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Is the Lawyer Entitled To Keep All of the Money if the Client Does Not Wish To Pursue With Him As His Lawyer Anymore?

Answered by: Muftiyah Habiba Akhtar

Question:

Someone hires a lawyer and pays him half his fees to get started with some paperworkfile a case. After having started the work he was entrusted with, the client shows up in two days and says he no longer requires the service. There was no negligence from the side of the lawyer and neither is it known yet if the client wants to withdraw due to some genuine reason. Whatever the case may be, is the lawyer entitled to keep all of the money or withhold the amount he could have gained otherwise if this client wouldn’t keep him busy for these two days? Or does he need to refund the whole amount?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Answer:

In Shariah ruling, upon the completion of the transaction, the goods or services are transferred to the buyer.

The condition of selling is that the product or service is exchanged with the payment made. When the contract is concluded between the buyer and seller, the transaction is complete.

In transactions, there are two methods by which there may be a return on the transaction:

● Khiyar Ru’ya
● Khiyar Ayb

Khiyar Ru’ya:

Whoever buys that which he has not seen, the sale is permitted and he has the choice when he does see it: if he wants, he may take it, or if he wants, he may refuse it.

Khiyar Ayb:

When the buyer becomes aware of a blemish in the goods, he has the choice: if he wants, he may take it [by paying] the complete payment, or if he wants, he may reject it. (Mukhtasar Quduri, pages 173-175, Ta-Ha Publishers)

In response to your query, unless the above conditions have been met, the transaction has been completed and the buyer doesn’t have the right to return the transaction.

However, the contract may be cancelled if there is a precondition in the contract before the transaction is complete: this is Khiyar Shart “The option stipulated in the contract is permitted in the sale for [both] seller and buyer” (Mukhtasar Quduri, page 172, Ta-Ha Publishers)

Therefore, the owner/lawyer reserves the right of the payment unless a fault is brought to attention regarding his services.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Muftiyah Habiba Akhtar

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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