Q&As

Can a client refuse to pay a solicitor’s bill on alleged negligence of the solicitors? If solicitors sue a client for non-payment of their bill, can the client bring a professional negligence claim either as counterclaim or as separate proceedings? How are damages assessed for professional negligence claims?

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Published on LexisPSL on 05/07/2018

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a client refuse to pay a solicitor’s bill on alleged negligence of the solicitors? If solicitors sue a client for non-payment of their bill, can the client bring a professional negligence claim either as counterclaim or as separate proceedings? How are damages assessed for professional negligence claims?
  • Can a client refuse to pay a solicitor’s bill on alleged negligence of the solicitors?
  • If solicitors sue a client for non-payment of their bill, can the client bring a professional negligence claim either as counterclaim or as separate proceedings?
  • How are damages assessed for professional negligence claims?

Can a client refuse to pay a solicitor’s bill on alleged negligence of the solicitors?

If a client refuses to pay monies owed to a solicitor, the solicitor is still entitled to seek recovery of their costs, see Practice Note: Recovery of costs, solicitor’s rights, and non-statutory assessments.

However, a recent decision in the Queen’s Bench division, Foskett J held that the court had a wide discretion to stay detailed assessment proceedings and the requirement for the clients to pay money to the solicitors. In this case, the detailed assessment was stayed due to the fact that the client was seeking to bring a claim for professional negligence. For information, see News Analysis: Staying a detailed assessment and the courts’ discretion (Riordan v Moon Beever).

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