HOWARD KENNEDY LLP v SPARTAFIELD LIMITED [2019] EWHC 1218 (Ch)

The relevance of costs estimates where no reliance is shown

Another important reminder of the importance of giving your client the best costs information possible throughout the life of your retainer. In this case the senior costs judge Master Gordon-Saker determined at first instance that notwithstanding the fact that the former client had not placed any reliance on any of the estimates provided to it by the solicitors, and acknowledging that unforeseen work had been undertaken, he was entitled to use the estimate as a yardstick in determining the reasonable costs payable as between solicitor and client. On appeal, Ms Clare Ambrose (Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) declined to interfere with this decision.

cost estimate

Inaccurate estimates of costs and special circumstances under s70(3) Solicitors Act 1974

Master Rowley determines that special circumstance exist by reason of a discrepancy between costs estimates provided and the costs actually billed.