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Lien on Title Deed

Can a Solicitor withhold an original lease from a client until fees in dispute are paid to him?

Can a Solicitor withhold an original lease from a client until fees in dispute are paid to him? 

 

The answer to this is yes.  If you leave your car into a garage and ask them to repair it you must pay in full when you take the car away.  If you don’t, the garage has the right to hold on to the car until you come up with the money.

In the same way, what your Solicitor is doing here is exercising a lien on the original lease, pending payment.  If you are in dispute over the amount that has to be paid you would have to pay the amount in full but “under protest” and ask the Solicitor to tax or fix the costs before the Court Registrar.  When you pay in full you are entitled to the lease back and you will be entitled to a part refund if the Court Registrar finds a reduction is in order.

Declan Carty: "How do you do that - pay under protest?"

Brian: "You send the cheque for the fee with a covering letter to your solicitor saying 'Dear Mr......I enclose cheque for your bill which I am paying under protest and without prejudice to my right to have the costs taxed by the Taxing Master and claim any refund due'. That means that you can get your lease back immediately and still keep your right to a refund of any reduction the Taxing Master gives."

My advice to this listener however is try to do a deal with your solicitor and if you are having difficulty in dealing with him or her you can ask the Law Society to intervene and broker a deal.  www.lawsociety.ie

 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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