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Edgware couple's horror at £37k legal bill from Lyons Davidson over neighbour's wheelie bin dispute
A couple involved in a bitter dispute with their neighbour over the placement of a wheelie bin have been asked to pay almost £37,000 in legal fees.
Liaquat and Liphe Ali say they are horrified at the latest claim for costs in the long-running argument with their next door neighbour Iqban Suleman.
The couple went through a “year of hell” after Mr Suleman began a civil action in 2011.
He claimed the bin blocked his access through a shared driveway between the two semi-detached properties in Brook Avenue, Edgware.
The hearing was thrown out at court last year but Mr Suleman, represented by solicitors from Lyons Davidson, pursued the Alis for the full cost of his legal fees, which, at the first claim, amounted to £21,000.
But the Ali’s were even more stunned when Mr Suleman came back at them at the end of last year with a claim for £36,370.
Father-of-two Mr Ali, 49, said: “When we heard it had reached £37,000 we just felt sheer horror and frustration.
“We keep waiting for him to take us to a costs hearing but nothing has happened, he just keeps asking us to pay. It has become a war of attrition about who will give in first – he’s just playing a waiting game.”
Self-employed computer analyst Mr Ali previously described how the bitter feud had taken over his family’s life, even forcing them to consider moving.
He said: “We have now decided we’re going to stand our ground. We should not have to suffer this. There is no way £36,000 can justify a legal bill over a wheelie bin.”
The pair’s neighbour dispute dates back a couple of years, when Mr Ali reported Mr Suleman to planning inspectors for concreting the rear of his property for use as a driveway.
Mr Ali was later hit back with claims his wheelie bin was blocking the driveway.
Despite moving the bin, a civil action began that has left Mr Ali and his family in “a state of limbo” with the threat of a huge legal bill looming over their heads.
Mr Ali said: “We’re just hoping this will go to a costs hearing now. If it does, I think he (Mr Suleman) will be in a lot of trouble.
“It is a ridiculous, outrageous situation. He needs to explain how on earth he came to that figure and until he does we’re not paying a penny.”