A Ho Chi Minh City court on Tuesday ordered two locals to pay their lawyer VND54 billion for helping them reclaim their former home.
Dang Dinh Thinh, a local attorney, had initially sued his former clients, Vuong Thi Khanh and Nguyen Dac Quang, for VND154 billion (US$7.7 million).
According to the court's decision, Khanh and her son Quang left the country for the US decades ago, leaving their home on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street unoccupied.
The municipal authorities seized the home in 1999.
The mother and son returned to Vietnam in 2004 and filed a request for their house.
Following a denial of their request, three years later, they hired Thinh to help them get the house back and promised him 35 percent of the home's value if he prevailed.
Their pledge was clearly outlined in a contract signed by both parties.
In 2011, authorities granted title of the home to Khanh and her son.
Khanh then secretly sold the house without paying the bonus to Thinh.
When Thinh learned of his customers' deceit, he sued them in municipal court.
The court assessed the value of the home and granted him roughly a third of his initial claim: VND 54 billion.