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Court of Appeal refuses Slater and Gordon's application for permission to appeal

Last month we reported on the victory for our growing group of clients against Slater and Gordon in two appeals before the High Court.  The full report is below but in short the High Court  rejected Slater and Gordon's attempts to derail our applications for the court to consider the legal fees that Slater and Gordon had deducted from their former clients' compensation, which we argue were unreasonable. 

The Court also ordered Slater and Gordon to answer questions about alleged receipt of secret commissions on "After the Event" Insurance policies, and confirmed the previous order that they should provide "standard disclosure"  under part 31 of the Civil Procedure Rules of documents relevant to all of the issues in the case.

 What was Slater and Gordon's response?

Rather than getting on with things Slater and Gordon sought permission from the Court of Appeal for a second appeal.

We are pleased to report that on Friday 24th June the Court of Appeal refused Slater and Gordon's application on all grounds. The Court of Appeal's order is available  at the end of this post.

What does this mean? 

This means -

  • There can no longer any debate that, where we offer to cover any costs orders against our clients in the event that they lose their claims, that agreement is entirely lawful , and cannot be used as a device to avoid or derail the claim
  • "Standard Disclosure" of documents is available in these sorts of claims and the court "plainly has jurisdiction to make an order of this kind in proceedings of this nature"
  • Where the "Cash Account"  is disputed in proceedings under the Solicitors Act, the Court must resolve that dispute before any final order can be made; consequently the court can compel solicitors to answer questions about payments / receipts in the cash account that might be wrong or omitted altogether

We are delighted that there is now finality on these technical points. It levels the playing field because now clients, where appropriate, will have access when pursuing these claims to all of the documents and information that their former solicitors have. They no longer have to fight with one hand tied behind their backs. And it means that there is finally a  recognised legal  route to disputing items in the "Cash Account", which is something that we have argued for a long time always was an integral "consumer protection" element of these very proceedings .

Mark Carlisle, CMLF Founder

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Monday, 05 December 2022

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