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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Wrong Arm of the Law

Solicitors (for my non-UK readers, these are lawyers of the workaday, but still very well-off, kind, who handle home conveyancing and wills, rather than the people who represent you in court, who are called barristers) should of course be upright, honest and capable of keeping one's business to themselves.

As my will needs rewriting, I walked into an office in the local shooping centre and made an appointment. "You'ree lucky," I was told, "We have 10% off will-writing at the moment." As prices were from £85, this seemed to be quite a good deal.

On receipt of the first draft, I was informed that the cost would be over £100, so when I returned the draft for amendment, I asked for a breakdown. This bill duly announced that the cost was £85.50 including the 10% discount, plus VAT (Value Added Tax) at 20%. Mmmm.

Included in the pack there was also a document from somenone else's file, complete with her name and phone number.

Today I phoned her and told her how I came by her number. She was not pleased. What's more, she is being charged the "standard fee of £85" (no mention of discount). So apparently this company is dishonest, incompetent AND breaks confidentiality.

Think I'll go elsewhere. But hey, thanks guys for the draft, so I can present the completed article to the new firm.


Ruby said...

Whoa! Bummer, Val! Yes, you are wise to go somewhere else!

judith said...

This is terrible...I am lost for words..

Tess said...

Sounds like a bunch of crooks!

mauigirl said...

Yikes! Now that you know the contents of her will, maybe you can extort money from her relatives. Somehow, not sure how really, but I smell $$$ for you in this! :)

val said...

Sadly, Maui, the document wasn't her will, just some clerical notations :(

JoJo said...

Wow that's really uncool. Nothing like the ol' 'bait and switch'. Is there a UK version of our Bar Association where you can fill out a complaint?

vikeau said...

Jo-Jo that was my very question. First, regardless of the transaction, every legal representative (whether solictor, barrister or here in the States attorney) should have a retainer agreement, which sets out the price and scope of representation. It's a document that protects both the legal rep as well as the client. So, val you should report these disreputable folks to the licensing agancy for solicitors. Second, next firm you go to ask for a retainer. Outragous.

Eliza said...

Makes me think you'd have been better off just getting one of those forms from WHSmiths and doing it yourself

bobbybegood1 said...

Here in NY - especially Manhattan -I have heard of people tossing out other people's pertinent documents with info like SS#'s, birth dates, names, addresses, bank statements and account numbers on the side curb. Just a few months ago I heard that President Obama's personal information was found. People who are responsible for others' life info should be more careful. This kind of nonsense not only happens in the fields of law and medical but in social work too, where therapists leave client's info in eyeshot and earshot for others to see and hear. Shameful. Cheers!!

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