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Will I get billed for this? (Read 7014 times)
yummymummy
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Will I get billed for this?
Feb 14th, 2007 at 4:04am
 
In receipt of legal aid, on full Income Support.  Have recently 'won' my home as part of the separation agreement.  Will I have to pay a bill now because I got the house? Someone suggested to me that this is the case. I thought that under Scots Law if a property is under dispute as part of civil action, then winning the property comes with an exemption to pay legal fees and the legal aid still stands?  Help!  My solicitor isn't very good at telling me what is and isn't free , and I'm SO worried I've got a nasty bill coming that I don't know about.
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petrocelli
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Re: Will I get billed for this?
Reply #1 - Feb 14th, 2007 at 10:29pm
 
Re this part:

Quote:
I thought that under Scots Law if a property is under dispute as part of civil action, then winning the property comes with an exemption to pay legal fees and the legal aid still stands?

I'm not aware of this, but maybe someone else can confirm.

Was an award of expenses made?  I would have thought that if not then the recovery you have made (ie of your property) would fall within the clawback provisions of legal aid.  That is not to say you would have to hand over the property of course, but it is arguable that there is scope for you to take out a loan on the property.

If an award of expenses was not made and the house fell within the scope of the clawback provisions then it would be open to you to make a hardship applicaiton to SLAB, essentially stating that paying your Legal Aid fee from recovered property would place you in exceptional hardship.
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yummymummy
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Re: Will I get billed for this?
Reply #2 - Feb 15th, 2007 at 12:45am
 
Just to clarify.... this has NOT been through the courts. Hubby agreed to give me the house, and so it was made binding via minute of agreement.
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petrocelli
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Re: Will I get billed for this?
Reply #3 - Feb 15th, 2007 at 6:24pm
 
I see.

in that case I would have thought that this would fall within the clawback provisions of legal aid, unless of course your solicitors have come to some other arrangement with the other side re payment of their fee.
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yummymummy
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Re: Will I get billed for this?
Reply #4 - Feb 15th, 2007 at 6:31pm
 
Excuse my ignorance, but what are the clawback provisions and how does that all work??? Complete layman  Embarrassed
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petrocelli
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Re: Will I get billed for this?
Reply #5 - Feb 16th, 2007 at 2:04am
 
Sorry, my bad.

Here's how it breaks down:

Let's imagine I'm acting for somebody who wants to recover money from somebody else.  The person I'm acting for is eligible for Legal Aid (Advice and Assistance in the first instance).

If I didn't recover the money and the case didn't really go anywhere then I would prepare an account and send this to the Legal Aid board.  They would then pay my fees.

If however I recovered money for the client then the Legal Aid board would refuse to pay my account on the grounds that as the client now has money, that I should be recovering my fees from them.

This is how the clawback provision works.  My fees are essentially "clawed back" from the money which I have recovered for my client.

Money is obviously a more straightforward example, though as far as the legal aid board are conerned, recovery of property is no different, and they would expect the client to use the property to generate funds (either through sale or in the case of heritable property, perhaps a secured loan) in order to pay the lawyer's fees.
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yummymummy
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Re: Will I get billed for this?
Reply #6 - Feb 16th, 2007 at 2:37am
 
But I'm on full income support, and always had the house anyway, it's just that it's fully in my name now. Income Support DO NOT consider my home an asset. How can SLAB consider it an asset. I've got 3 small kids and trying to keep a roof over there heads. How can it be justifiable to sell it? How can it be justifiable to take out a loan when on Income Support? All I've got is the house - no money from him or anything. I got the house, he got to walk away, and I have no claims on anything else now. This doesn't seem even remotely fair!   Cry
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