Costs News

14 March 2019
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News in brief - 14.03.2019

Lethem promoted to circuit bench

Chris Lethem (pictured), who led the way in using costs management as a district judge and regional costs judge long before it became a requirement, has been appointed a circuit judge on the South Eastern Circuit, based at the Central London County Court. The appointment takes effect from 27 May 2019.

His Honour Judge Lethem, aged 64, was admitted as a solicitor in 1981. He was appointed as a deputy district judge in 1993 and as a district judge in 1998.


Firm “could not recover fees” from legally aided party under equitable jurisdiction

A firm of solicitors could not recover its fees under the equitable jurisdiction of the High Court for the period when its client was legally aided, a judge has ruled.

Since the equity depended on the solicitor having a claim for his charges against the client, His Honour Judge Matthews ruled that, when the client was legally aided, he was not responsible for the firm's fees.

In West London Law Ltd v (1) Gurcharan Singh Sandhu (2) Gursharan Singh Sandhu, reported on Lawtel, the judge held that, in respect of fees for privately funded work, there was a potential cause of action, which had been sufficiently pleaded, that the parties to the action had colluded to cheat the solicitors out of their fees or settled the action between them on notice of the claim for fees without making any provision for it.

Roger Mallalieu (instructed by West London Law) represented the appellant and Richard Lander (instructed by Lincoln Lawrence) the respondent.


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