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r thritis

2 Completions, 2 'accidental' Arithmetic Errors

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I have just received a final statement from my solicitor for a house purchase and it contains a simple arithmetic error, which is 60k in favour of the solicitor. Now I would pass this off as just administrative sloppiness if it were not for the fact that exactly the same thing happened when I last completed on a house sale back in the 90's. Different solicitor that time, and just a 2K error in their favour.

I am begining to wonder if this is some sort of institutionalised rip-off. With large sums of money flying around, if they do this regularly, maybe 1 in 10 times it would go unnoticed.

Should I report them?

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Nope, it's probably just blinding incompetence rather than actual fraud or deliberate error. It shouldn't happen if they're careful but some of these firms think that a typewriter is cutting edge. IF they're following the rules properly then they should have spotted this within five weeks and corrected it.

Each firm is audited annually and has to send the report to the Law Society (or SRA nowadays) - if they were trying some sort of systematic fiddle then I doubt they'd last 5 minutes.

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My solicitor requested funds for a purchase several weeks in advance of the completion date so the money sat in their account whilst I had to pay interest on it.

That was no accident.

VMR.

I know a solicitor who ran off with all the money sitting in the account. He got caught and went to prison. :o

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Hopefully, they'd pick up the error when they reconciled their Client Account?

( Probably best not to wait and see though )

M21er

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Nope, it's probably just blinding incompetence rather than actual fraud or deliberate error. It shouldn't happen if they're careful but some of these firms think that a typewriter is cutting edge. IF they're following the rules properly then they should have spotted this within five weeks and corrected it.

Each firm is audited annually and has to send the report to the Law Society (or SRA nowadays) - if they were trying some sort of systematic fiddle then I doubt they'd last 5 minutes.

Audited annually - by whom? I can't say I have a great deal of confidence in auditors. Are these the same sort of people who audited Enron, Worldcom, Madoff fund, etc...

Law Society (SRA) - regulatory body? I hope they've got a higher level of competence than the FSA or SEC

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£60K mistake for a Solicitor ? .......what were you buying ...Buckingham palace ? ....

Yeah - picked it up for a snip. Distressed sellers apparently :lol:

It just p*sses me off that they're so damn careless (again). If it is just a genuine mistake, they really should deal with this incompetance (maybe they should send themselves on a primary school maths course). Presumably, recommendation and reputation is important for their business - and they sure as hell won't be getting any repeat business from me.

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Solicitors are notoriously bad with numbers. My excuse is that if I was any good with numbers, I would have been an accountant. We're word-smiths not number-crunchers ;)

I have to agree with this. I am an accountant and deal with corporate lawyers quite a lot.

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Yeah - picked it up for a snip. Distressed sellers apparently :lol:

It just p*sses me off that they're so damn careless (again). If it is just a genuine mistake, they really should deal with this incompetance (maybe they should send themselves on a primary school maths course). Presumably, recommendation and reputation is important for their business - and they sure as hell won't be getting any repeat business from me.

If they are that careless with numbers, what else have they been careless with? Pen in that they owe you an extra £120k and see what happens.

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Audited annually - by whom? I can't say I have a great deal of confidence in auditors. Are these the same sort of people who audited Enron, Worldcom, Madoff fund, etc...

Law Society (SRA) - regulatory body? I hope they've got a higher level of competence than the FSA or SEC

A registered auditor governed by one of the recognised bodies.

Enron/Worldcom were done by big 4 auditors (pre-enron big 5); I doubt there are many high street solicitors audited by the big 4.

Having seen the SRA rules they look pretty watertight. That said if a solicitor was willing to create a false audit trail using forged documents I doubt there's much anybody could do to find this, unless they knew exactly where to look.

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Solicitors are notoriously bad with numbers. My excuse is that if I was any good with numbers, I would have been an accountant. We're word-smiths not number-crunchers ;)

Then maybe you should employ a school leaver with a CSE in Maths to do it for you. :blink:

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Solicitors are notoriously bad with numbers. My excuse is that if I was any good with numbers, I would have been an accountant. We're word-smiths not number-crunchers ;)

I could come up with a number of better descriptions of your parasitic trade.

Word-smith wouldn't have been one of them.

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Word-smith wouldn't have been one of them.

Yes, naively, one might hope that a solicitor is good with logic - a branch of mathematics - if they're to be competent in their job. To my mind "bad with numbers" won't cut-it in the context of a profession.

My bet, however, is on sloppiness and laziness rather than intentional fraud... with the responsible jobs handed to the least well qualified in order that the partners can maximise profit where no repeat custom is expected. An error in favour of the firm can be resolved with an apology - getting the job done right either requires diligent checking by senior staff, or employment of a higher calibre of understudy.

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Yes, naively, one might hope that a solicitor is good with logic - a branch of mathematics - if they're to be competent in their job. To my mind "bad with numbers" won't cut-it in the context of a profession.

My bet, however, is on sloppiness and laziness rather than intentional fraud... with the responsible jobs handed to the least well qualified in order that the partners can maximise profit where no repeat custom is expected. An error in favour of the firm can be resolved with an apology - getting the job done right either requires diligent checking by senior staff, or employment of a higher calibre of understudy.

I have always thought laws should be simple enough for the general population to understand after all it is they that have to abide by them.

Lawmakers are mainly lawyers they make laws to keep themselves in employment.

I think we should have a five year moratorium on new laws and we should spend that time simplifying the ones we already have. Bet we could get rid of most of them.

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Lawmakers are mainly lawyers they make laws to keep themselves in employment.

Agreed about your other 2 points but you are joking here aren't you?

Most of the lawmakers (being elected politicians) are non-lawyers who've attained their position by the ability to sit through interminable and largely pointless meetings, look good before a camera and spout bullls*** on pretty much any issue without appearing to be the ignorant idiots they usually are.

They are generally either interested in persuing their own particular agenda (think Harman a couple of weeks ago) or in furthering their own career by giving the appearance of dealing with a problem or otherwise being active, hence the fact that we seem to have another criminal justice act or initiative just about every week (fixed penalty notices for "careless" driving today).

Quite frankly the lawyers probably no more want to have to keep up to date with the latest batch of changes to the incoherent mess than anyone else.

Edited by Young Goat

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Most of the lawmakers (being elected politicians) are non-lawyers

I don't agree, I believe many politicians are lawyers have no figures to back it up but as a keen student of politics I can assure you that a lot of them are lawyers.

So no its not a joke. Its not a conspiracy but a parliament with a lot of lawyers in is going to create lots of laws simply because they believe in laws, which is why they became lawyers in the first place.

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They are generally either interested in persuing their own particular agenda (think Harman a couple of weeks ago) or in furthering their own career by giving the appearance of dealing with a problem or otherwise being active, hence the fact that we seem to have another criminal justice act or initiative just about every week (fixed penalty notices for "careless" driving today).

Harriet Harman QC is about to lose her job after which I am sure she is eyeing up a lucrative career defending womens rights.

Do you see what I mean yet?

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Harriet Harman QC is about to lose her job after which I am sure she is eyeing up a lucrative career defending womens rights.

Do you see what I mean yet?

From Wikipedia

Harman made a return to the front bench after the 2001 general election, with her appointment to the office of Solicitor General, thus becoming the first female Solicitor General. In accordance with convention, she was appointed as Queen's Counsel, although she was never a barrister and had no rights of audience in the higher courts.

As far as I can see HH has no formal legal qualification; her only actual legal experience I can find is:

Between 1978 and 1982, she was legal officer for the National Council for Civil Liberties and as such was found in contempt of court by Sir Hugh Park in the important civil liberties case Home Office v. Harman [1983] 1 A.C. 280, 308 (the conviction for contempt being upheld on appeal), before becoming MP for Peckham in a by-election in 1982.

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