“From an instructing solicitor’s point of view, if such cancellation fees are sought from barristers, it would be prudent for the solicitor to require the client to enter into a separate agreement direct with the barrister or alternatively require the barrister to indemnify the solicitor against any repayment of fees…should the cancellation fee be challenged.”

The importance of understanding Counsel’s costs agreement and the implications to solicitors and their clients cannot be over emphasized. A common term in barrister fee agreements are claims for cancellation fees which can amount to claims by the barrister for considerable amounts of money when they have done nothing. Curiously, learned solicitors who are trained…

Cautionary tale for solicitors who hold money on trust in Family Law proceedings

In Laurens v Laurens (No.2) (FCCA) 109,  delivered on 24 January 2017, the learned Judge commences his judgment with the very sentence “This is a cautionary tale for solicitors who hold money on trust for the benefit of both parties in family law proceedings”.  The solicitor in question acted for the wife in bitterly fought divorce…

Fixing Breaches of Disclosure: Rule 72A provides Opportunity for legal practitioners to remedy non-compliance with LPUL

The new regime, under the Legal Profession Uniform Law, varied the non-compliance consequence concerning a solicitor’s costs agreement and non-disclosure. Under the old regime of the Legal Profession Act 2014, failure to disclose meant that the client need not pay costs unless the solicitor’s costs have been assessed by a costs assessor and an action…