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Solicitor's lien on a title document

Why can a solicitor hold on to a title document? Surely he must hand it over if requested to do so?

In certain circumstances a solicitor may exercise a lien or hold on a title document – if fees are due is probably the best example.  Equally if the solicitor has given a formal written undertaking to give the title deeds to someone else (bank, building society) then he will have to give it to that institution and not to the owner. 

Please see previous similar questions and answers:

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

http://www.bporco.ie/live/newstalk/445.html

 

A solicitor has Will and won’t release to solicitor who is acting for the estate. What can we do?

http://www.bporco.ie/live/newstalk/469.html

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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