How to dispute solicitors’ fees

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

acting in a high profile case

I acted for the Defendant, Ms Butler, in defending a claim brought by estate agents, Rokstone, for unpaid commission on the sale of her prime central London home.

Ms Butler also made a counterclaim for negligence, alleging that the agents mishandled the sale and failed to pass on offers from other potential buyers, which she would have saved substantial amounts of money by accepting.

The trial took place over 5 days in Central London in January 2023.

The case was reported in the Times, the Daily Telegraph and here in the Daily Mail.

work on wellbeing

One of my interests is in lawyers’ wellbeing. I firmly believe that a good lawyer can present his client’s case robustly and in the best possible light without needing to be aggressive or rude. This particularly aligns with my personality and way of working, as I try to be courteous and constructive at all times. I think this helps get the best results, particularly in difficult and stressful situations.

I believe that it is vital that lawyers maintain a healthy lifestyle and approach to work. That means being on good form when working for the client and being able to maintain an all-important sense of perspective

In my chambers, 4 New Square, I am a member of the wellbeing committee and have worked on a number of initiatives such as drafting chambers’ wellbeing policy, arranging events and applying successfully for the bar council’s certificate of recognition.

I am also a member of the wellbeing at the bar working group – a committee of the bar council which looks at wellbeing across the profession and maintains its excellent website.

The Mindful Business Charter is a charity which works on trying to reduce unnecessary stress in business, particularly in the law. Recently I have been working as a member of its task force drafting its litigation guidance, an information pack which looks to promote good practice in litigation.

In March 2023 the MBC published this litigation guidance. The guidance was promoted at a launch event in the City. I was privileged to be a member of the panel speaking at this event (that’s me on the right!)

success in security for costs application

I acted for the Claimant and was successful in resisting an application for £8million security for costs in the patent case of Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 v Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

On 22 October 2021 Mr Justice Mellor handed down judgment dismissing the Defendant’s application for security for costs. He was not satisfied that the Claimant would be unable to pay the Defendant’s costs if ordered to do so. Key to the decision were the judge’s analysis of the timing of when and in what amount payments of costs might fall due in complex proceedings, and his view of the likelihood of the Claimant making a successful recovery.

High Court trial success

I acted, together with Graham Eklund QC, in successfully defending an off-road motorbike centre against a claim by a rider who was very seriously injured in an accident. The judgment explains that the Claimant did not succeed in proving that his accident was caused by hitting a submerged rock in a puddle. It also contains an analysis of the law in this area, which holds that organisers of sporting events are not responsible for risks which are inherent in the sport, or for warning about hazards which were already obvious to a rider with relevant experience.

student wins
blogging award
from bar council

The Bar Council’s Placement Scheme arranges for students from non-traditional backgrounds to spend a week in a set of chambers to experience life at the Bar. This year I hosted a fantastic student, Aisha.

Aisha wrote a blog about her experience in chambers which included an interview with me, and it won the Bar Council’s competition. It is published on the Bar Council’s website as part of its #IamtheBar campaign.

In December 2018 I was honoured to be elected a bencher of Gray’s Inn. In January 2019 I attended my first bencher’s meeting, known as “pension” and was awarded my “voice and vote”, the right to speak and take part in votes on matters of importance in the Inn.

Barristers normally object to images of gavels: they are not actually used in courts in England and Wales, but are used in news stories because people are familiar with them from American courts. However, in Gray’s Inn the Treasurer does have a gavel to use in pension meetings!

I recently helped judge a debate in HMP Pentonville between prisoners and students, run by Gray’s Inn.

I will admit to some trepidation before visiting the prison, but the experience proved fascinating and enjoyable. The debate was about whether custodial sentences of less than a year should be abolished, and there were some strongly held views!

The Vocalise scheme is clearly of huge benefit to the prisoners and demonstrates the powerful effect of education and training in prisons. I also take my hat off to the students who act as mentors to train the students how to debate. You can read more about the scheme here.

04.10.18: I have been recognised as a “Legal Influencer”  by legal website Lexology, in its legal content awards.

Apparently “the Lexology content marketing awards reward those law firms and individuals which consistently produce useful, insightful legal content for our subscribers.”

You can visit the Lexology website here.

Wellbeing article
published by Bar Council
and quoted in the Times

I have an interest in wellbeing for lawyers. Practising as a lawyer can require considerable resilience and this should be recognised and supported within the profession.

I am a member of 4 New Square’s Wellbeing Committee and drafted its wellbeing policy for staff and barristers; I help organise an annual wellbeing event in Gray’s Inn; I am also Gray’s Inn’s representative on the Bar Council’s Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group.

Its excellent website can be found here.

costs conference

Speaking at Costs Conference

Direct access work featured in Internet Newsletter for Lawyers

Successful claim against boxing promoter

I assisted Nick Bacon QC in successfully acting for solicitors pursuing fees against a boxing promoter, overcoming a challenge to the assignment of Conditional Fee Agreements. I represented the solicitors successfully in the High Court on an appeal about disclosure of privileged legal advice.

Success in defending solicitor at trial

I acted, with Jamie Smith QC, for a solicitor in successfully defending a claim alleging negligence in failing to contest a will. The main asset of the estate was the substantial balance of a Swiss bank account. Judgment was handed down in March 2018 by HHJ Partfitt in the Central London County Court.

with BP

Speaking, with Ben Patten QC,
on property fraud claims

Speaking at
Eversheds Sutherland's
Cardiff Costs Event

Fixed recoverable
costs regime-
latest report

Legal Notice

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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Regulated by the Bar Standards Board

Complaints procedure available from 4 New Square