Solicitors be careful when seeking costs!

Author: Reporter
In: News Published: Wednesday 30 October 2019


Philip Williams recently secured two victories on two technical costs points.  One on an appeal before HHJ Walden-Smith in Cambridge and another before DDJ Balchin in Southend.

The issues were very similar in that both solicitors firms had not complied with their duties when seeking to enforce their (allegedly) unpaid bill. On the appeal, Philip was successful in overturning a decision whereby Pinney Talford Solicitors had managed to secure their costs against their previous client who had not paid their alleged bill.

This was successfully overturned by Philip on appeal because the rules had not been followed in the appeal court or in the Court below.

On the second matter, Tees Law had sought to enforce their alleged unpaid bill against their previous client. However, notwithstanding they had been put on notice that they had not complied with the rules the matter went to trial. The claim was dismissed with costs as they had not complied with the procedural requirements when seeking to rely on their invoices or bills.

Many solicitors firms are often caught out by the mandatory requirements when seeking to enforce unpaid bills. These are technical matters whereby the law needs to be considered properly and fully.

As one judge quoted from Philip’s skeleton argument in their judgement “…I agree with Mr Williams the Claim is bad in law and procedurally calamitous…”

Philip was instructed by Tim Gir of Sanders Witherspoon Solicitors.