Rhys Edwards and Others v Slater and Gordon UK Limited : 15/09/21
This is the latest decision in the group of cases brought by Checkmylegalfees.com in the Senior Courts Costs Office under s.70 Solicitors Act 1974 for refunds of sums taken by Slater and Gordon from client compensation at the conclusion of accident claims that were funded by Conditional Fee Agreements.
The group (which is not subject to a formal group litigation order) consists of 10 "test" claims, with roughly 135 other issued claims against S & G stayed pending resolution of the test claims.
The judgment by Costs Judge Rowley covers two distinct applications -
- An application by the Claimants for standard disclosure
- An application by Slater and Gordon for a stay of proceedings / an order for security for costs (not against the claimants but against CMLF)
CMLF's clients have been successful on both applications with the court ordering Slater and Gordon to provide standard disclosure (a list of all the documents in their possession relevant to the matters in issue) and dismissing their application to stay the case and / or for an order that CMLF pay into court an extraordinary £700,000 before being allowed to continue with the claims.
The Costs Judge, Master Rowley, refused Slater and Gordon's various applications for permission to appeal and ordered them to pay just under £28,000 in costs.
A copy of the judgment is available below.
We are pleased with the Court's decision on these applications which we believe were a transparent attempt to stifle our clients' claims and avoid scrutiny - in particular proper scrutiny of what can only be described as a "lightning fast" sign-up process, which we know has been used in at least one case, and which many former S & G clients tell us was remarkably similar to their own experience.
Whether the sign-up processes in these cases are found in due course to be sufficient to amount to "informed consent" remains to be seen but our clients will be pleased that they will, we hope, now be able to proceed to deal with the substantive issues, and to do so armed with the disclosure that any other litigant is entitled to.Mark Carlisle, CMLF
If Slater and Gordon acted for you in an accident claim and deducted legal fees from your compensation, please get in touch by clicking here