Unwitting manufacturers are being ripped off by lawyers

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Unwitting manufacturers are being ripped off by lawyers for millions of pounds, according to experts. A study of 100 legal bills faced by manufacturing companies since the recession started in June 2008 revealed that nearly a quarter of all bills are inflated. Some lawyers have being caught charging twice as much as they should be. ab8, the national legal cost cutters, warn that hefty legal bills must be challenged or they could wipe out manufacturers who are already facing tough times.

Marc Yaffe, head of business development at ab8, said: Manufacturers are vulnerable to inflated legal bills simply because of the chaos in the market over the past six months. It is suspected a small minority of lawyers are deliberately racking up fees but most are simply making billing errors or not sticking to pre-quoted budgets which they are legally obliged to stick to. Yaffe comments: Rather than facing the headache of arguing with a law firm manufacturers are simply paying up, but this apathy is costing them dearly.

Manufacturers are facing certain types of legal bills for the first time ever. Employment law invoices following redundancies made this year and contract disputes with importers and exporters are now common. According to Yaffe, manufacturers are scratching their heads wondering how much in legal fees they are liable for. For example, the finance director of one manufacturer we helped last week received a bill for 29,000 which should have only really been 14,000, he said. We looked at their case and the law firm backed down and agreed a revised bill of 14,000. We estimate this is typical but most invoices are slipping through the net, being signed off by unwary finance directors and owner managers and as a result have cost manufacturers millions in unnecessary fees this year alone. Finance directors must retain copies of initial quotes and ensure any overcharge is pre-agreed and explained on an invoice with a clear narrative. Good lawyers keep legitimate records of every single minute spent on a case.

ab8 is a national legal cost cutting firm which helps businesses reduce the size of their legal bills. The advice given by ab8 is free. ab8 offers a 100 per cent guarantee it only charges clients a percentage of any savings made.

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