The current law firm has engaged in a spot of ...er... exuberant billing.
Attached to every invoice, and a part of the costs agreement, is literature informing the client on the procedures of disputing a solicitor's bill.
First heading on the list: "Talk to your Lawyer".
[...talk to your lawyer about the bill. Once your lawyer understands why you are concerned, they will explain the costs and may agree to review the bill...]
The bill is Five times the estimate given in the costs agreement.
So Mine Host talks to the lawyer. Here is the amount of understanding & explanation he got:
"If you didn't want us to do this to you, you shouldn't have signed our costs agreement!"
Hmmm, seems like I'll be brushing up on my procedures for: "When bill disputes turn acrimonious."