28.01.2009Thenga v Quinn  EWCA Civ 151
Key issues: Court of Appeal, Part 45, RTA, success fee
The main action was a RTA and the Solicitors acted on a CFA.
Liability had been agreed and so the matter was listed for an assessment of damages hearing.
Damages were agreed prior to the hearing, but Bury CC kept the case in the listing so that costs could be summarily assessed (this was an incorrect option in any event). The judge ruled that this Summary Assessment fell within the definition of “trial” under CPR 45.15(6)(b), and so awarded a 100% success fee.
This decision was appealed. The Court of Appeal held the ruling was incorrect as the case had settled and so a 12.5% success fee was allowed instead.
13.01.2009Birmingham City Council v Forde  EWHC 12 (QB)
Key issues: CFA, enforceability, High Court
This was an appeal over whether a success fee could be retrospective.
The Claimant and Solicitors in this case entered into two separate CFAs. The second CFA was entered into because there was a real prospect of the first CFA being held to be unenforceable, and also to claim a success fee, which was not claimed in the first CFA.
Originally it was held that the second CFA terminated the first CFA and it could be back-dated to the date of the first CFA.
On appeal it was held that the first CFA had not been terminated by the second and that a retrospective success fee was not contrary to public policy. In any event, it was held that the first CFA was valid and enforceable. The case also held that there is no duty to notify of additional liabilities prior to the issue of proceedings.
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