Form and content of bills
Produced in partnership with 4 New Square

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with 4 New Square provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Form and content of bills
  • References
  • What is a statute bill?
  • What are the requirements for a statute bill?
  • Express requirements to comply with SA 1974
  • Implied requirements
  • Express requirement—need for a signature
  • Express requirement—delivery of the bill
  • Implied requirement—completeness
  • Implied requirement—sufficient narrative
  • More...

Form and content of bills

References

The Solicitors Act 1974 is referred to as the SA 1974 in this Practice Note.

The terms 'bill' and 'invoice' are often used interchangeably. In this Practice Note the term 'bill' is used, being the same term used in the SA 1974.

What is a statute bill?

A 'statute bill' is a bill is a solicitor’s bill that complies with the requirements of SA 1974. Such bills can be sued upon. This principle was set out by the Court of Appeal in Slade (trading as Richard Slade and Co) v Boodia.

It is possible for statute bills to be:

  1. interim—issued at regular intervals by contractual agreement or by natural break in protracted litigation etc. For detailed guidance, see Practice Note:Solicitor and client costs—interim bills—Interim bills

  2. final—issued at the end of the case

What are the requirements for a statute bill?

When considering a statute bill there are express and implied requirements to ensure compliance with the SA 1974.

Express requirements to comply with SA 1974

The two express requirements are set out in SA 1974, s 69. The bill must be:

  1. signed—see Express requirement—need for a signature below

  2. delivered to the person charged with the bill—seeExpress requirement—delivery of the bill below

SA 1974, s 69 states that were a bill is proved to have been delivered in compliance with these requirements, it is not necessary in the first instance for

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