AINSWORTH v STEWARTS LAW [2019] EWCA Civ 897

Points of dispute in solicitor and client assessments: it’s in the detail

This was an appeal from a decision of Master Gordon-Saker made in the course of proceedings brought under s70 Solicitors Act 1974. The Master had summarily dismissed the claimant’s points of dispute on work done on documents, on grounds that they did not further the overriding objective. Specifically, the points of dispute were not, “to the point”. They did not summarise all of the particular objections to the specific points which the claimant wished to advance at the hearing so that the court and the defendant knew or knew sufficiently the case the defendant had to meet.

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.

the end

Solicitors entitled to enforce costs incurred under a CFA against client who rejected their advice

Managing a client’s expectations in litigation can be difficult. Where there is no CFA, the client has the privilege of being able to ignore his/her solicitors’ advice, holding out for whatever result they desire, however unrealistic, or simply having their day in court. However, what can you do about a client who refuses to accept your advice about making a settlement offer when acting under a CFA?

contentious business agreement

An agreement to pay a fixed sum in relation to work already done was not a contentious business agreement

termination of retainer

The consequences of failing to give reasonable notice of an intention to terminate your retainer