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The Divorce Laws and Results Have Come To The Point
Where Even The Lawyers Admit
"NO Sane Man Should Get Married"

ou'll get a chuckle out of this one.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Mention] London - Divorce lawyer is carpeted over fees
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 21:26:57 -0000
From: rwhiston@demon.co.uk <rwhiston@rwhiston.demon.co.uk>
Reply-To: mention@yahoogroups.com
To: mention@yahoogroups.com

RE: Mr Tooth [a solicitor] specialises in extracting big sums from rich ex-husbands.

He boasts of his 90 per cent success rate and said last year:

"No sane, wealthy man should get married at all."

Need we say more to our sons ?



Sent: 21 March 2005 17:13

Subject: Divorce lawyer is carpeted over fees


Evening Standard

21 March 2005  

Divorce lawyer is carpeted over fees

By Ben Leapman Home Affairs Correspondent   He is the divorce lawyer to celebrities including Sadie Frost and Cheryl Barrymore.   He has also acted for the ex-wives of Eric Clapton and racehorse owner Robert Sangster.

But now solicitor Raymond Tooth - one of the most feared in his field in London and nicknamed Jaws -
as been rapped over the knuckles by a judge for overcharging a client.  

His firm, Sears Tooth, was found to have billed Olga Spasic for unnecessary letters, phone calls and
meetings. The firm was ordered at a Supreme Court Costs Office hearing to refund 12,000 from a total bill of 67,000.  

The judge heard that Mr Tooth, 64, charges 40 for every letter or phone call. For one meeting he charged 1,233 for three hours and five minutes of his time, plus 533 for an hour and 20 minutes of "travelling and waiting". Another Sears Tooth solicitor on the case, Juliet Mace, charged 200 per hour.  

After her divorce, Ms Spasic, 45, has been left without a home or income. The settlement from her millionaire ex-husband has been whittled away by legal fees to 65,000. Today she warned other women to seek free legal advice or represent themselves, rather than turn to top lawyers.  

But Mr Tooth vowed to appeal, claiming Ms Spasic only succeeded because "she wore the costs judge down". He said: "If she wanted me to handle the case, she has to pay my charges.

"She was treated incredibly well, but would not listen to advice.

She was told to settle but she ignored our advice. She's her own worst enemy, I'm afraid. It's very difficult for lawyers - but we do our best."  

Mr Tooth, known for his string of race-horses, his love of cigars and 400-an-hour fees, said: "I'm cheaper than most of the firms. We are very competitive."  

Mr Tooth specialises in extracting big sums from rich ex-husbands. He boasts of his 90 per cent success rate and said last year: "No sane, wealthy man should get married at all."

Ms Spasic was divorced in 1993 after two years of marriage, but continued to live with her ex-husband until 2003. She has no children. She went to court in a bid to keep the couple's 250,000 Paddington flat, where she was living after the separation.
She lost and a judge ordered that the flat be sold with Ms Spasic receiving 152,000. Almost half the money went straight to Mr Tooth because she had signed a "deed of assignment" allowing him first claim on the proceeds of the sale.  

Ms Spasic challenged the legal bill, representing herself and teaching herself law from library books. At a Costs Office hearing last week, a High Court judge struck off charges for work that was unnecessary, double-charged or overcharged.  

The refund of 11,900 amounted to 21 per cent of the portion of the bill under examination. Had it been below 20 per cent, Ms Spasic would have had to pay an estimated 30,000 - Mr Tooth's costs for the hearing.  

Ms Spasic claims she was initially told the bill would be only 10,000, but the judge rejected this. She alleged in court that Mr Tooth dragged out the case and advised her to avoid legal aid lawyers because their standards were lower.  

Mr Tooth said his client should have followed his advice by accepting her husband's offer of a 200,000 settlement and her legal costs paid. She admitted she had made a mistake by rejecting the offer, but said she should not be punished again with an inflated legal bill.