London divorce lawyer Lady Shackleton is subject to an ongoing investigation into her significant “mark-ups” to the accounts of celebrity clients. Her hourly bill for work on Heather Mills’s divorce was marked up from $14,000 to $150,000. Hourly bills for her work with Madonna and Paul McCartney were similarly marked up hundreds of thousands of pounds. The response? Madonna and Paul McCartney were “satisfied” with the billing, and Shackleton’s law firm confirmed that the bills were “fair and reasonable.” Lady Shackleton has said that she is “slack with time sheets” and adds lump sums to make up for the unrecorded time she spends on cases.
While Britain’s authorities worry that, “people seem to be largely intimidated and in awe of their lawyers and are uncomfortable challenging them,” we have already found a solution to that worry: a code of ethics. As set forth in the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct, attorneys are responsible for justice, and are thus held to a higher standard with regard to client accounts. We are required to execute agreements with our clients as to what rate we intend to charge for our legal representation. We are then required to immediately notify clients of any changes in our rates. Our fees must comport with the hours we spend working on a client’s case.
At Schmidt Law Firm, we ensure that our clients are informed as to the cost of our services. Every month, our clients receive itemized account statements outlining the work we have done on our case, the time it took to do that work, and the hourly rate that was charged. Honesty and integrity are vital to our law practice.
For more information on Lady Shackleton, you can find the full article at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8800414/The-top-divorce-lawyer-her-big-name-clients-and-marked-up-bills.html