- Solicitors’ retainers did not permit interim statute bills (Masters v Charles Fussell & Co LLP)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- Submission on the First Retainer
- Submissions on the Second Retainer
- What did the court decide?
- First Retainer
- Second Retainer
- Third Retainer
- Chamberlain considered
- Special Circumstances (in the event of an appeal)
- Case details
Dispute Resolution analysis: Costs Judge Rowley found that the defendant’s retainers did not permit interim statute bills and therefore the claimant retained the right to challenge those costs. The retainer must make it clear that the solicitor intends to submit interim statute bills. Furthermore, the retainer should explain that there are time limits in which to seek an assessment of the invoices and what those times limits are. Those invoices must be self-contained and provide enough information to enable the client to consider the reasonableness of the costs claimed. If any of these criteria are not met, the invoice may not be treated as an interim statute bill and therefore the time limits under section 70 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (SA 1974) will not apply. Written by Nicholas Lee, Costs Lawyer and Mediator at Paragon Costs Solutions.
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