I was selling my business for a substantial sum of money. This bunch of shysters claimed they had the expertise and skill to handle my sale efficiently.
I was contacted by one of this bunch who was touting for my business. The girl offered to come to my place of work ( about 15 minutes drive from the Aarons Office ) I was told this would cost me nothing.
Much later down the line however I found this is where the rip off starts, because the so called free touting visit, ended up costing £70 plus vat for travelling time, plus the girls hourly rate while travelling then her time while touting for my business. On top of travelling and touting time, I was then charged file and time sheet filling time on her return so before we had even started I was already several hundred pounds out of pocket.
The girl turned and up made loads of unsubstantiated claims about the many big corporate deals they had supposedly been involved in etc etc. It all sounded impressive at that point, so I appointed Aarons to do the job.
The first thing she did without my agreement after filling in her time sheet was to involve as many other departments of Aarons with my transaction as she could get away with. This as it turned out, was of no direct benefit to me, But to Aarons, it gave them an instant source of bumping up bill's because according to the original lawyer, they all needed to interact. This meant to my direct loss, that each hour she claimed to of spent interacting with her clan, I didn't have one lawyers hourly rate to pay but several.
As to the transaction itself, With so many lawyers on the case you would of at least expected that the job was done to perfection. Sorry you would be wrong. Through out the transaction period there were constant complaints from the buyer to the extent that they had heard so little from my lawyers they thought I had sacked them. I later found my lawyer had without leaving someone in her place, gone on holiday. The result was, nothing was done or answered in her absence.
The day came of completion came and on the instructions of Aaron's I signed the contract.
The following day the same Aaron's lawyer wrote to me to say, having now had time to read the contract ( which by that time had already been signed and exchanged ) she stated that she had found issues and problems with the contract.
This as I was later to find out was just the tip of the iceberg. On receipt of this letter, I couldn't believe that I had signed a 100 page contract to which she was now admitting in writing that, she had not even fully read before she let me sign it.
Part of the deal involved a sizable retention fund.
Against my direct instruction the Aarons lawyer ( who in hind sight, was clearly out gunned in ability by the other sides shysters), stupidly released the whole retention fund ( several hundred thousand pounds ). Aaron's did this on a lawyer to lawyer promise that supposedly the buyers lawyer would send back the balance that was clearly, and indisputably owing to me.
As it turned in the end out I am sure you have already guessed, I never got a penny.
Then as if what had gone on so far wasn't bad enough, The other side to divert attention from the balance clearly owing to me, manipulated the un-agreed dodgy warranties they had rigged and loaded deep in their contract. The same contract which, as stated earlier, it appeared the Aarons lawyer had failed to question or even properly read. When we refused to give in to the buyers warrenties demands, This ended up with a three year high court battle with the other side twisting, using and manipulating warranties to justify the claim.
Bottom line at this point in my opinion Aarons and caused and left me in a complete mess.
Instead of trying to sort out the mess or, even get the money due to me which Aaron's had stupidly handed on a plate to the other side. Aaron's wanted me to pay yet another Aarons partner on top to then defend the warrenty claim. In my opinion that would of resulted in my effectively paying Aaron's to clean up a mess caused by the incompetence of the girl Aaron's put in charge of my job.
Despite the above mess In the middle of it all, I had Aaron's "typically vague" invoices coming out of my ears. Even had they done the job they claimed they had done, to me, the amounts invoiced seemed way over the top.
I questioned the invoice amounts all I got was the usual fob off treatment. I asked for breakdown, then weeks later with no sign of a breakdown, I asked again. Then months later I asked again. Eventually I demanded a full breakdown, More than three months later, a hotly off the press done that day, rush job breakdown turned up.
On closer scrutiny I found as it stood, I had been ripped off and over charged to the tune of may thousands of pounds. By this time, Aaron's had already without agreement helped themselves from the proceeds of the sale. So I was already on the back foot as far as arguing about costs were concerned.
I complained to the senior partners as per the rigged up get you nowhere complaints procedure. To back up my complaint, I added my own detailed break down. Instead of a proper reply, the one line reply from Aarons was,
"The bill has been paid and the matter is closed".
Then the next twist, I complained some more, beyond the typical arogant fob off I got nothing.
Next, instead of replying to my complaint, Aaron's twisted my complaint into what they called "an allegation of negligence". I didn't know, but apparently according to Aaron's at least, this gave Aarons the right to back date my complaint and then charge for dealing with and replying to each and every letter of complaint I had sent which in my opinion, I still had never been properly answered.
Because I kept complaining, in a further attempt to shut me up, Aaron's then issued court proceedings against me for all their rigged up so called costs.
In the process and to bump up costs, every so called partner who had dealt with me produced at their hiked individulal hourly rates to be charged to me, mega long statements etc. To keep up the pressure, costs mounting and probably for good measure on top they then appointed a band of barristers etc.
Before I knew it, Aaron's were then trying to charge me tens of thousands of pounds on top just for complaining about by the mess they had left me in. All along however, beyond the standard brush off, Aaron's had still had never properly replied to the points I took issue with.
I was left with the thought that, had Aaron's put as much effort into protecting my interests as they were now putting into in my opinion covering up what had happened to me at their hands. Then maybe, the mess I was in might never of happened.
Go back to the start of all this, this problem was caused because a lawyer of this outfit claimed she could do a job that clearly in hind sight, she couldn't. Instead of owning up at the start or, even along the way and admitting she was lost without a paddle and maybe suggesting, I should look for an alternative lawyer that could diligently do the job, the Aaron's girl buried her head in the sand, went on holiday, then on her return muddled on.
During this nightmare, I put it to Aarons that they at least had a duty of care to help with the mess they had caused. But they didn't care, instead Aaron's made it clear, that unless I was prepared to keep paying then Aaron's had no interest what so ever.
I comlained the the LSC a complete waste of space. Bottom line, Instead of helping me I found the entire old boys brigade including the LSC kicked into first gear. In effect, it was worse than a union closed shop. I found they all ganged up closed ranks and attempted to destroy me and my complaint from within. Every weapon and dodgy time limit excuse, they could think of was put on the table. In myexperience, it was a complete closed shop with nowhere outside the legal game to go.
Which ever way this is tossed about, Aaron's did not even bother acting upon the clear written promise made between Aarons and the other sides lawyer to make good the commitment to pay me the balance of the retention fund that was due and undisputadly owing to me. Had Aaron's of at least done that small thing, then in fact, that would of give me some funds to fight with.
In fact in my direct experience, I found the only real interest of Aaron and Partners was that of filling their own bank account. Once a clients money dried up as, mine had, in my experience Aaron's simply disposed of clients and treat them like trash.
Overall, instead of owning up then dealing with the mess they had caused or, even just calling in the promise of the lawyer to pay me the balance owing to me. All Aaron's wanted, was to pass blame and protect the facade projected on their glossy web site and mis-leading claims of ability as those that had been touted to me.
As for the law society and dealing with complaints about solicitors, the outfit known as the LSC. In my experience, is a complete farce. In my opinion the only thing the LSC and lawyers do is line each others pockets then cover each other's backs. None of them beyond money trail give the client second thought. The LSC appeared to have no real interest in those who had been been ripped off or, have suffered due to bad service. With complaints instead of investigating, The first kop/riddle out for the LSC is the hidden 6 month rule. But even that rule seems to float in favour of the lawyer.
At the hand of this bunch of shysters and their bodged service, I ended up with nothing.
Worse due to the dodgy contract, I ended up with almost 4 years of untold stress, worry a complete nightmare of a high court case.
Bottom line, despite the mess Aarons pocketed around £40,000. for what? In basic terms, nothing other than a complete bodged up mess. As for representation, I would of been better off doing it myself.
With no thanks to Aaron's I eventually defeated the court case brought against. The case in any event being based on rigged dodgy warrenties ( missed by the Aaron's lawyer ) tucked away within the contract. Which, the Aaron's laywer confirmed in writting that crutially, she hadn't fully read until the day after completion.
While Aaron's pocketed £40,000 for the mess and I won the case I still suffered a huge financial loss.
Apart from the nightmare 4 years of worry, stress. There was my share of the retention fund stupidly and incorectly handed on a plate to the lawyer for the buyers by Aaron's. On top, I then had to borrow money to pay another bunch of lawyers well over a hundred thousand of pounds to defend, win and clear up some of the mess caused by Aaron's which led to the scam warrenty case in the first place. Despite winning the case, I still never got the retenton money owed to me.
All in all, when you add Aaron's £40k. to the new lawyers fee's, and the lost retention money, it all adds up to several hundred thousand pounds lost by me. That in my opinion is thanks to the lawyers ( Aaron's ) who I thought were looking after my ( not their ) interest. In my opinion they got away with it this purely because:
1,) I was sucked in by the original Aaron's lawyer mis-selling and over stating her ability to do the job in hand. 2,) The complaints system against lawyers is rigged up to ambush you, gag you and make sure there is nowhere to go.
All we ever hear about is how crooked bankers are and how we need proper regulation.
Yet what about lawyers? I found there is no proper independant effective regulation, no transparency in fact as I found there is nothing. All I found was endless loop hole's for lawyers to jump through and hidden floating and conveient time limits for lawyers hide behind if things go wrong as they did in my case.
The basic understanding of what a lawyer is supposed to do is, to protect the clients interests. Where did this effectively discharge their duty of care. How is it they can even charge for replying to a complaint. At no time prior to my first letter of compliant did they warm me I would be charged for not only replying to the letter but for even reading it. How is that right?. What other industry or business do you know of where they can get away with this?