect them to provide copies of the work that they had done or would you expect them just to tell you that it has been done and take it on trust?

And if you do send out copies of legal documents - would you expect to send hard and/or soft copies? Would it matter if some or all of the people involved were not on email? And would you send out a bill and chase it, without sending out any documents to show that the work has been done, and continue to send out chasing letters for payment, despite being told that the bill will be paid as soon as the requested/promised documents are provided?

As you can probably tell, I'm a bit biased in all this - but I really don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting a copy of a legal document that I have signed that makes me and others responsible for something. Or land registry documents that prove ownership of land.

The money is there to pay them, we're not trying to get away with not paying them. But when I do contracting work, I wouldn't dream of invoicing anyone before I've sent out the report of the work and the company are happy with it. To me, this is the same thing. The cost of sending out the documents is factored into the cost of the project when it's initially priced up. But if I am being unreasonable in my expectations then I'll chalk it up to experience and make sure when dealing with solicitors in the future to ask up front about copies of documents and send the cheque in.

Thanks if you've made it this far!

78bunion Thu 19-Sep-13 11:06:40

It might depend on the area of law but if they were doing things like writing contracts for you or producing a will then they would do the contract, draft the will and then send their monthly bill so you would have seen the document. If they had not finished it and were charging each month for the work done I suppose it would be okay not to produce the finished product - if they were going to court for you and the case would take 2 years and they would be sending you bills every month even then you would expect they would have copied you in on correspondence and emails they were sending on the case so you would have a pretty good idea they had been doing work in that month.

So did you instruct them to draft the deed and they have sent you a bill before they have sent you the deed? Have they sent the deed to someone else in which case you could get a copy from that other person?

If you have signed one of these documents surely you have therefore seen it and know they produced it and kept a copy at your end before you sent it back to them?

In your industry you send a Report of the work done. Solicitors would not normally do something like that but they need to have done the work they are billing for unless payment in advance were agreed.

If there has been a registration at the land registry could you check the Register yourself to see if they really have done the registration yet?

If they have documents they could email in two seconds to you the result of which will mean their bill is paid surely anyone with sense would send those documents to you right away if they were your documents and you are the client?

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