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Solicitor refusing to pay out

(9 Posts)
rockkit11 Mon 11-Aug-14 00:58:39

I am having issues with a UK solicitor regarding inheritance funds.

My siblings and I do not get on and haven't spoken since the death of my mother last march. My siblings employed a solicitor (a friend of my brothers) of Birmingham to gain probate and deal with my late mothers affairs.

I live in NZ so used a solicitor over here as a go between for all parties. I refused to give up my executor rights despite being requested 9 times by the solicitor and threats from my brother that I would never see a penny as I had chosen to leave the country. Probate was granted and everything was sold etc.My brother and sister were paid out at the beginning of July. However when my share of the inheritance did not arrive so my solicitor asked their solicitor for an update of when they should arrive.

She claimed that she had sent them several weeks ago (15 July) and would and to chase this up with the bank as the money was now "missing". Since then she has refused to answer any phone messages or emails from either me or my solicitor.

My NZ solicitor says she can do nothing more and the legal ombudsman say because I did not employ her they can do nothing either.
What can I do??

[names removed by MNHQ]

VanitasVanitatum Mon 11-Aug-14 01:04:16

Take her and the firm to court. They owe you a debt.

worridmum Mon 11-Aug-14 03:27:02

I second Vanitas sentiments as if they had sent to cash off to the bank there would be a paper trail (aka bankers draft / transfer of money statement sorry forgot exact name for solicetor moving inherentance) so would easily be seen if they had done so (if they have not got the records you can use that as gross incompetance and more likely to win a case but sadly you would need to hire a UK lawyer as I am sure that New Zealand has different laws to the UK (as laws vairy greatly between england and scotland etc) so to achive the best outcome that would be my approch to sorting it.

if it does go to court you are most likely going to win unless they can cartigotry prove that its the banks fault why the money hasnt arrived (doubtful but banks do mess up sometimes)

But firstly employ a UK lawyer to write a legal letter to Sarah dwight informing them if the money does not turn up you will be taking them to court and the legal ombudsman should be chasing it up as it would fall under the malprctice the lie like that and you would be disbarred if found guilty of that (I dont know why they were saying they cant do anything we took a solicoter to court who fucked up our house purchise transaction that we did not employ but they got involed as it brought the legal stuff into disrupt or something

Crutchlow35 Mon 11-Aug-14 18:53:12

Her bank records should be in place to,prove what was done and when and the bank should be able to recall it. Speak to the law society. They have a complains section that will help.

Seabright Mon 11-Aug-14 22:08:28

Write to the senior partner of her practice (pm me if you need help finding out who it is) and if you get no joy, the Soliciotr s Regulation Authority should be your next step.

Did you/your solicitor give bank details to which the funds should have been sent? Is it possible you siblings have given her "your" bank details, that aren't actually yours at all?

Seabright Mon 11-Aug-14 22:12:45

OK, just checked, she's a sole practitioner, so no senior partner. SRA would be my next step

poshfrock Tue 12-Aug-14 13:23:13

I'm a probate lawyer and often have to send payments to beneficiaries living overseas.
The first thing to check is whether she had the correct bank information. To make an overseas payment from the UK I would need the following:
Your name exactly as it is shown on your account
Name and full street address of your bank
International Bank Account Number
Swift Code

If you personally have not provided her with these details then there is a good chance that the payment has gone astray in the banking system. For this reason I always make a test payment first of about £ 100 to check that I have all the right details particularly if the sums involved are large.
This is still no excuse for her not returning your calls and emails though. And if you are an executor then you ARE her client and she should have sent you an engagement letter which outlines her complaints procedure amongst other things.
Were you party to the application for the grant of probate? You should have been if you have not renounced your executorship which you say you have not.
If you make a complaint it should be via the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Greengrow Tue 12-Aug-14 13:57:58

I paid money to Panama earlier this year. The recipient's account had been closed. It took a lot of calls and faxes (yes fax!) to get to the right bit of Nat West doing international transfers to get the funds to bounce back and then be sent to the right new account of the recipient. Even when the sum was properly sent and expedited with lots of additional charges to speed it through it took 2 weeks+ so do not assume the worst here (and perhaps it was not fair to name the lawyer as that could be libelous).

If you want me (UK solicitor) to email SD just contact me via mumsnet email and I can email SD to get what details will be needed to trace the payment. You need a photocopy from her of the instructions to your bank. You need the name the bank although as she was the sender she will be the one needing to contact her bank about where the money is.

There is a big problem if money is sent to the wrong account. I have a client who accidentally paid a random Santander customer rather than their customer. The customer is refusing to return the sum (it is not huge but a few thousand) and Santander will not disclose for data protection reasons who the customer is who has in effect stolen our money.

Anyway the bottom line in your case is that the solicitor needs to find out where the money went and retrieve it. If the details were not any other customer and do not exist- wrong digit etc then the money should bounce back but it might well take the bank a few weeks if my experience with Nat West is anything to go by.

poshfrock Tue 12-Aug-14 16:59:01

Yes I've had a similar experience when sending a payment to the US. The account number was right but I had put the client's name using her initial and surname only. It took 2 weeks to come back and then I had to resend it using her full first name and surname. And the bank deducted charges both times.

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