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.

15%

100% success fee model in low value personal injury claims shut down by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has upheld the decisions of District Judge Bellamy (first instance) and Soole J (on appeal) that a 100% success fee in a low value personal injury claim which was fixed without any reference to the actual risk involved amounted to a cost of “an unusual nature or amount” under CPR 46.9(3)(c).

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

cost estimate

Inaccurate Estimates Of Costs And Special Circumstances Under s70(3)

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