Client claims Toronto lawyer asked for $100K ‘finder’s fee’

Client says lawyer asked for $100k extra following divorce settlement
WATCH ABOVE: A GTA man who hired a Toronto lawyer says she insisted on being paid a “finder's fee” after the case was settled. Asim Khan says he already paid $200,000 in legal fees and hadn't agreed to any kind of bonus. Sean O'Shea reports.

A GTA man who paid a Toronto family lawyer about $200,000 in legal fees says the lawyer later wanted an extra $100,000 as a bonus after his divorce case was settled.

Asim Khan told Global News the lawyer, Tilda Roll, initially refused to release the balance of the roughly $1-million settlement until the extra charge was paid.

“Tilda suddenly dropped a bomb on me,” Khan said, referring to what she initially called a “bonus” and later a “finder’s fee.”

He said Roll told him, “By the way, you owe me a $100,000 fee as we agreed.”

Khan is adamant he entered into no such agreement to pay a bonus. Global News reviewed his retainer agreement with Roll. It makes no mention of any additional payment.

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“She had taken these funds in trust, held me hostage and said, ‘If you don’t follow this you won’t get the money,'” Khan said.

Later, Khan said she reduced her demand — at one point lowering it to $25,000. Eventually, he said she released most of the money. Although he still does not have a final accounting of his bill with Roll more than a year after the case concluded.

With Khan’s consent, Roll provided copies of some of the billing for Khan’s file. The entire bill is now the subject of a mediation.

Global News first contacted Roll about Khan’s bill in April 2018. Later in the year, she declined a request for an interview but provided a statement instead.

“I have been contacted by the Law Society of Ontario regarding Mr. Mohammed Asim Khan. I have to date been co-operative with the Law Society,” she wrote.

“In my professional experience, it is not uncommon for clients involved in high conflict legal disputes to raise a fee issue with counsel after a successful result has been obtained on his/her behalf. This is in fact the case with Mr. Khan.”

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She declined further comment citing solicitor client privilege.

Approached outside Newmarket court by a camera crew and asked about the billing issue, Roll declined to elaborate.

“You have my statement. I’ve been very transparent,” she said.

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In December 2017, Khan filed a complaint about Roll with the Law Society of Ontario, which regulates lawyers in the province. The complaint was reviewed by Global News.

No disciplinary action has been taken against Roll. Khan said he’s been informed that an investigation into his case is continuing. Roll remains a lawyer in good standing with no disciplinary record on file.

Khan said the mediation has been postponed until August because Roll asked for an adjournment until then.

— With files by Megan King