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anchorhold
19th Feb 2018, 11:05
I recently instructed a solicitor in the UK to read through a 306 page ducument in relation to a matter in negligence and tort by my previous solicitor. We had a subsequent meeting for about 40 minutes. So the total came to 4 hours work at 220/hr.

I a very happy with the solicitor and he thinks I have a strong case, on that basis I have filed in court (Form N1), I did that to save costs for what is basic administration, as is probate.

So my question is how do solicitors so so much, I know they have overheads such as rates, rent, insurance, law society membership, and salaries tend to be 40,000 to 60,000.

Does anyone have opinions on this?

Espada III
19th Feb 2018, 11:51
Yes; I have an opinion. No; they are usually not are expensive for the work done and the location of their offices.

220 per hour is a low rate for a good lawyer unless they are in a very low income, low cost area of the country. As a Chartered Surveyor doing mainly professional valuation work, I charge myself out at 200 per hour and rarely get moaned about on fees. I have an office, staff, insurance (which is very expensive at about 10% of the fees charged for valuation) and other costs which are necessary before the client even meets the lawyer.

Remember that you are not just paying for the time or all the other costs mentioned, you are paying for the training and experience. A good, experienced, city centre (not London) lawyer in the UK who is not yet a partner should be on close 60,000, otherwise they are no good.

Just like with a pilot; Why pay a captain 100,000+pa when all they do is sit there clicking a few buttons on most flights. But when the chips are down, that experience is vital and that's when the money is earnt.

ORAC
19th Feb 2018, 11:52
Are lawyers expensive? Yes, but not as expensive as not having one.....

cargosales
19th Feb 2018, 12:01
Yes, but not as expensive as not having one.....

:ok:

Especially when the consequences could be awful and far more expensive in the long run. A good one can 'force' the other side to see sense or at least think again.....

At 450 an hour, all things considered, mine was a bargain.

papajuliet
19th Feb 2018, 12:13
220 per hour is a reasonable rate for a solicitor outside of London.
It's sobering to know that a solicitor dealing with care proceedings, on Legal Aid, is paid 52.57 per hour for attendances and preparation. That same work paid 64.90 ph some years earlier.
I don't think the public realise just how savage were the cuts made to Legal Aid in 2013. Those cuts wiped out Aid for family law ( care proceedings being treated differently ). They truly cut the majority of people from access to justice.
I'm sure the Cameron government took the cynical view that there were no votes in supporting lawyers.

old,not bold
19th Feb 2018, 12:17
The first bill you get from a Solicitor in UK will invariably be a hefty overcharge, just to see if you are a big enough sucker to pay it without question. So you send it back, asking for a detailed breakdown of the time charges. They will prevaricate, delay, but eventually you'll get it because they have to give it to you. Now you start, item by item (don't forget that most Solicitors record time in 6-minute units) picking away at it, asking why something took so long, asking for more substantiation, etc etc. Eventually, when you sense that they are getting fed up with you, you gently suggest referring the whole matter to the Law Society for their opinion, with all the documentation they have so far supplied. (Nowadays it might be the Legal Ombudsman, I don't know).

This process usually gets the final agreed sum to between 33% and 50% of the original amount.

One bill I got, about 10 years ago, was in connection with reviewing a standard commercial lease for some offices. All it contained was a single item, "Reviewing lease", with about 14 hours charged at Partner rates. With VAT added, the total was absurdly high.

I asked for the time breakdown, as usual, and the name(s) of the Partners whose time had been used. The response was extremely detailed, showing the 6-minute units used, with the person who had booked the time. Unfortunately the only description of work done was "perusing documents", spread over 2 months in 6-minute multiples.

I looked up the names, and discovered that they had been remarkably honest (I suspect by mistake); 95% of the time was supplied by about 6 different trainee and junior staff.

So I asked for the detail of which document/section/page was being perused for each of the 6-minute segments, and for the charge rates to be amended to those for the staff who did the work.

They prevaricated; "too difficult", "unreasonable" etc etc. This was the moment to suggest the Law Society, whereupon they offered to reduce it to 25% of the original figure. I offered 10%, and they agreed.

Never allow a lawyer to intimidate you.

Espada III
19th Feb 2018, 12:33
If possible get a fixed fee quote before you start or an agreed rate with a cap or warning after so many hours.

Effluent Man
19th Feb 2018, 12:56
I think it depends on what they are doing. I have always found conveyancing fees quite reasonable, a few hundred pounds to sell a property. Conversely I have appeared in court on three occasions when accused of motoring offences. On two of those I was acquitted and the third I was fined a nominal sum when the magistrates clearly disbelieved the police evidence, effectively awarding the famous one shilling damages.

The first acquittal was when the police prosecuted cases. The third was against a CPS prosecutor. I have no idea what he was paid, but given his pathetic performance whatever he earned it was too much. In that case the evidence offered for a speed camera offence showed a rear view of the car. He said " The picture clearly shows a grey haired man driving, with a blonde lady in the passenger seat". I countered "Well, that's conclusive then, my wife has dark hair". He didn't ask who I was with.

Gertrude the Wombat
19th Feb 2018, 13:01
How to ensure that no solicitor in town will ever work for you again:
The first bill you get from a Solicitor in UK will invariably be a hefty overcharge, just to see if you are a big enough sucker to pay it without question. So you send it back, asking for a detailed breakdown of the time charges. They will prevaricate, delay, but eventually you'll get it because they have to give it to you. Now you start, item by item (don't forget that most Solicitors record time in 6-minute units) picking away at it, asking why something took so long, asking for more substantiation, etc etc. Eventually, when you sense that they are getting fed up with you, you gently suggest referring the whole matter to the Law Society for their opinion, with all the documentation they have so far supplied.

Allan Lupton
19th Feb 2018, 15:01
Itemised charging can sometimes come to your aid: I had a hefty bill, well over the original estimate, for preparing a will. I was eventually able to tell 'em that I wasn't prepared to pay for their time spent correcting their errors - which were clear failures to follow my written instructions.
That the result included an unnecessarily complicated way of calculating was duly and adversly commented on when I used a different solicitor to bring it up to date - and he charged less (on a flat-rate fee) even though five years had passed.

treadigraph
19th Feb 2018, 15:28
Friend of mine has her late mother's probate being handled by a solicitor appointed by her sister - the completed form sent by the solicitor for signature included quite a number of mistakes. My friend sent it back with the corrections marked in red. The form was sent to her again with most of the mistakes still uncorrected. Her sister didn't notice...

Have to say that the solicitor who handled my mother's estate was pretty good - 40 years ago mum worked for one of the solicitors' which had merged to form the present business, wonder if they knew?

Nigerian Expat Outlaw
19th Feb 2018, 16:07
My last (extremely acrimonious) divorce taught me that with solicitors and barristers, much like consumer goods, you get what you pay for by and large. I paid for a partner in a large law practice (circa 200/hour) to handle the preliminary stages and a specialist barrister (circa 2,000/day) for the court proceedings.

Worth every penny in the long run and all the bills were itemised minutely. I was kept informed at all stages throughout the process.

NEO

krismiler
19th Feb 2018, 16:09
Only one firm of solicitors in a town and they will end up going broke, another firm opens up and they both get rich.

American style “no win - no fee” seems to be getting more popular these days and gives you a good idea if your case is worth taking forward or not.

There must be hundreds of people in prison who wish they’d spent a bit more their legal team.

Pace
19th Feb 2018, 16:36
This is the point a solicitor is a bit like the GP a glorified chemist
Anything complicated and it’s off to a consultant where 400 to 500 an hour can be the benchmark
A good one can be worth every penny and there lies the problem finding a good one

old,not bold
19th Feb 2018, 17:01
How to ensure that no solicitor in town will ever work for you again:Yes, well, you have a point; luckily lawyers breed rapidly here. I'm persona non grata in 5 or 6 large firms, but there are still more than a dozen I haven't annoyed yet, not counting the plethora of small guys bottom-feeding on minor criminal work and claims against the NHS.

larssnowpharter
19th Feb 2018, 21:00
I'm almost ashamed to admit it but my daughter is a lawyer. She specialises in intellectual property rights in what is called the 'music industry'. Now a partner in a small company.
One knows nothing about it all and understands even less. But she and her music producer husband recently bought a nice house in Twickenham.
Son, on the other hand, flies helicopters.

G-CPTN
19th Feb 2018, 21:42
Any professional only charges you for the time spent on 'your' project - and they may spend time waiting for clients to engage them, so they have to make up by charging higher fees.

PinkusDickus
20th Feb 2018, 02:31
Lawyers are IMHO an unecessary evil. When my son and his wife separated and subsequently divorced, the lawyer acting for his wife had a reputation for stringing out the process to maximise the fees, and every time they got close to an agreement on the split of the marital property, her lawyer would throw some petrol on the fire. What was originally agreed between the pair was a 50/50 split became a demand by her lawyer to a 90/10 split, and the proceedings dragged out an extra two years.

My opinion was her lawyer figured out what share of the marital estate she could get in fees, and kept the case on foot until she got it.

https://mainlynorfolk.info/john.kirkpatrick/images/large/thefarmersandthecow.jpg

(the lawyer is the one sitting down)

The outcome? A 60/40 split in favour of my son, whose lawyer cost around AUD30K, while the ex copped a bill just shy of AUD200K. The best advice the ex DIL got from her lawyer was to have an initial discussions with quite a few Divorce lawyers known for their ablity, which meant they couldn't act for my son and he had to deal with the lesser knowns.

llondel
20th Feb 2018, 04:50
I've been known to blame a lawyer for my marriage. He didn't even charge for it. We even invited him to the wedding.

meadowrun
20th Feb 2018, 06:14
When I rule the world, laws will be crafted and written in plain, clear language that the common person can understand easily.
Persons who seek to complicate and obscure legal processes will be re-educated as washroom attendants.

RAT 5
20th Feb 2018, 11:45
Lawyers/solicitors/accountants all got you by the balls. You only go when you are in the poo and they know this. is the poo worth more than their help? Is their a guarantee? How on earth do they calculate their charges? Consider their training investment, office costs etc; an you often get a junior anyway. It's almost as if they charge a price because everyone else does and that's expected. BS.
At 250/hr including letters & phone call etc. the average income, for the partners, can by huge. My recently oft visited surgeon is on way less and does more valuable work for the community, and longer hours. Relative to their social contribution their prices are the worse bang for buck on the block: for general matters. OK, if you're up before the judge on some serious financial poo, and want to get off and have deep pockets, that's another thing.

I watched The Trial recently. Real barristers and real people enacting a murder case. Good god. The barristers talk so slowly their fees are doubled because their words/min and 1/2 what a normal persons speaks. It was like watching a 7 hour round of golf or driving behind a flotilla of milk floats. Utter tosh and a cartel that needs higher value LoCo style attack. It's worked a little with the other parasites, estate agents.

Who else here would like a desk job for 250/hr. talking round in circles to pump up the bill. If anything should be capped it's these sharks. T

True the top criminal guys can earn their crust when called upon, and the tax ones certainly do as they worm their way through lucrative loop holes you and could only dream about. But the standard everyday run of the mill? Hm.

Gertrude the Wombat
20th Feb 2018, 12:20
When my son and his wife separated and subsequently divorced, the lawyer acting for his wife had a reputation for stringing out the process to maximise the fees, and every time they got close to an agreement on the split of the marital property, her lawyer would throw some petrol on the fire. What was originally agreed between the pair was a 50/50 split became a demand by her lawyer to a 90/10 split, and the proceedings dragged out an extra two years.
FFS! - I imagine it's unlikely to work for divorces, but in other matters you can go to a lawyer and say "this is what we've agreed, please can you act for all parties to do the technical gubbins and make sure the paperwork is right". Having said which I know one divorcing couple who did use separate lawyers, but they agreed what they wanted then went and told the lawyers to implement it, and I believe the lawyers correctly and professionally did what they were told.

krismiler
20th Feb 2018, 12:21
Seconds make minutes, minutes make hours and hours make dollars.

The fees are so expensive because you are paying their tax bill for them. Professions which set their own fees decide how much they want to take home and set their rates at a level which will give them that amount after the tax man has had his cut.

Their clients in many cases can’t claim a deduction and end up paying out of their after tax income.

VP959
20th Feb 2018, 12:38
FFS! - I imagine it's unlikely to work for divorces, but in other matters you can go to a lawyer and say "this is what we've agreed, please can you act for all parties to do the technical gubbins and make sure the paperwork is right". Having said which I know one divorcing couple who did use separate lawyers, but they agreed what they wanted then went and told the lawyers to implement it, and I believe the lawyers correctly and professionally did what they were told.


My former partner and myself found ourselves caught up in her sisters divorce, as her sisters husband was a friend of mine. The whole thing got very messy, as I'd hear the husbands side of things over lunch in the mess then get home to hear the wife's side of things from my partner, who'd invariably seen her sister during the day.

After enduring this for weeks, we both decided to intervene, as it was pretty clear that the couple were in agreement about practically every aspect of the divorce settlement, so we both arranged for all four of us to sit down, have dinner together and work things out, with us acting as referees.

It worked well, and it turned out that the solicitors on both sides hadn't been wholly open with their clients and had been creating much of the conflict. There were two main issues, what should happen to their jointly owned house (there were no children) and what should happen to my friends Porsche 911. It turned out she wasn't the slightest bit interested in his Porsche, and was happy to keep her 2CV, and they were both happy to split the proceeds from the sale of the house 50:50.

They both sacked their solicitors the next day, took the notes we'd drawn up over dinner to two new solicitors, with instructions to not argue over any points, just get the divorce through ASAP, and that was that.

Thomas coupling
20th Feb 2018, 12:48
Thank God for no win, no fee, that's all I can say!
Just had a bill through for my company seeking advice:
Each E-Mail: 70.
Each phone call: 50.
Each letter: Between 70 and 100.
The actual advice is based on the 6 minute rule.

Consequently, a review of the Terms and Conditions I prepared, cost just north of 20,000.

Only two people rule this world: Lawyers and Accountants.

Followed by:

Insurance compnaies.
Banks.
Car Salesmen.
Estate Agents.
Petrol Stations on motorways.
Coffee on motorways.









Daylight thieves the pair of them.:mad::mad:

WilliumMate
20th Feb 2018, 12:56
Years ago now but I was involved in a road accident. Some kid in a car with more cc's than he had brain cells rear ended my car while I was stopped at a T junction. Put me out unconscious with a broken arm and a hernia the size of a cricket ball in the old groin. Four months off work and three operations.

He admitted fault, two witnesses agreed. Should be a simple matter to sort out. Not when m'learned friends became involved. As I was in the process of travelling home from work my union's solicitors took the case on. I can't profess to follow what went on between both sides, except the 14 different appointments at various hospitals, specialists and physios, but it all finished on the day of a court hearing before the case was heard.

I asked the junior solicitor at the court what this lot must have cost. Including my agreed settlement of a little over 35k she reckoned that adding up all the other solicitors, partners, advising and acting barristers, private medical costs and everything else the kids insurers would be over 240k out of pocket.

So next time you receive your car insurance renewal quote.....

Dan_Brown
20th Feb 2018, 15:06
Yes they are expensive.

In a lot of cases it's much more cost effective, to have a whip round then hire a load of, shall we say "travellers" with a few base ball bats.

The law is an ass.

krismiler
20th Feb 2018, 15:39
I went to see a new doctor the other day in Asia, simple process. Registration was carried out quickly by simply copying the details from my ID card, me writing down my phone number and the receptionist asking if I was allergic to any drugs.

In and out in about 20 minuets with a sick note and full course of medicine in my hand. Total cost was just over 50 and would have been less if it hadn’t been a public holiday.

Costs are reasonable because the lawyers are kept out of the process. Unlike the USA, they weren’t concerned if I’d filed any previous lawsuits against doctors and didn’t need to run every test in the book to cover themselves because the malpractice insurance required it.

Any area lawyers get involved in becomes unbelievably complicated and expensive. Unfortunately, too many talented people get involved in this profession because of the rewards when their abilities could be better employed elsewhere.

Gertrude the Wombat
20th Feb 2018, 16:22
Costs are reasonable because the lawyers are kept out of the process. Unlike the USA ...
Did I not once hear of a US doctor who didn't carry any insurance, and advertised this as his USP, and was thus able to charge around a third as much as other doctors? - you pays your money and takes your choice, you can either afford to go to a doctor whom you can sue or you can't. Or was this an urban myth?

old,not bold
20th Feb 2018, 16:37
Consequently, a review of the Terms and Conditions I prepared, cost just north of 20,000.Friend of mine cut and pasted a set of T&C's from the website of a company with an almost identical business as my friend's, and sent them to the same lawyer who had prepared them, asking him to review them, mentioning that had been drafted by an unqualified friend.

After about 2 months, the T&C's came back with over 100 comments and corrections, accompanied by a 4-figure bill.

My friend sent the whole thing to the owner of the company whose website had provided the text, who then successfully sought recovery of everything he had paid for the T&Cs.

The real joke in this tale is that there was nothing wrong with the original T&Cs drafted by the lawyer. That's because they were simply boiler-plate text that all these lawyers use.

Our own T&Cs are remarkably similar to another, similar, company's. I've never seen the point of paying for stuff I can get for nothing.

cavortingcheetah
20th Feb 2018, 17:08
A decent London lawyer will set you back at least 450 an hour with the VAT on top. That's why so many of them try to steer the more mundane research to juniors at half the rate.
When Jeremy comes to power, the fees that lawyers are allowed to charge will be restricted as will bankers' bonuses. This will be a clever move for, on the one hand, it will satiate the green eyed salivation of the masses while at the same time ensuring that it will not be worth a lawyer's while to contest in the courts, any of the restrictions on civil liberty that the Momentum Marxists and the unions will try to ram through parliament in their ferocious battle to financially castrate anyone who earns more than their leaders, unelected or otherwise or often both.
This of course will be a short term McDonnell/Milne tactic because it will only take one parliament of gratuitous largess combined with the lowering of the voting age to the immensely bribable sixteen year olds, for there to be no need for Parliament at all other than to rubber stamp the diktats of the Party.

Gertrude the Wombat
20th Feb 2018, 17:57
When Jeremy comes to ... for there to be no need for Parliament at all other than to rubber stamp the diktats of the Party.
All true, but there's a subtlety you didn't point out - Corbyn won't actually give 16 and 17 year olds the vote until after #brexit has safely happened, 'cos he doesn't want them stopping it.

dook
20th Feb 2018, 18:34
Anyone who considers solicitors expensive should consider estate agents - cheap suits, dirty shoes etc.

cavortingcheetah
20th Feb 2018, 19:40
All true, but there's a subtlety you didn't point out - Corbyn won't actually give 16 and 17 year olds the vote until after #brexit has safely happened, 'cos he doesn't want them stopping it.

A devilish subtlety!

axefurabz
20th Feb 2018, 23:58
When I rule the world, laws will be crafted and written in plain, clear language that the common person can understand easily.Were I a lawyer, I would urge you on with every fibre in my body!

It's all relative really. Some 20-25 years ago I came across a professional colleague who had had occasion to seek Counsel's Opinion. It had cost something in the region of 2,000 to 2,500 an hour. And there had been more than one hour. He wasn't complaining - I think he was boasting!

cargosales
21st Feb 2018, 01:27
FFS! - I imagine it's unlikely to work for divorces, but in other matters you can go to a lawyer and say "this is what we've agreed, please can you act for all parties to do the technical gubbins and make sure the paperwork is right". Having said which I know one divorcing couple who did use separate lawyers, but they agreed what they wanted then went and told the lawyers to implement it, and I believe the lawyers correctly and professionally did what they were told.

My ex-wife and I tried that .. We realised it wasn't working for us so innocently walked into a solicitors together and asked him to sort out a divorce.

We had already agreed how it would work, the split of assets etc but got told that each party has to have a different lawyer, which we duly did. And that's when it quickly went downhill and became extremely acrimonious..:ugh:

Totally unnecessary and probably just an excuse to bump up their fees :*

Fortunately the ex and I are still on good speaking terms :)

racedo
21st Feb 2018, 19:27
Lawyers ............. 2 a penny when you have an accident as they aren't called Ambulance Chasers for nothing

pulse1
21st Feb 2018, 20:04
Judging by the unsolicited phone calls I've been getting lawyers are 2 a penny even when you haven't had an accident.

krismiler
22nd Feb 2018, 01:12
Surely there is a market for a one stop divorce service where both parties have previously agreed to the terms and simply want to end the marriage with as little complication and expense as possible.

A selection of standard agreements could be offered covering property and child support and the couple simply choose one for a set charge. If they can’t agree then they are perfectly free to find their own solicitors and start the fee clock.

Um... lifting...
22nd Feb 2018, 03:50
Entrepreneurs are way ahead of you.

https://www.getdivorcepapers.com/Florida-divorce-papers

On an unrelated note, I found myself running afoul of a state regulator due to forgetfulness. Soon my post box was inundated with notices to help me out of this jam for fees on the order of $1000. That seemed a bit steep, so I put on a pot of coffee and visited the state regulator's website.

Before the first cup was gone I'd found the solution to my problem with the regulator. I had to pay a small fee, but I escaped for about 1/10th what the various vendors were asking, it took me about 10 minutes and I hadn't even put on a pair of shoes.

You don't always need a lawyer.

parabellum
22nd Feb 2018, 06:37
and I believe the lawyers correctly and professionally did what they were told.


We had already agreed how it would work, the split of assets etc but got told that each party has to have a different lawyer, which we duly did. And that's when it quickly went downhill and became extremely acrimonious..:ugh:


Lawyers have a duty of care to their clients and if they are thought not to have exercised it they can be sued for big bucks, a lawyers professional indemnity insurance is a very expensive item. What seems like a very reasonable settlement between the divorcing couple may set off a load of alarms with the lawyers, who are obliged to exercise duty of care and act in what they believe are their clients best interests, ensuring that elements of the settlement don't rear their ugly head at a later date, if they don't and get sued and lose their insurers may decline their business or raise premiums to unworkable levels.

sitigeltfel
22nd Feb 2018, 07:09
The victims of rapist Worboys have to use social media to raise cash for their campaign while his lawyers get 166,000 in legal fees...from the taxpayer.

Sick!

Pinky the pilot
22nd Feb 2018, 08:34
There's a hoary old one which did the rounds here in Australia about 20 years ago.:E

(Q) What's the difference between a Lawyer and a European Carp?

(A) one is a bottom dwelling, muck raking scumsucker, whilst the other is an Introduced feral species of Fish in the Murray/Darling River system.:}




Any Legal types who may read the above and are offended; Tough!!:=

krismiler
22nd Feb 2018, 09:24
Scientists have started using lawyers instead of rats in laboratory experiments. There are more lawyers than rats, the scientists don't get as attached to the lawyers and there are some things the rats won't do.

anchorhold
22nd Feb 2018, 11:12
There seems alot of duplication in UK law. For example, someone seeks adivice from a solicitor on say a property dispute. The solicitor then spends time on the case and duly sends a bill. You decide to take the matter to court, the solicitor says we will need a barrister, So you then have to pay the the barrister all over again to go through the paperwork.

A little known fact is that these days in the UK you can instruct some barrister directly. The downside is they will charge you say 450, just to decide if they want to take your case on!

On the issue of family Law really they need to be avoided as they will encouraged clients to win as much as they can. Another oddity is that family lawyers are by nature, yet those who have felt the loss of money through the withdraw of legal aid have taken on mediation work, what a joke.

On the subject of separation, collabrative law is one option, but the default position is to work towards a joint agreement, where there children putting together a parenting plan together nased on shared parenting should be the default poisition.

A friend of mine got divorced from her husband who was a solicitor, they sensibly opted to split the house and decided the children would alternate between mum and dad on a week by week basis. The beaty of the above arrangemnent if both parents are working neither has to pay maintenance, which is often a course of stress. I should add the dad as a solicitor quit the law to become a business advisor so he could fit around the children.

Had the above gone through court I doubt if many judges in the UK would have agreed to any such order as they do not generally agree to shared parenting, despite the fact they spent most of their childhood at boarding school.

gingernut
23rd Feb 2018, 19:48
I got took to the County Court by a Parking Management Firm called "Parking Eye" over a dispute over a 2.30 parking ticket.

Parking Eye's initial demand was for 179.

Didn't really enter my mind to commision a lawyer, as I expected their bill would have exceeded the initial bill.

The court seemed to see sense, and referred us for telephone "mediation."

Although I felt we were in "the right," I agreed, because, quite frankly, I wasn't keen on attending court. I offered the parking firm 15 for their admin/postage/time etc. They refused and said they wanted 100.

On the balance of things, thought it would be better to attend court. I could stand the extra 79.

The case was scheduled for a 4 hour hearing. Parking Eye sent a trained advocate, who told me, (just before entering the hearing), that she would be asking The Judge to award her fee, if I lost, because I had acted "unreasonable."

Not sure how much that would have been, but reckoned I could have been out of pocket by the tune of at least 1500. Over a parking ticket. (I actually entered the car park, couldn't find a space and left.)

I represented myself (Yes, I know), but I left feeling I was almost being bullied. Total abuse of the small claims process.

I always though the idea of a robust legal system was to keep people out of court.

I left, feeling it was a very grubby world, but it helped keep the boys in jobs.

PS.... I won :-)

Chronus
23rd Feb 2018, 20:02
I would offer comment by way of a little story.

A machine running a processing line in a factory went u/s. The line manager called in a service engineer who having fixed it in a jiffy sent his bill which came to 1000. The bill was passed to the factory manager for approval who queried the amount and called the engineer to give him a breakdown. The reply he got was :

Use of one hammer 1
Knowing whereand how to apply hammer 999
____
Total 1000
====

Gertrude the Wombat
23rd Feb 2018, 20:42
I would offer comment by way of a little story.
That's a very old one. My version is as follows:

I was sitting around at home without any paid work to do that week, when I got an email from someone "help can you fix my web site". His programmer had changed something and then buggered off on holiday. I knew nothing whatsoever about the systems in use, so I offered him a deal: "500 if I fix it, nothing if I don't". He took the deal, so I hopped onto a train and found his office a bit after lunchtime.

By 5pm or so I'd found and fixed the problem. As he wrote out the cheque for 500 (plus VAT) his partner (I think in both the personal and business senses of the word) muttered something about how expensive I was (this was a number of years ago when the 200/hour would have seemed quite outrageous). He correctly pointed out that thanks to me they had a business, which they otherwise wouldn't have had, and I had taken some risk, ect ect. She stopped muttering and they took me out for a curry before I caught my train home.

Pontius Navigator
23rd Feb 2018, 22:14
The solicitor handling our sale and buy is a partner, she had to work hard selling the house telling the buyer's solicitor to RTFA as they kept asking studpid questions and missing the bleedin obvious. On buying she was brilliant getting resolutions to problems other house owners in the Close have not got in 2 years. She eventually cut out the other solicitor and worked through the estate agents.

gileraguy
24th Feb 2018, 08:23
The trouble with lawyer jokes is that lawyers don't think they're funny, & nobody else thinks it's a joke....


(disclaimer: I got this published in a local newspaper, but I didn't attribute it to the original author)

Chronus
24th Feb 2018, 20:16
I got took to the County Court by a Parking Management Firm called "Parking Eye" over a dispute over a 2.30 parking ticket.

Parking Eye's initial demand was for 179.

Didn't really enter my mind to commision a lawyer, as I expected their bill would have exceeded the initial bill.

The court seemed to see sense, and referred us for telephone "mediation."

Although I felt we were in "the right," I agreed, because, quite frankly, I wasn't keen on attending court. I offered the parking firm 15 for their admin/postage/time etc. They refused and said they wanted 100.

On the balance of things, thought it would be better to attend court. I could stand the extra 79.

The case was scheduled for a 4 hour hearing. Parking Eye sent a trained advocate, who told me, (just before entering the hearing), that she would be asking The Judge to award her fee, if I lost, because I had acted "unreasonable."

Not sure how much that would have been, but reckoned I could have been out of pocket by the tune of at least 1500. Over a parking ticket. (I actually entered the car park, couldn't find a space and left.)

I represented myself (Yes, I know), but I left feeling I was almost being bullied. Total abuse of the small claims process.

I always though the idea of a robust legal system was to keep people out of court.

I left, feeling it was a very grubby world, but it helped keep the boys in jobs.

PS.... I won :-)

It is very much a case which supports our excellent legal system. It is not lawyers who abuse it, but in this instance those such as the car park operators. From the brief facts given, it amounts to an attempt at extortion in charging a penalty of 175 for entering a car park where there is no space available. Was there a notice posted to warn of such an eventuality at the entrance. Was there a notice informing that the car park was full.
Do you remember the incident where a pax who boarded a flight with a legitimate ticket, was forcibly removed from an aircraft sustaining injuries in the process. What sort of legal system allowed that to happen.

gingernut
24th Feb 2018, 22:23
From the brief facts given, it amounts to an attempt at extortion in charging a penalty of 175 for entering a car park where there is no space available.

Well that was the point Chronus. Common sense would take that point of view, you'd think.

We did everything to keep out of court, but were soon embroiled within the Juggernaut that the legal system was. We neither asked for it, nor courted it.

My concern was that others more vulnerable than myself would probably have just crumbled.

T'was quite a nice feeling to win though.

The "costs" award was even more delightful. Especially the bit when The Judge asked if I'd had to pay to park at The Court.

I think he may have been grinning slightly.

Smeagol
24th Feb 2018, 23:01
To return to the original question: Are lawyers expensive?

Yes!

Despite Espada (#2) attempting to justify their costs by using his profession as comparison I would counter that with my own profession and the rates charged.

Before I retired last year I was a Project Manager in an engineering design company, I am a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and had some 40+years of experience. I was one of the more senior (and therefore most expensive) employees. My charge out rate was rarely over 100 per hour. The company employed around 100 people in the east of England location where I worked and included technical staff of varying levels of expertise and experience plus the full supporting compliment of support staff. Charge out rates had to cover all the overheads incurred by the company, which would be very similar to any organisation solicitors or engineers; building rental, utility costs, communications, IT, insurances, non-chargeable staff, etc. etc.
The company, and myself as their responsible person, often had considerable responsibility for design and execution of works on very expensive works (offshore gas platforms and similar installations). The costs of 'getting it wrong' could be very great and could easily involve loss of life.

So why is a solicitor worth 2 or 3 times and engineer and a barrister double that or more?

Is it because they can?

axefurabz
25th Feb 2018, 00:29
Is it because they can?

You nailed it!

krismiler
25th Feb 2018, 03:33
Jerry Seinfeld said that life was like a board game and the Lawyers had the instruction book.

RAT 5
25th Feb 2018, 19:42
In terms of basic solicitor scenarios there is a cartel principle. You need them and have no choice. I need a plumber or electrician. I ask for quotes and if they are too expensive I seek out one more reasonable. They tend to have a fairly similar hourly rate, but some try it on for a total quote. Where I live 40/hr seems average.

You try that with solicitors and they are all the same; an exorbitant hourly rate, with no breakdown or justification, and no idea of final cost; and often in the 6-10 times range of my plumbers. They all know what each other charge and have an inflated sense of their importance and value. Your short & curlies are truly munched with few alternatives. The prices charged, IMHO, do not reflect the investment and skills provided. The fact no-one else understands the gobbledygook is the defence. On the basis of self investment, skills, risks, and gobbledygook understanding my surgeon is way above the solicitors, but they are not free agents and are capped.
Now there is an idea.

Chronus
25th Feb 2018, 20:25
RAT5, where the Law is cheap or can be bought, there is normally no Law. Ask anyone who has had the misfortune of getting enmeshed in the legal system of some foreign country where the Rule of Law is of dubious character, am sure they will prefer what we have here.
So far as lawyers over here are concerned, the majority do not earn half the pay of an airline captain. Just like in any profession it is only the very few who earn more than 200,000 pa. Add to that the fact that it entails a long time and lots more study and exmaninations, after graduating from university to qualify either as a solicitor and barrister. After that the learning and study process continues until retirement. To compare them to a plumber would be like comparing an airline captain to a bus driver.
A lawyer can drive a bus, but can a bus driver act for you in the Supreme Court.
Let`s hope you never ever have the need for a qualified lawyer, by that I mean a solicitor or a barrister, when your freedom or your life savings depend on it.

Russell Gulch
25th Feb 2018, 21:48
Surely there is a market for a one stop divorce service where both parties have previously agreed to the terms and simply want to end the marriage with as little complication and expense as possible.

A selection of standard agreements could be offered covering property and child support and the couple simply choose one for a set charge. If they can’t agree then they are perfectly free to find their own solicitors and start the fee clock.

A good friend of mine had an amicable divorce like what you describe from his now ex wife they paid about ten quid in the court (might have been a bit more I guess but not much more. no solicitors or lawyers involved just the court. he's died since so I cant ask the details.
Russ

G-CPTN
25th Feb 2018, 22:04
My (ex)wife obtained a divorce without me 'contributing' - either financially or evidentially.
I was informed of the terms (and rose no objection).
We had separated some time previously, sold the family home and divided the proceeds amicably.

I had no dealings with any solicitor (though she may have done).