SUPREME COURT COSTS OFFICE
London, EC4A 1DQ
B e f o r e :
| KYRIAKIDES & BRAIER (A Firm)
|- and -
Yvette Klamer in person (assisted by Mr A H Harris as McKenzie friend) for the Defendant
Hearing date: 27 October 2005
Crown Copyright ©
"I will deliver interim bills to you on a regular basis unless you contact me to make an alternative arrangement.† I confirm that I am prepared to delay your payment of the costs until the conclusion of the matter, provided that such conclusion is not overly protracted.† As explained, however, disbursements - in particular, Counsel's fees - must be paid for in full before they are incurred by this firm".
"While writing, I enclose herewith an interim schedule of time in respect of my firm's up-to-date fees; these are of course exclusive of Counsel's fees which amounted to £1,880.00 until the end of October.†
As you know, we agreed that you I (sic) would not request payment of my firm's fees until after the conclusion of the above-named matter, provided that it does not become overly protracted.† However, as agreed, I am keeping you informed of the up-to-date position, especially as the costs implications should be borne in mind by you when considering your decision on the offer that has been made".
"While Mr Braier did agree at the outset of the matter that payment of this firm's fees could be delayed until the conclusion of the matter, you will recall that this was on the specific basis that the matter did not become overly protracted.† In view of the fact that the ancillary proceedings are unlikely to be concluded until the end of this year, I think it only fair that you should now pay at least part of the outstanding costs.
I look forward to hearing from you with your proposals; perhaps we can discuss this when we meet at the FDR hearing tomorrow afternoon".
"After the Hearing, outside Court, we briefly discussed Mr Fevzi's letter and enclosed schedule to time sent to you yesterday.† You explained that it is, pending final settlement under the divorce, difficult for† you to pay my fees especially as you have of course to reserve sufficient funds for the barrister's fees.† Nevertheless, I do feel that it is only fair that you should make some immediate payment in view of the fact that this firm's fees, including VAT, were already (without the time spent today) £27,875.70 yesterday".
"As you seem unwilling or unable to make any proposals for the immediate discharge of any further part of the outstanding legal costs of £31,231.98, I suggest that I now prepare for you to sign a legal charge over your interests in both 149 Hampstead Way, London and 15 Marina Towers, Bournemouth, to secure the payment of this firm's outstanding fees at the conclusion of the matter.† Please confirm that this is in order and I shall let you have a form of Charge to sign."
"I think it only fair that my concerns on this firm's fees are addressed at the same time as the finalisation of your very lengthy witness statement."
"It is neither fair nor reasonable to expect the exchange of witness statements to be effected without some satisfactory arrangements first being made in respect of this firm's fees - both already accrued and to be accrued."
"This firm's duties as solicitors on the record and officers of the court do not require it to continue to do work and incur costs in the absence of satisfactory arrangements regarding the payment of its fees being put in place".
i. What were the terms of the retainer between the Claimants and the Defendant?
ii. How was the retainer terminated?
iii. Who terminated the retainer?
iv. If the solicitor terminated the retainer, was he justified in doing so pursuant to section 65(2) of the Solicitors Act 1974?
THE LAW - s65 SOLICITORS ACT 1974
65(1)† A solicitor may take security from his client for his costs, to be ascertained by taxation or otherwise, in respect of any contentious business to be done by him.†
(2) If a solicitor who has been retained by a client to conduct contentious business requests the client to make a payment of a sum of money, being a reasonable sum on account of the costs incurred or to be incurred in the conduct of that business and the client refuses or fails within a reasonable time to make that payment, the refusal or failure shall be deemed to be a good cause whereby the solicitor may, upon giving reasonable notice to the client, withdraw from the retainer.
"At that time both the Defendant and I believed that the whole matter would be completed in the early part of 2004 and accordingly, when it became clear by the end of March 2004 that the matter would continue until at least the end of that year the case had become "overly protracted" within the meaning and intention of the client care letter".