13.11.2009Kris Motor Spares Ltd. v Fox Williams LLP  EWHC 2813 (QB)
Key issues: CFA, High Court, Solicitor/Own client, termination of retainer
This was a Solicitor/Own client case in which the Solicitors acted under a CFA. The CFA stated that if the Solicitors terminated it in compliance with its terms, full fees would be paid.
In the main action, the Claimant misled the Solicitors as to the independence of expert witnesses. As a result, the Solicitors terminated the CFA, on the grounds that they would continue to act on a non-CFA basis in order to settle the original action with the other side on a “drop-hands” basis. Had the CFA not been terminated at this stage, the case would not have been “won” and so, under the terms of the CFA, the Solicitors would not be entitled to anything.
The case was concerned with whether the cancellation of the CFA was valid or whether it terminated the retainer completely.
It was held that the CFA was validly cancelled; that there remained a retainer and so the Solicitors were entitled to their costs.
12.11.2009The Governing Body of St. Albans Girls’ School and Hertfordshire CC v Neary  EWCA Civ 1190
Key issues: Court of Appeal, Employment Tribunal, enforceability, no order for costs
In this case the Appellant appealed a ruling of the Employment Tribunal (ET).
The Respondent had started proceedings in the ET because it was effectively costs-free.
The Appellant appealed in order to overturn existing ET caselaw.
The Appellant was successful no order for costs was made. This was partly due to there not being any realistic prospect of a costs award being enforceable due to a lack of means.
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