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AIBU to think my solicitor is blackmailing me?? Help me PLZ plz help!!!

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Pandamanda3 Tue 20-Dec-16 19:17:53

Aibu??? To think my solicitor is blackmailing me? Help PLZ help me!

Ok so very long story apologise, here is a little history, Im recently divorced. Ex is a narc and left via police for dv.
He's been very difficult through out the whole thing.
To date Iv given my solicitor £13,000 but still owe 3k.
Ex left us with huge debts, I have 2 older dc's one is disabled and I too suffer badly with my health.
I run a small (micro) shop online which isn't a big earner by now means.

When we reached the point of a final settlement we both signed an order to agree all the financials.
I'm to take 70% of capital he gets 30%
It was put in form e and right throughout process the outstanding on my mortgage was x amount so clearly stated to what capital I would gain, he maintained throughout he's paid the mortgage for the year since he left up to the date till the order was agreed. He swore an oath on all forms to say capital is x
However I now find out he lied he didn't pay the mortgage he used the collateral paid already instead and so now the capital is 10k down.
He's not complied with any of the order to date and has been a bloody nightmare.

Now it was agreed my outstanding fees would be secured against my share of house, so last week he finally sent all forms back minus the one to offset my fees? He has since refused to agree and so now my solicitor wants me to raise 6k overnight, she had previously said all in writing if I could pay the new costs to take him back to court for failing the order she would represent me. She then wrote to say no they decided they won't and demand 6k.
She did this last Christmas Eve I was beside myself and my dad & myself got the money together and paid as she said if I didn't she wouldn't complete the legal documents due at that time.
So we are another year on and she has said that she will not represent me nor has she completed the registration needed at land reg to secure my share? So she wrote again unless you pay a substantial amount off costs the above won't be done.

So I somehow managed to scrap 3k together off every credit card I had I'm so in debt I could jump off a bridge, Iv sold everything I own and am drowning with interest.
But felt somehow relieved thinking now she will help me.

Received an email today to say she's yet again gone back on her word -my firm have decided we won't be representing or you doing no more work!!! I am grateful for the payment and yes it is substantial but we want to know when you will pay the final 3?

I feel like Iv a noose around my neck, she said she'd help if I substantially reduced bill and I did i halved it which she agrees is substantial. But now I am helpless as she's broke the promise again. It's not my fault he's gone back on his word, and I can't change it unless I go to court.
I couldn't do it alone as I'm suffering badly with nerves and my health.

Can anybody help tell me what to do? Can she do this and do you agree it's blackmail or is it just me?

Thank you to anybody who may have some advise.

AgentProvocateur Tue 20-Dec-16 19:30:40

It's pretty standard for professionals not to undertake any more work until outstanding bills are paid.

Your situation sounds very hard. I do sympathise, but I don't know what to suggest that would help you. Sorry.

haveyourselfamerry Tue 20-Dec-16 19:38:13

No it isn't blackmail. Her firm may be short of money. I am not sure if they have a right to cease to act. Don't ask mumsnet. Speak to the solicitors regulation authority (SRA). Send the correspondence rather than telling the story as you understand it. Also send the "client care" letter and any terms and conditions that you signed.
Good luck.

FooFighter99 Tue 20-Dec-16 19:39:18

The only thing I can suggest is speak to Citizens Advice and see what they say. I have no experience with solicitors so I'm sorry I can't be of more help. I hope you get sorted

Pandamanda3 Tue 20-Dec-16 19:47:36

Thank you for your help and advise I appreciate it.
It's such an awful situation I just want it to end, I think as its Christmas too I wonder how people sleep at night knowing what we've been through. But it doesn't seem to affect them it's money money money that's all that really matters.
But then im a softy and couldn't do it to anyone job or not.
Thanks again x

Cherrysoup Tue 20-Dec-16 19:52:22

Gather all the emails and letters, keep copies, speak to the Citizens advice bureau and the ombudsman. If you are selling the house, she will need to wait. I think she is being very u fair. I'd want a detailed break down of costs to justify her fees, they seem extremely steep. Hope you get this sorted, it sounds very stressful.

Stickerrocks Tue 20-Dec-16 19:55:42

I Don't wish to sound harsh, but your solicitor isn't blackmailing you, she is simply refusing to do any more work if there is little prospect of being paid. It's a commercial arrangement, not a charity and she will have other clients who can pay who need to make priority. If someone worked in a supermarket and knew that they were unlikely to get paid at the end of the week, would they bother going to work?

FlissMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Dec-16 20:12:42

Hi Pandamanda3, we're sorry to hear how difficult things are for you right now. Although Mumsnet can be a useful source of support, we would always advise people seek help in real life.

We'll move this thread into legal matters for you too which, we hope, may help.


haveyourselfamerry Tue 20-Dec-16 20:15:38

eurochick Tue 20-Dec-16 20:25:11

I'm sorry you are having so much stress. It is standard for solicitors to stop acting if they haven't been paid. However, going back on an agreement is not. So in this instance I would be inclined to speak to someone more senior at the firm. Their details should be in the engagement letter. Good luck.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 20-Dec-16 20:39:44

Agree with euro

QueenLizIII Tue 20-Dec-16 20:45:14

Would you work for free OP? Would anyone?

Many firms now refuse to do any work unless there is money on account. Because in the past it has been a problem, if you do the work and go over budget then getting them to pay post work being done is even harder.

You can dispute the level of your bill, complain to the firm, once you have done that if you're not happy you can the legal ombudsman, SRA with a complaint.

But if it really is just a case of no money on account you dont have a valid complaint or any redress.

Pandamanda3 Tue 20-Dec-16 20:54:31

Thanks guys and thanks MN hq
I completly understand about the wanting to be paid & if I hadn't have paid anything then ok yes Id see her point but I have paid £13,000 for nothing as my order is useless as I can't afford to enforce it if you get me.
Plus she known since summer how bad my finances have got and happily carried on she just kept saying about putting fees on my share.
It's not me who has gone back on it but the ex and I feel that she is suddenly blaming me.

It's horrible I can't explain how draining it all is, plus the fear and constant threats from him.
He's laughing because he's got off Scott free which wouldn't worry me but my share isn't even secured legally so to speak
She told me it was
Then in another email well not quite as we waited to get the form signed and thought we'd do it at the same time, however no he hasn't agreed were not doing it!
But for 13k Id expect shed finish what she promised.
How can you say one thing and then 2 days later now with a further 3k in her account say no actually we changed our mind.
I don't know if I should be more scared of her or him.
Thanks again I'll try the link given and try speaking to her partners x

Stickerrocks Tue 20-Dec-16 21:17:30

Read the engagement letter carefully & match the work done from the invoices against the work specified in the letter. Then go back to the firm & discuss it rationally. Good luck.

QueenLizIII Wed 21-Dec-16 01:19:43

It sounds ( from the limited information given) that you're having to go back to court because your ex hasnt complied with the order. So you need further input from the court.

It isnt your fault that your ex hasnt complied with an order but it isnt your solicitors either. If you need to go back to court your solicitor needs to be paid to do that work even if your ex is causing this.

If your ex is messing around requiring you to keep going back to court to sort it out you still need to pay them.

Accusing a solicitor of blackmail is a very very serious allegation. If you make a complaint along those lines they will likely tell you go elsewhere as the relationship has broken down. If you dont trust them.then you shouldnt instruct them any more. I would approach it with the first instanceof explaining how this money has been spent and how you still owe more.

Unsurechicken Wed 21-Dec-16 01:27:16

You can apply to the court for costs for your legal fees so i really would do that. Its a simple form and you submit it with your bundle for the next court hearing.

Is there a reason you cant self rep?

GlobalTechIndustries Wed 21-Dec-16 02:02:40

It does appear based on what you have written that they say one thing then do another each time and it would give the impression of being untrustworthy.

Suzietwo Wed 21-Dec-16 07:44:32

They may have been hoping you didn't come up with the money so they didn't have to act any more

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