In brief: Law firm slammed over controversial bill

Birmingham law firm James Beauchamp has been widely condemned for sending a £12,000 bill to the family of one of its solicitors who killed himself. A Law Society spokesman said there were no guidelines for practices in dealing with bills arising from the death of a staff member, although this was a highly unusual and regrettable case. According to his family, James Beauchamp solicitor Christopher Bryant killed himself because of the pressure of work. The firm later sent his family a £12,278,16 bill for matters relating to his death, including a £150 charge for telling Bryant's mother her son was dead. In a statement James Beauchamp solicitors rejected that they had acted improperly but said in light of the distress of Christopher's family the outstanding payment from his estate would not be sought.