Wigg & Co - The Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009
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The Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009 came into force on the 11th August 2009 and applies to all non-contentious business for which Bills are delivered on or after that date. This Order revoked the Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 1994(3) except in its application to non-contentious business for which Bills are delivered before this Order came into force.
By this Order a solicitor may take from his client security for the payment of any costs, including the amount of any interest to which the solicitor may become entitled under Article 5.
A Solicitor may charge interest on the unpaid amount of his costs plus any paid disbursement and value added tax subject to any agreement from one month after the date of delivery of a Bill.
A client may be entitled to have charges reviewed by the court by way of assessment procedure under Section 70,71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974 set out the client's rights.
Section 56 of the Solicitors Act 1974(c.47) establishes a committee which may make Orders about the remuneration of solicitors in respect of non-contentious business. Paragraph 54 of Schedule 16 to the Legal Services Act 2007(c.29) amends that section, altering (among other changes) the purpose for which Orders may be made. The Order prescribes the general principles to be applied when determining the remuneration of solicitors in respect of non-contentious business.
See also Case Law and particularly Jemma Trust Company Limited -v- Liptrott and Others (2003) EWCA Civ.1476 (24th October 2003) which determined that there should be no hard and fast rule that charges cannot be made separately by reference to the value of the Estate ; value can by contrast be taken into account as part of the hourly rate ; value can also be taken into account partly in one way and partly in the other. What is important is that :-
- (a) It should be transparent on the face of the Bill how value is being taken
into account and :
(b) in no case should it be taken into account more than once.
In many cases, if a charge is separately made by reference to the value of an Estate it should usually be on a regressive scale. The bands and percentages will be for the Costs Judge in each case.
There is no reason why a solicitor should not calculate the Bill on a dual basis. The Law Society's booklet confirms that this is a long standing and well established practice even though the guidance which they give is not wholly satisfactory see Paragraph 28 of Peter Gibson and Longmore Judgment.
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