Solicitor who overcharged by 574% struck off
A solicitor has been struck off after being found by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to have dishonestly charged an estate “manifestly excessive” fees for probate work – almost nine times the agreed amount.
The tribunal heard that, between June 2011 and July 2012, Christopher William Edwin Greenman misappropriated £90,000 as fees from an estate whose gross value was £370,865 – some 26% of the total.
The solicitor had told the executor he would charge 3% plus VAT, or £11,126, at most.
In four bills that were not actually sent to the executor, Mr Greenman was alleged to have sought fees amounting to a 574% overcharge.
An expert witness, costs lawyer Susan Corbin, told the tribunal that in her view the fee charged by Mr Greenman “did not reflect the actual work undertaken”, which she calculated should have reasonably been £4,168 plus VAT, meaning that he would have over-charged by 1,699%.
(Source – Legal Futures website)