Boote Edgar Esterkin doesn’t charge clients anything extra, it hasn’t overhauled its pay structure, but it has created a whole practice specialty going after other law firms for overcharging.
The service, called ab8, will either open formal negotiations on behalf of customers who believe they’ve been overcharged, or will issues proceedings against the overcharging firms.
The practice will be run by associate Marc Yaffe, who said he has noticed a “sharp increase” in the number of clients experiencing problems with the level of legal fees, Crain’s Manchester Business reported.
“We found that as law firms battled for new instructions, a pattern emerged of solicitors providing low quotes to clients at the outset of a matter, only to bill far more than that quote when the work was completed,” Yaffe said.
Yaffe said that he had recently acted for a client who was initially quoted £8,000 ($16,299) by a solicitor for work relating to a property purchase. However, when the matter completed months later, the solicitor’s bill was £26,000 ($52,972).
It was clear the solicitor had spent more time than initially anticipated, however because the firm had provided a quote of £8,000 at the outset, he was not entitled to recover a penny more.
Yaffe did not comment on whether he is determined to make the practice work due to the unlikely event that he will ever find work in another firm.