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Time limits for the assessment of a CFA - Anisa Kassamali, Temple Garden Chambers

17/01/23. Menzies v Oakwood Solicitors Limited [2022] EWHC 3199 (KB) considered the approach to a solicitor’s deduction under a conditional fee agreement (“CFA”). On the particular facts of the case, the client was able to challenge the deduction 21 months after settlement of the underlying proceedings.


The appellant Mr Dean Menzies (“the client”) suffered injuries in a road traffic accident. He instructed the respondent Oakwood Solicitors Limited (“the solicitors”) to pursue a claim for personal injury and entered into a CFA. The claim was ultimately settled and these proceedings considered the subsequent dispute between the solicitor and client regarding the calculation of sums payable to the solicitor under the CFA as set out in the latter’s Final Statute Bill.

The client did not dispute the Final Statute Bill at the time, but commenced proceedings more than 21 months later (represented by new solicitors). Costs Judge Rowley held at first instance that the claim was barred by section 70(4) of the Solicitors Act 1974 Act because it had been brought more than 12 months after payment of the bill...

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