19.01.2010R (Halborg (t/a Halborg & Co. Solicitors) v The Law Society  EWHC 38 (Admin)
Key issues: High Court, interim bills, Remuneration Certificate, Solicitor/Own client
This case originated from a Solicitor/Own Client dispute over bills sent to the client. It was referred to the Law Society’s adjudicator who held that that the Solicitors should obtain a Remuneration Certificate. This decision was then subjected to a Judicial Review.
The Judicial Review was concerned over whether 11 interim bills which had been sent to a client were interim invoices on account of the final bill and so subject to the Solicitors (Non-Contentious) Business Remuneration Order 1994. If these were in fact interim statute bills, the client was out of time for disputing them.
It was held that there had been an express agreement between the client and Solicitors to submit interim statute bills and so all 12 bills were interim statute bills. As a result, the time for challenging 11 of these by a Remuneration Certificate had expired, and so the Certificate would only apply to the final bill.
18.01.2010Secretary of State for the Home Department v AF and others  EWHC 42 (Admin)
Key issues: Basis of assessment, Control Orders, High Court
This case was concerned with whether a Control Order against the Defendants should be quashed retrospectively and what would be the correct costs order as a result.
It was held that it should be quashed retrospectively and that costs should be awarded on the Standard Basis.
12.01.2010Sousa v LB Waltham Forest  EW Misc 1 (EWCC)
Key issues: CCFA, County Court, subrogation by Insurers, success fee
This case was concerned with whether an insurer who takes advantage of subrogated rights under a policy could claim a success fee under a CCFA.
The Claimant makes claim for damage to his property caused by tree roots.
Solicitors are instructed by the Claimant’s Insurers to act for the Claimant through his insurance policy and under a CCFA and claim a success fee.
At first instance the judge disallowed the success fee. However, on appeal it was allowed. The Court held that an insurer under an assignment could claim a success fee and so to deny one in this situation would be an anomaly; that there is no difference to proceedings being funded by a Union; and in a situation such as this an Insurer is able to control the litigation and so could force the insured into agreeing to a success fee and so it would be reasonable to incur one.
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