The future President of the Law Society and his firm is seeking to make one of his ex-clients homeless for the sake of £7,000.

David Greene, the current Vice President of the Law Society and the Senior Partner of Edwin Coe, is due to take over as President in 2020. 

Known as the 'Brexit lawyer' for his work on the Article 50 litigation, his firm's attempt to take a man's home threatens to overshadow his appointment. 

Greene was instructed in 2008 by EcoPower, a business which developed an eco-friendly exhaust system for London taxis, to challenge TfL's withdrawal of its licence. When EcoPower lost, Greene helped to bring a damages claim against the taxi licencing office, but that was also unsuccessful.

EcoPower and its distribution partner paid approximately £80,000 to Edwin Coe for the work conducted by Greene, his team and counsel. But Greene sought payment of a further £23,000 for work done, which he later reduced to £7,218.74. The firm claimed that Dave Davies, EcoPower's director and owner, was personally liable for the outstanding amount. Greene had emailed Davies a new engagement letter in November 2009 which identified Davies as its client. In Edwin Coe's claim against Davies, Greene testified that it was necessary to flip clients from EcoPower to Davies because Davies had "made it clear that his company had little or no money".

Davies never signed the engagement letter, and said he had not seen it. He also denied ever being Edwin Coe's client, and produced correspondence which he said contradicted Greene's testimony and proved that EcoPower remained the true client. But a District Judge disagreed and, finding that Davies had become Edwin Coe's client, ordered him to pay up.

As the result of a complaint by Davies, the Legal Ombudsman ordered Edwin Coe to knock £100 off its bill because it had not promptly replied to his emails and calls. But despite the token slap on the wrist, or perhaps because of it, Edwin Coe continued to pursue its ex-client, who complained to the SRA without success.

The firm obtained a Charging Order over Davies' house, which is valued at £220,000, last year. It is now seeking a Possession and Sale Order to recover approximately £20,000, comprising £7k plus costs and interest, by flogging the property.


estate

"The last occupier has cursed the building and any who dare enter, but look at that induction hob."


As Edwin Coe's senior partner, Greene shared over £7 million with his fellow partners last year. The firm's annual accounts stated that its highest paid member received £517,000.

Davis said, “A formal complaint has been filed to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in the hope that his actions will be scrutinized and action taken. It is beyond belief that the Vice President of the Law Society would act in such a way, with no apparent regard for moral or ethical conduct”.

In a statement, a spokesman for Edwin Coe said, "The agreement between the firm and its clients is not a personal relationship between one partner and a client. The contract is with the firm and it is the firm that charged for the work done for Mr Davies on his instructions and the firm that started the court process".

He said, "All issues were aired by Mr Davies before the Court more than once in fully contested hearings", adding that the firm "has always been open to achieving a resolution and it remains open to Mr Davies to seek a resolution”.

A spokesman for the Law Society said, "Solicitors in England and Wales are highly trained and highly regulated and clients have a number of avenues of recourse if they believe the service they have received falls short. Solicitors are also entitled – where they haven’t been paid for their services – to seek recovery of that debt.”

Tip Off ROF

Related News

This Week’s News

The content for this week is not available yet.

Comments

Dearie 22 March 19 08:20

Law Society once again showing it’s star qualitee in drawing only the finest of the most middling of average lawyers to its governing ranks. It does strike as odd that a law firm should switch client from company to director simply because the director has more money - the services were rendered for the benefit of the company. Why didn’t they just ask for funds on account?

Anonymous 22 March 19 09:04

Shoddy.  Both on the admin side of client management, and in behavior afterwards.  This is a perfect example of how not to behave.

G 22 March 19 09:33

This is all a bit red-top don't you think?  The courts have found the individual responsible and ordered costs to be paid.  They must have been satisfied to make the charging order, and the headline is just a bit grabby.  Every single loser in a case could potentially lose their assets, but is the future President of the Law Society expected to act differently and not chase a debt? 

Arachnae 22 March 19 10:03

That's a wizard wheeze, isn't it? If I have an impecunious corporate client I just send the directors letters declaring them to be my clients instead. Genius. Wish I'd thought of it.

Anonymous 22 March 19 10:20

I've suddenly decided that I've just concluded half a million quids worth of work for one Mr David Greene, and I want paying!

Anonymous 22 March 19 10:22

This is all very over the top. A solicitor provided services. He is entitled to be paid for those services. Yes, there were clearly some administrative whoopsies, but the client in question was given ample opportunity to defend his position. That defence has evidently been found wanting. If he had been sensible and engaged EC in respect of what was originally a £7k debt, he wouldn't now be in the unfortunate position he finds himself. 

Anonymous 22 March 19 11:10

If David Greene has made statements which are factually incorrect and managed to convince a Judge to rule in his favour, that should be scrutinized whether he is President of the Law Society or not. Lets hope the Solcitor's Disciplinary Tribunal have a fair hearing and the truth will out.

Anonymous 22 March 19 13:03

Had a similar situation with a Barrister's chambers sending via email new T&Cs the day before trial started which said COMBAR B terms no longer applicable and instead solicitors were responsible for all fees. Pretty repellent this thing of just sending long and complicated documents and then saying they're binding if no response.

Otherwise what else is Edwin Coe supposed to do? The whole financial system would fall apart if you couldn't enforce debts of £7k because the press considered it a bit pathetic.

Anonymous 22 March 19 18:58

It shouldn't be possible to lose one's home in the 21st century due to outstanding legal fees.

Anonymous 23 March 19 02:00

Courts grant charging orders far too easily, but orders for sale are far harder to get. I doubt he'll get one, but would be interesting to be kept updated.