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  • FIRST POST
    • pioneer22
    • By pioneer22 5th Jul 17, 9:51 PM
    • 412Posts
    • 151Thanks
    pioneer22
    Legal Costs
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 17, 9:51 PM
    Legal Costs 5th Jul 17 at 9:51 PM
    Hi,

    Does anyone have a rough guide as to what a court would deem reasonable in terms of legal costs vs a debt.

    Arrears are £375
    Legal costs are £3186

    That's what 700%......

    Thanks
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 5th Jul 17, 11:22 PM
    • 11,929 Posts
    • 11,413 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 17, 11:22 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jul 17, 11:22 PM
    Hi,

    We will need a lot more information than that to give you any constructive answers.
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    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 6th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • 879 Posts
    • 804 Thanks
    StopIt
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 8:26 AM
    Hi,

    Does anyone have a rough guide as to what a court would deem reasonable in terms of legal costs vs a debt.

    Arrears are £375
    Legal costs are £3186

    That's what 700%......

    Thanks
    Originally posted by pioneer22

    If a court rules that legal costs repayable is £3k, then that's the ruling.


    If the debt was only £375, why are the costs that high? Legal costs will have to be costed, so there's a reason for them somewhere. Whether they're fair compared to the debt is separate but if it's has costed £3k to chase this debt legally, the creditor is entitled to claim it back.
    • luvsmoothies
    • By luvsmoothies 6th Jul 17, 9:12 AM
    • 498 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    luvsmoothies
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:12 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:12 AM
    You can ask the court for what used to be called a 'taxation'(think it's called 'Detailed assessment"), where the court will examine the costs charged and can impose a different amount if the costs are deemed unreasonable. Many people have had success with this. In your case, such a large amount in fees for a small debt seems ridiculous.
    • Spatton
    • By Spatton 6th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Spatton
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 9:44 AM
    As Sourcrates says, much more information needed. On the face of it, no, it does not seem to meet proportionality, and yes, as luvsmoothies says, you may be able to try and seek a detailed assessment, but that is not a straightforward process - courts are reluctant to allow it these days and much prefer mediation and/or paper based assessment for which you would need to prepare a Bundle in the correct format in any event.


    Bottom line, it depends on the detail of how the costs have been incurred, and fighting it might well to turn out to be a pyric victory given the sums involved.
    • pioneer22
    • By pioneer22 6th Jul 17, 6:33 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    pioneer22
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 6:33 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 17, 6:33 PM
    As Sourcrates says, much more information needed. On the face of it, no, it does not seem to meet proportionality, and yes, as luvsmoothies says, you may be able to try and seek a detailed assessment, but that is not a straightforward process - courts are reluctant to allow it these days and much prefer mediation and/or paper based assessment for which you would need to prepare a Bundle in the correct format in any event.


    Bottom line, it depends on the detail of how the costs have been incurred, and fighting it might well to turn out to be a pyric victory given the sums involved.
    Originally posted by Spatton
    its to do with ground rent arrears and a potential forfeiture of the lease. Those are the legal fees accrued. The court case hasn't actually started yet

    Essentially they have used a sledgehammer to crack a nut its a clear breach of the lease no doubt.

    Does CPR 44.3 and the proportionality test come into play here?

    This is exactly like our situation:

    https://www.justanswer.com/uk-law/8ah1a-hi-daughter-received-communication-below-regarding.html
    Last edited by pioneer22; 06-07-2017 at 6:57 PM.
    • pioneer22
    • By pioneer22 7th Jul 17, 6:40 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    pioneer22
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 6:40 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 6:40 PM
    Just wondering if anyone had a chance to have a look at my update.
    • Spatton
    • By Spatton 8th Jul 17, 12:08 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Spatton
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 17, 12:08 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Jul 17, 12:08 PM
    Apologies, don't necessarily check in every day.


    As before, still more detail needed but appreciate you may not want to publish all your private details. Assuming on the basis of information provided it's similar circumstances, but the level of costs relative to debt suggests it's more complex than that (i.e. more time had to be spent), or whoever is chasing down the debt has secured some heavy duty lawyers who charge above guideline rate per hour - which they are perfectly entitled to do, unfortunately. Analogous to whether you buy own label or branded in the supermarket.


    Possible starting point could be to ask to see a breakdown of their time-recording to try and find out how the costs have been racked up.


    Also possibly as re CPR 44.3, BUT still need more detail - and it goes both ways. Yes, lawyers are usually heavy handed, but if the defending party hasn't been absolutely faultless in their behaviour then it can be a case of be careful what you wish for, (remembering that ignorance in all of its various forms is not a defence).
    • pioneer22
    • By pioneer22 9th Jul 17, 12:11 AM
    • 412 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    pioneer22
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:11 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:11 AM
    Apologies, don't necessarily check in every day.


    As before, still more detail needed but appreciate you may not want to publish all your private details. Assuming on the basis of information provided it's similar circumstances, but the level of costs relative to debt suggests it's more complex than that (i.e. more time had to be spent), or whoever is chasing down the debt has secured some heavy duty lawyers who charge above guideline rate per hour - which they are perfectly entitled to do, unfortunately. Analogous to whether you buy own label or branded in the supermarket.


    A possible starting point could be to ask to see a breakdown of their time-recording to try and find out how the costs have been racked up.


    Also possibly as re CPR 44.3, BUT still need more detail - and it goes both ways. Yes, lawyers are usually heavy handed, but if the defending party hasn't been absolutely faultless in their behaviour then it can be a case of be careful what you wish for, (remembering that ignorance in all of its various forms is not a defence).
    Originally posted by Spatton
    I've got the cost breakdown, several of my friends who work in property litigation and debt collection have told me this form of action is very straightforward. It's all mail merged from a central database the firm JB Leitch mostly employ Para's to do all the work.

    It's not complex as we're in a clear breach of the lease so it really shouldn't need much work. This firm is known for extorting money out of leaseholders. If they use grade A solicitors for this work debt recovery what do they in complex cases.

    I guess the other point is under proportionality rules is.... do they NEED to try and forfeit the lease for such a small amount. Yes they can legally, but according to CPR 44.3 it has to be proportionate. I mean the sums in question are about 39,000% of the mortgage.

    Proportionality trumps necessity.
    • pioneer22
    • By pioneer22 9th Jul 17, 8:01 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    pioneer22
    So it looks like I can make a payment under protest and still file a claim in the FTT.
    • Spatton
    • By Spatton 10th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Spatton
    Agreed, lawyers regularly rip people off by using Grade As for lesser work, and/or, getting paralegal's to do the work then 'checking' it for them and charging twice.


    CPR is something of a misnomer though, the word "rules" should really be replaced with the word "guidelines", so something to be wary of. Point being, don't assume proportionality trumps necessity, because that assumes that the 'rules' are applied consistently - they're not - each and every one is treated on its own merits. You might get lucky, then again you might not, depends how the Master feels on the day. Put it this way, not something I would personally rely on, but might keep in my back pocket.


    So, payment under duress seems a sensible recourse given the information available.


    Anecdotally, pursing a point of principle using the legal system seldom ends well, so if you can afford to chalk it up to experience that might be a pragmatic solution. Otherwise you might well end up with a nasty, costly fight - nothing more vicious than a lawyer being challenged over what they think they're entitled to - literally and metaphorically. But, if you have the stomach and resources for it, then fair enough.
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