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Additional bill from law firm - what would you do?

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Over a year and a half ago, we sold our overseas apartment. It had been a disaster from start to finish - we had remortgaged our home to buy it, lost a lot of money and ended up in a class action in Spanish courts but that’s a whole other story! Suffice to say, we were relieved to finally be getting rid of the apartment, so engaged a reputable law firm to deal with the sale, paid our fee of £3500 up front and breathed a huge sigh of relief upon completion.
However, last week, we received an email from our lawyer’s assistant, stating that she had found an invoice for £30.90 on our file, for which she blamed various interns working on client files, and asking us to make payment. Am I being unreasonable in thinking that, after more than 18 months, they should have just written this off? I never received any itemised invoice for our £3500 payment, so how do I know that this £30.90 was not already included?
Any advice appreciated.

Comments

  • MorningcoffeeIV
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    Yes, you're being unreasonable. It wouldn't be written off after 18 months when a simple request should generate the required payment.

    Ask them for clarification of what the charge is for.
  • Purple_sox
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    Thanks morningcoffee, as mentioned, we’d been ripped off so many times previously that I automatically went into anxiety mode and was probably overthinking (.... here we go again!). Will do  :)
  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
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    edited 29 November 2022 at 12:53PM
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    It's £30, you probably owe it, and they are a law firm.  As Jerome K Jerome said:

    "If a man stopped me in the street and demanded of me my watch, I should refuse to give it to him. If he threatened to take it by force, I feel I should, though not a fighting man, do my best to protect it. If, on the other hand, he should assert his intention of trying to obtain it by means of an action in any court of law, I should take it out of my pocket and hand it to him, and think I had got off cheaply."
  • Purple_sox
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    Ath_Wat said:
    It's £30, you probably owe it, and they are a law firm.  As Jerome K Jerome said:

    "If a man stopped me in the street and demanded of me my watch, I should refuse to give it to him. If he threatened to take it by force, I feel I should, though not a fighting man, do my best to protect it. If, on the other hand, he should assert his intention of trying to obtain it by means of an action in any court of law, I should take it out of my pocket and hand it to him, and think I had got off cheaply."
    Thanks 🙏 
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,142 Forumite
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    You paid 3500 up front with a huge sigh of relief. £30 is peanuts so get another smaller sigh of relief and pay the bill. 
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 11,539 Forumite
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    18 months is nothing... if it was a UK solicitor then law of limitations is 6 years, if its a Spanish one then its likely longer.  So the duration aspect you can forget about straight away.

    Now if its something you owe or something that was to be included in the original up front payment will depend both on what the fee is for and what your contract states the original fee covers. Its not unusual for disbursements to be in addition to initial fees but at times they are so regular that sols can choose to inc them as customers like certainty of cost. 

    If £30 is material to you, do some digging/reading of paperwork... it may be a couple hours of your life not having to read paperwork is more valuable to you.
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,399 Forumite
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    I'd ask them for evidence that it hasn't been previously paid, which is likely to require them to produce the itemised invoice and the cost of doing that may well be more than the £30 owed so they may just write it off.
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,398 Forumite
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    I have no idea why some people here are so keen that you should pay without even questioning it.

    Ask them why it's been separately billed and wasn't in the fee you have already paid.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • oscarward
    oscarward Posts: 900 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Car Insurance Carver!
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    when when we bought our present house 22 years ago we received a bill 18 months after completing. The conveyancer had forgotten to add vat to some items.

    we paid rather than argue with solicitors.
  • Purple_sox
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    Thanks everyone for your advice. I spoke with firm and it was a legitimate charge that had been missed, so I’ve paid it and hopefully that’s an end to it all.
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