advice required re lawyers invoice

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of logan logan 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #56873
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    does anyone know if lawyers in spain are legally obliged to give detailed breakdown of costs on invoices ?
    we used lawyer well known on internet forums and have recieved a large invoice for services , we did not authorise this expenditure and the invoice just states for “services” i have asked for a detailed breakdown of all costs incurred but to date have only had vailed threats regarding legal action if not paid , the problem arises that they have all the paperwork pertaining to the property and clearly will not release this untill the invoice is paid .
    any advice would be greatly appreciated .

  • #109660
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Threaten them to the “Colegio de Abagados ” for its worth !!!!!

  • #109664
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    hi Peterk.

    First: a invoice should state what it is for. “Brief description of work performed or the product sold, which is the reason why the bill is presented.”

    and regarding paperwork, what do you need?
    Title deeds, you can get a copy from the notary 2 weeks after signing.
    If the property is registered and are having trouble getting a copy you can get a nota simple online.

  • #109665
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @fuengi.
    We all know what an information an invoice should contain. This is only where there is good faith & transparency. In its absence the problem arises.

    This is not the first time that we read about Lawyers not doing their job properly, not providing satisfactory answers & being obstructive and than using the documets/other as a lien.

    Not to mention the exhorbitant fee that they charge to just check the land registry documents.

  • #109667
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    @fuengi.
    We all know what an information an invoice should contain. This is only where there is good faith & transparency. In its absence the problem arises.

    This is not the first time that we read about Lawyers not doing their job properly, not providing satisfactory answers & being obstructive and than using the documets/other as a lien.

    Not to mention the exorbitant fee that they charge to just check the land registry documents.

    that may be shakeel, but at the end of the day the law is the law (even in Spain). The lawyer would have required the client to sign something before hand confirming the fees. Whether a fixed percentage (1% for example) or would have to give a full breakdown of the services and what the charges are.

  • #109668
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Requesting a detailed break down of fees is a reasonable request.

    Send them a registered letter explaining you are referring the invoice to Colegio de Abagado for arbitration. http://www.icam.es/web3/cache/index.html

    There may be a bar association for the province where the work was carried out and you may receive a better response.. Send all the papers you have, again by certificated mail with a letter in Spanish explaining your complaint. If necessary engage another lawyer who is willing to take on these cases, to do it for you. Overcharging by Spanish lawyers is a serious and common problem.

    Sit tight and ignore any threats

  • #109671
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    many thanks for your replies .
    the invoice was for litigation / negociation .
    the litigation fees were set prior to us engaging the lawyer and prepaid (30 months before the case got to court ) those were the only fees discussed .
    to the best of my knowldge ( going by emails sent from the lawyers) they had one meeting with the developer in which they were representing a number of clients , the email we recieced after the meeting told us the developer was not prepared to negociate a settlement .
    i contacted the developer direct and after a lot of negociation agreed an amicable deal to go ahead and complete , the paperwork was sent to our lawyers and they completed on our behalf .
    the time scale from the email saying the developer was not prepared to negociate to completion was 3 months .
    when asked for a breakdown of costs and questioned regarding the negociation charge ( several thousand euros ) , the only responce we got was ,” even though you negociated it was because we represented you that you got the discount ” .
    whilst i fully understand a charge for completion and the relevent paperwork , i cannot understand a charge for negociation when the develpoer refused to negociate with them ! .
    the paperwork we require is everything to do with the sale .
    now we are in a position of our emails not being responded to other than thinly vailed threats of litigation if we do not settle the bill .
    any advice greatly appreciated .

  • #109672
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “at the end of the day the law is the law (even in Spain).”
    Could not agreee with you more. The law is man created & it is on the basis of certain level, standrad etc & to over see this type of behaviour we have thier professional body.

    Where the body does nothing and I am sure your lawyer knows this too well. What good is your statement quoted above ?

  • #109781
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The Lawyer Invoice may contents general details about the job but if the client needs a breakdown we must give a breakdown about all job done, costs , services , expenses, everything. You must receive prom him copies and originals if you required. Can you obtain yourself? yes , same day of completion you can obtain true copie of everything, and 2 months later all originals( after the registry into the Property Registry Office), you can obtain yourself but the lawyer must provide everything to you.
    About a Court Case, when is finished you must receive invoice and if you required copy of the file.

  • #109825
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @mateosolicitor:
    ” We must provide give a breakdown …… etc “
    Yes, in Spain we must do many things. Than why dont they do it ???????????????????? We expect a lawyer to be educated, trasparent, holding the highest level of honur, entegrity profoundly understanding the law and be a piller of a society. In practise they are none of them.

  • #109828
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    Years ago, I remember my law teacher (in UK) saying “remember to always ask for an itemized bill from your lawyer. Because as a general rule the final figure would always drop”.

  • #109829
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A local bank manager said to me yesterday ‘why do the British expect a Solicitor to behave like a Notary’. Why do you want to use them so often?

    Um….that’s because we all believe that solicitors are supposed to do their job, advise you on the law, how to do things properly, to not drop you in it etc.

    The Notary seems to be a very educated guy who can……..read. ?

    The conversation came about as I was again trying to help friends with paperwork which was not done properly by the so called professionals.

    Another friend has a situation of having waited 3 years for his solicitor to prepare a criminal case against an estate agent who with a power of attorney ‘bought’ the friends house for his wife and then sold it on, keeping the proceeds…. and the solicitor suddenly changed sides and asked the judge to drop the case due to lack of evidence (!!). How the heck can a solicitor change sides in a criminal case, and why did the judge let them….oh, the judge is a family member. Very sad more than anything. There are so many decent Spanish people who are tarred with the same brush as the corrupt lot.

  • #109834
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    For its woth atleast the lawyers do some work what ever it entails. The notary does not do anywork apart from checking names on the identity card, the price, establish buyer & seller an exercise that takes no more than a minute.

    Why, the lawyer changed sides very simple it is nown as ” dinero”

    Indeed the majorty of the Spanish are kind, simple, honest, caring, loving, welcoming, law abiding and are oblivious as to how corroupt their society is & how their goodwill & good nature earned by them on a one to one has been erroded.

  • #109836
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Without the sanction of law human beings will always be corrupted by chance.

    In Spain the population can if they choose get away with most things because the society is basically laissez-faire towards moral responsibility, integrity and the law.

    In most other developed countries governments make sure the rule of law actually works and regulation is supervised effectively.

    Perhaps that’s really my point. Spain is still a third world country pretending to be part of the club of mature nations.

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