DeNovo Top Tip: Are your Terms up to scratch?
Are you aware that your terms of business must draw your client’s attention to non-standard charges?
In a case that I have been dealing with, Breyer & Others v Prospect Law (Unreported, 26 July 2017), the solicitors’ former clients successfully argued that 10-minute unit charges for routine attendances and correspondence sent, should be reduced to the usual six minutes per unit. The 10-minute unit charge, also applied by the solicitors to routine correspondence received, was also reduced, but to three minutes per unit.
The solicitors’ unit charges as well as charges for invoicing and credit control, were found by the Costs Judge to be of an ‘unusual nature’, within the meaning of PD to CPR 46, para 6. As the solicitors had failed to warn the clients that the unusual charges might not be allowed on an inter party assessment of costs, the excess could not be recovered from the clients.
By Michael Heslin, Senior Legal Costs Consultant
DeNovo, The Legal Costs Experts