Q&As

What rights does a residuary beneficiary have to challenge a firm’s professional charges for acting in the administration of an estate where the firm was instructed by lay executors who approved the invoice?

read titleRead full title
Produced in partnership with Oliver Auld of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Published on LexisPSL on 16.01.2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A produced in partnership with Oliver Auld of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What rights does a residuary beneficiary have to challenge a firm’s professional charges for acting in the administration of an estate where the firm was instructed by lay executors who approved the invoice?
  • Assessment under SA 1974
  • Application for Account

What rights does a residuary beneficiary have to challenge a firm’s professional charges for acting in the administration of an estate where the firm was instructed by lay executors who approved the invoice?

Solicitors are entitled to remuneration for non-contentious business, such as estate administration work, that is fair and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case, under the Solicitors’ (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009, SI 2009/193. Where a solicitor has rendered a bill for non-contentious probate work, the court has the power to assess the solicitors’ fees as to what is fair and reasonable under sections 70 and 71 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (SA 1974). The court may also retain a jurisdiction at common law to resolve challenges to the reasonableness of a solicitor’s bill of costs even where an assessment is not available under statute (see Turner v Palomo).

Assessment under SA 1974

The people who may be entitled to have the bill assessed by the court under SA 1974, ss 70 and 71 are:

  1. (1) the person chargeable with the bill (eg the client, such as a personal representative (PR));

  2. (2) anyone else who pays or is liable to pay that bill (eg where the purchaser in a conveyancing transaction is liable to pay his mortgagee’s legal fees); and

  3. (3) any persons who are interested in property from which

Related documents:

Popular documents