French v Carter Lemon Camerons Llp: CA 3 Sep 2012

The appellant had instructed the defendant solicitors in litigation. On beginning to act in person she sought an order to require the solicitors to deliver the case papers to her. They asserted a lien on them until their account was paid. She now appealed against refusal of an order for their release. There had been found to be a complete breakdown in the relationship of trust and confidence between client and solicitor. She said that their lien did not apply after they had repudiated the retainer.
Held: The appeal failed. The solicitors’ retainer had not been terminated by repudiation or otherwise, and the solicitors were entitled to payment of their fees. The retainer was in fact terminated by the client, and therefore the solicitors were entitled to assert their lien.


Lloyd, Stanley Burnton LJJ, Morgan J


[2012] EWCA Civ 1180




England and Wales


CitedUnderwood, Son and Piper v Lewis CA 11-May-1894
Solicitors had declined to continue to act for their client before the litigation in which they were acting had been completed. They brought an action for the amount of their bill of costs for work done to date. The trial judge held that a solicitor . .
CitedRichard Buxton (Solicitors) v Mills-Owens and Another CA 23-Feb-2010
The solicitors felt that the instructions received from their client were to pursue points which neither they nor counsel thought were properly arguable. They withdrew from the case, and now appealed against a refusal of their costs on the basis . .
CitedGamlen Chemical Co (UK) Ltd v Rochem Ltd CA 4-Dec-1979
Solicitors accepted instructions against a promise of sums on account of costs. After non-payment they began to apply to be removed from the record. The new solicitors sought transfer of the solicitors file, and obtained an order to that effect . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Legal Professions

Updated: 23 March 2022; Ref: scu.463825