Freeman quizzed on Lloyd's billing

SOLICITOR Michael Freeman will have to justify his total billings of more than u800,000 for work done for a Lloyd's Names group following a Taxing Master's order last week.

The order was granted after the Oakley Vaughan Names Association issued an originating summons for taxation of the bills in May. Freeman had opposed the application.

The summons called for the return of the money transferred, allegedly without proper billing. That summons was withdrawn at the hearing.

Freeman has always rejected the Names' allegations. Jay Benning Levine & Peltz, representing him, says: “The allegations that money was wrongfully withdrawn has been completely withdrawn.”

However, the Names say they will the pursue this money with interest in a High Court action against Freeman.

Freeman's bills relate to work done around 1990-91. There is a time rule requiring taxation within a year of a final bill, but the master ruled that no final bill had been delivered to the client, so taxation could proceed.

The association alleged earlier this year that it had received bills for around u380,000, and the sum transferred.

It alleges it paid Freeman in excess of u800,000, only for a part of which they were billed.

Freeman, of Epstein Grower & Michael Freeman, was given six months to provide a final bill for the work he did. He says this will allow him to increase his bills by at least u220,000 of previously unbilled costs. He will charge at a full commercial rate, rather than his previous discounted rate.