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Divorce lawyer and huge, huge fees

(11 Posts)
lifeafterwork Sat 06-Dec-14 20:21:26

My friend has been using a London firm called Camilla Baldwin and has been hit by astronomical fees even though the firm has done very little apart from exchange a few letters. Far more than I paid when I went through a similar thing. My friend doesn't send lots of emails to the lawyer, barely chats and is writing her own letters i.e. is not naive about costs and running them up unnecessarily. The bills are eye watering … Anyone know anything about this firm?

arlagirl Sat 06-Dec-14 20:23:43

What is astronomical?

Greengrow Sat 06-Dec-14 20:28:56

We need more details. They should have sent out a letter of engagement at the start which set out the hourly rate. So if it is say £500 an hour and they spent 10 hours on letters that would be £5k plus VAT. That would not be wrong. Plenty of people rack up £200k+ in legal fees on divorce if there is a lot of money at stake. If there is not much at stake then large fees are not worth incurring.

Also if an expensive lawyer gets you a small fortune their charges may well be worth while compared to someone cheap who might be useless.

Your friend needs to get out the letter of engagement and look at any cost estimates given.

What is anyone worth? Whey am I worth in an hour what the weekly minimum wage is? It's all supply and demand unless you are in a communist state.

lifeafterwork Sat 06-Dec-14 20:45:44

But if someone is just loading on fees unfairly, it's not on.

I don't want to say specific amounts as I don't want to iD my friend should this law firm read this post ever. I'm very aware of "you get what your pay for", "supply and demand " etc but if you've barely spoke to your lawyer in a month and not asked them to do anything that month and they drop an 8k bill for 'thinking time' (the fruits of which they haven't shared!) they're just trying to pay for their plush offices in my view. I only posted as I was interested to hear if anyone had direct experience of this particular firm as my friend is likely to make a complaint ....

And sadly there are not vast amounts of money involved. I have used 2 leading west end firms myself in the last 2 year, and never have I seen bill loading like this. sad

babybarrister Sat 06-Dec-14 21:22:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babybarrister Sat 06-Dec-14 21:28:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lifeafterwork Sat 06-Dec-14 21:38:54

I have found that a lot of London law firms say they deal with " high net worth" individuals because they want to attract them. But if you go in and say what your budget is , say what your worth is and you get monthly 15k, and 10 k bills etc when you are doing most of the work .... it's taking the proverbial. My friend was recommended by someone who happened to know someone at this firm and when she met them they gave a very heavy sell, ... I can't specify details because I dont want to ID her ... new to this so don't know how to PM you?

babybarrister Sat 06-Dec-14 21:43:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lifeafterwork Sat 06-Dec-14 22:18:05

That's just what is happening. I'll try and private message you - thank you

Meloria Sun 28-Dec-14 10:50:38

Grayfords is a very good firm. My sister moved there from a commercial firm with a divorce department. her bill came down almost 50% overnight (she chose the commercial firm as they were dealing with her business). They are very central too so very handy if you need to see someone at short notice like she did. I think they only do divorces and stuff involving kids, no tax or investment advice.

CalicoBlue Sun 28-Dec-14 13:42:50

She can ask for an itemised bill. This is what my solicitor gave me for my divorce.

What did drive the price up was the time my solicitor spent reading all the nonsense emails and letters from my husbands solicitors. To the extent that I told them not to respond to any more.

If she does feel that she has been over charged then if she does not get any joy querying it she can go to the Law Society and ask them to look into it.

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