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CMLF success against Slater and Gordon UK Limited : a major victory in the campaign for fair legal fees are pleased to announce that Judgment has been handed down at 10.00 this morning by Mr.Justice Ritchie in two conjoined appeal cases in the High Court in proceedings brought against Slater and Gordon UK Limited (one of the largest – if not the largest – legal firms in the country) by their former clients.

In the underlying cases the former clients are asking the court to scrutinise the amounts that were deducted by Slater and Gordon from their compensation following personal injury claims and, if the court agrees that they were overcharged, to order refunds.

Edwards and Others v Slater and Gordon UK Limited QA-2021-000213 and Raubenheimer v Slater and Gordon UK Limited QA-2021-000182.

Link to judgment in the National Archives : Rhys Edwards and Others v Slater and Gordon UK Limited [2022] EWHC 1091 (QB)

Full judgment in .pdf below.

Key Points

Firstly - of interest to the general public

Secondly, of interest mainly to "legal fees" law nerds

The judgment clarifies some important aspects of the law in relation to this case type, which are known as "Solicitors Act Assessments", and in doing so significantly increases client protection.

We are obviously delighted with this judgment, and the judge's recognition that there is a public interest element in former clients of solicitors being able to access specialist advice so that they can properly scrutinise how they have been charged. Not only is it a welcome victory for this particular group of former Slater and Gordon clients, but it clarifies the law in relation to this type of case generally, especially on disclosure of the electronic documents that are in modern times often key to the client sign up process and the issues of informed consent that are bound up in that. As the judge has said, one only has to listen to the recording of Mr.Turnbull's call, to feel uncomfortable about lack of informed consent.

We also welcome the acknowledgement that – as we have said for some time - the role of the Cash Account is fundamental in these cases, and its accuracy / completeness is not something to which solicitors can just pay lip service any more.

Both points provide considerable protection not only to our clients, but to all consumers of legal services now and in the future. Those consumers will now be far better equipped to drill down on what they have been charged, why they have been charged it, and what money or other benefits their solicitors have both paid out and received in their name.

Mark Carlisle,  CMLF Founder
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Thursday, 25 April 2024

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