Legal Costs

Free Guide available

I have recently published a free guide on how to challenge solicitors’ fees”.

The guide covers:

  • The 3 most essential tips for challenging solicitors’ fees.
  • Avoiding the most common mistakes in disputing lawyers’ bills.
  • What to do if you receive a solicitor’s bill with which you are unhappy.

To request a FREE copy of the guide, please click here.

guide to challenging solicitors' bill

Legal costs disputes

4 New Square is rated as a leading set for work concerning legal costs and boasts a number of the best known practitioners in the field. I am rated as a leading junior by the Legal 500 and often appear in cases against QCs.

I am involved in all sorts of litigation relating to legal costs, whether dealing with discrete costs proceedings for detailed assessment, or being brought in during ongoing litigation to provide specialist assistance in relation to a costs element of the case, such as for a costs management hearing or for submissions on costs at the conclusion of a trial.

I specialise in detailed assessments between solicitors and their clients, including common law assessments. I act equally frequently for clients and for solicitors.

Many cases against professionals begin with a dispute over fees and, particularly in claims involving lawyers, I benefit from my experience of costs work. I am often involved in applications for costs against lawyers, such as wasted costs applications or third party costs applications.

Recent cases concerning legal costs

  • representing a claimant at a costs management hearing in a multi-million pound claim against his former employer. The costs being claimed by the other side were several million pounds;
  • acting for a leading family law solicitor against a former client in a detailed assessment of costs, arising out of high value matrimonial litigation; arguments centred around the client’s ability to restrict the solicitor’s fees to the level of a costs estimate given previously;
  • acting for a client challenging the level of fees charged by his wife’s matrimonial solicitors, which he had agreed to pay as part of the financial settlement;
  • advising litigants in a dispute with insurers providing after the event insurance cover, over whether the requirement to pay the premium has been triggered under the policy;
  • defending a company director in an application by the opposing party in litigation that he should be personally responsible as a third party for the costs of litigation involving his company;
  • acting in numerous cases in detailed assessment hearings between parties to litigation; I may be asked to draft Points of Dispute or to represent a party at the final hearing, arguing particular points of principle or all the detailed challenges to the costs claimed;
  • where a client is too late to challenge his solicitor’s bill under the Solicitor’s Act 1974, it may be possible to dispute the solicitor’s fees under a different, common law procedure. I have carried out a number of hearings using this procedure;
  • acting and advising in an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the interpretation and implementation of costs rules in a specialist tribunal;
  • acting for a company disputing the fees of a leading city law firm; by taking a technical point about the nature of the invoices and the threat of a costs order I was able to get a substantial reduction in the amount of the costs claimed.

Costs articles

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The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice.
No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it.
Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.
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Stephen James Innes
Bar Council Number 41453
VAT registration number 782715995
Complaints policy available on request from 4 New Square