The Bench saves Solicitors and possibly Counsel

By mhartman

In the Khans Case: CofA and Sedley LJ reviewed the old authorities and concluded that:

1. Where a litigant/Client discharges his advocate / solicitor after,

2. the Client has won damages and costs against a 3rd Party after a trial and

3. the Client settles costs directly with the losing 3rd Party, and is paid them, and disappears, and,

4. the advocate / solicitor had previouisly informed the 3rd Party of his right to receive payment of costs

5. then the advocate / solicitor may exercise what is his lien over the costs payable by the 3rd Party irrespective of the fact that as between the 3rd Party and the client costs were settled.

Without explaining why, the LJs took the view that the award of costs was a chose in action and incapable of constituting property for purposes of an assignment; which may be wrong as a matter of law. See the Zabihi case at first instance.

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