If a person does not pay a lawyer’s account it becomes a debt which the lawyer can recover like any other debt. The Legal Profession Board cannot stop this from happening.
In some instances a lawyer may refuse to return a client’s papers unless the client pays the lawyer’s bill. This is known as exercising a solicitor’s lien. If a client considers that the lien is being exercised unreasonably they can complain to the Law Society, which may try to persuade the lawyer to give the papers to the client’s new lawyer. The client’s new lawyer may also be able to negotiate with the old lawyer about this.
Page last updated 13/12/2017