Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2006] All ER (D) 110 (Apr)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Nelson J (sitting with assessors)

Representation The claimant appeared in person.
  Stephen Cottrell (instructed by William Sturges & Co) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 7 April 2006


Solicitor - Retainer - Termination of retainer - Payment of solicitor's costs - Whether termination of retainer disentitling solicitor from recovering costs in excess of the sum already paid.

The Case

There was no authority for the proposition that any solicitor who overcharged a client by, for example, 21% in excess of the proper fee, and then insisted upon payment, had automatically terminated his retainer and was unable to recover any part of the costs he had incurred. Such a breach of contract would not taint the whole contract with illegality. In all the circumstances, the master had erred in finding that the defendant firm of solicitors had improperly terminated their retainer so as to be disentitled to any more costs than the sum that they had already been paid.

Practice Areas

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