Harvey and Others -v- Scott Rees & Co : 70% of sums deducted by the Solicitors refunded


...it would be wrong, in my view, for Scott Rees to rely upon whatever deficiencies there are in their own accounting system in order to prolong the process and produce yet further bills. The bills we have, in my judgment, are capable of assessment

District Judge Bellamy, judgment paragraph 11

These were eight cases involving the deduction of fees from compensation in road traffic accident claims which were dealt with together because they involved the same Defendants and the same arguments. The dates referred to below relate specifically to Mr.Harvey's case, but all eight cases involved similar chronologies.

When the cases came to us it became clear that the clients had not been properly billed, because only the invoice for the sums deducted from damages had been sent to the client when the case ended in December 2016 (and obviously without knowing the overall amount billed, it is impossible to know whether the deduction is reasonable)

We asked for delivery of the other bills covering the costs paid by the third party (which of course must have been raised in order for Scott Rees to take the fees; they had just not been sent to the client)

The other bills were then delivered to us in October 2017, and were dated on various dates in September 2016

We applied for assessment under s.70(1) in November 2017 on the basis that the statute bill (the statute bill being the various bills for each matter taken as a series) had been delivered for the first time in October

Scott Rees then argued that in fact that the bills covering the costs received from the third party  had individually been sent to the clients when raised, and that as a result the claims were out of time. We were told that the bills had not been posted with covering letters and that they were just put in an envelope and sent out in the post. The clients all checked back through their correspondence and could find no record. They were adamant that, if they had received an unexplained bill, they would have queried it.

The matter was then listed for a preliminary issue to "ascertain the date of delivery of the Defendants bills of costs and whether or not the Claimants are out of time to challenge the bills".

At 4.30 on 9th April 2018 (the date on which Scott Rees were due to file their evidence on the preliminary issue) they conceded that the individual bills were not in fact delivered at the time that they were raised.

Scott Rees were invited to concede the preliminary issue and move on to assessment of the bills attached to the Claim Form, but refused to do so, instead wanting to deliver new statute bills.

Scott Rees then issued an application asking the Court to set aside the preliminary issue order, their aim being to persuade the Court to order delivery of new statute bills, and that was the issue determined at this hearing.

District Judge Bellamy, sitting in the Sheffield District Registry of the High Court, refused the application for the reasons set out in the judgment, and directed that the assessment should continue in respect of the original bills.

Just over a week after DJ Bellamy's decision the Defendant, on 30th May, accepted part 36 offers that had been made in December 2017, refunding a total of £7,610.75 that had been deducted from damages in respect of legal fees, with one client alone receiving a refund of just under £2,800. In all that is a refund of just over 70% of the deductions they had made across these cases.

Senior Costs Judge flags concern over PI solicitor...
Solicitor lies to client about an Advocate's fee a...

Related Posts

News Search

News Tag Cloud

Accident at work Administrators Amanda Cunliffe Solicitors Appeal Assessment ATE premium Austin Kemp Solicitors Ltd Back Injury Bill Breach of retainer Brethertons LLP BT-2 Solicitors Camps Solicitors Carpenters Cash Account Children Claims Management Companies Client Care Letters Closure Cold Callers Collier Law Commercial Comparison Compensation Conditional Fee Agreement Coops Law Cordell & Co Costs Estimates costs law Counsel Counsel's Fees Court CPR 46.9(3) Damages debts Deduction Delivery Up DG Law Din Solicitors Disclosure Divorce Emerald Law Solicitors Employment Tribunal cases Enforcement Equitas Solicitors Estates Exempt Fairwoods Solicitors Family Family Plus Fees Final Bills Fixed Costs Fletchers Solicitors Forster Dean Forum Garvins Law Gowing Law HCC Solicitors Holiday Holiday Sickness Claim Inheritance Act Insolvency Interim Statute Bills Irwin Mitchell LLP JC&A Solicitors Jigsaw Law Keith Smart & Co Lance Mason landmark case Lawyers Legal challenges Legal Expenses Insurance Legal Ombudsman Legend Legal LIP's Litigants in person Litigation Litigation Friend Matrix Solicitors Michael Lewin Solicitors Michael Rose & Baylis Solicitors Money Laundering Regulations Motorbike Accident MTA Solicitors No Win No Fee North Solicitors Limited Overcharging partners Personal Injury Pilkington Shaw Solicitors Price Probate Progressive Solicitors Proportionality Protected Party QC Reasonable Notice rebuttable presumption Refund Representation Retainer Richard Slade & Company Right to conduct litigation in respect of costs Rights of Audience RJ Gill Solicitors Road Traffic Accident Rotherham s.68 Solicitors Act s.74(3) Solicitors Act 1974 Scott Rees & Co Senior Courts Costs Office Seth Lovis & Co Simpson Millar LLP six minute units solicitor solicitors SRA Statute Bills Success Fee success fees Supreme Court tax tax management Termination Terms of Business Thorneycrofts Time limits trades Union Unison Transparency True Solicitors Turner & White Solicitors Unusual Items Viceroy Law Woodwards Solicitors

About Us

We are a team of legal costs experts with over 60 years' experience.

We have dealt with costs arising from almost every legal specialism.

We have conducted cases challenging solicitor's costs at all levels up to and including the Court of Appeal.

We are not part of a firm of solicitors and are therefore entirely independent.

Latest News