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Adam Newman v Gordon Dadds LLP

Monthly billing is not a substitute for providing fee estimates – a stark reminder to keep those fee estimates under review!

The SCCO decision of Adam Newman v Gordon Dadds LLP provides a useful reminder of the importance of providing regular and accurate costs estimates to clients. Failure to do so could see your costs significantly restricted on a Solicitor Act 1974 assessment.

In this case, an initial estimate was provided to the Claimant of £10,000 but was exceeded within a few months. The matter continued with monthly invoices being rendered. Six bills amounting to £84,919.90 were disputed and were subject to a preliminary hearing under a S.70 Solicitors Act 1974 assessment.  The Claimant submitted costs should be restricted to the level of the estimate provided.

The Defendant submitted otherwise.

The Court concluded that the failure to advise adequately was a breach of the Defendant firm’s contractual and professional obligations to the client. Providing monthly invoices was not enough. On this rare occasion, the recoverable costs were not limited to any specific figure based on the specific circumstances and evidence. However, the judgment highlights the potential scope for such costs to be restricted and it is a worthy read.

Should you need assistance with costs estimates or a client costs dispute our experienced team will be happy to help. Call us on 01733 350880.

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