Radford and Another v Frade and Others: QBD 8 Jul 2016

The court was asked as to the terms on which solicitors and Counsel were retained to act for the defendants. The appeals did not raise any issues concerning costs practice, and were by way of review of the Costs Judge’s rulings, and not by way of re-hearing; the question was whether the rulings had been shown to be wrong in their construction of Conditional Fee Agreements.
Held: The court should properly take into account the full range of materials setting out the arrangements between the solicitor and the client.
Held: The appeal failed. ‘The risk assessment does serve the purpose of explaining the solicitors’ reasons for setting the success fee at the chosen level. But it is also a contemporaneous statement by the solicitors to their clients, identifying their understanding of the clients’ aim, the issues with which they would be dealing, the nature of the risks they were taking on in doing so, and what would amount to success. It is therefore objective evidence as to the scope of the work for which the parties intended to contract. It supports the narrow interpretation of the words ‘your claims . . ‘ which the Costs Judge adopted.’
Warby J said: ‘the effect of a costs order is to create a liability to pay, subject to assessment, those costs which a party has paid or is liable to pay at the time the order is made. The liability to pay costs crystallises at that point and, although its quantum will remain to be worked out, that process must be governed by the liabilities of the receiving party as they stand at that time. To allow enforcement of a retrospective agreement which increases those liabilities would be to alter retrospectively the effect of the court’s order.’

Warby J
[2016] EWHC 1600 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedInvestors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society HL 19-Jun-1997
Account taken of circumstances wihout ambiguity
The respondent gave advice on home income plans. The individual claimants had assigned their initial claims to the scheme, but later sought also to have their mortgages in favour of the respondent set aside.
Held: Investors having once . .
See AlsoRadford and Another v Frade and Others QBD 28-Jul-2014
. .
CitedJones v Wrexham Borough Council CA 19-Dec-2007
The claimant appealed against a decision that the conditional fee agreement with her solicitors had been unenforceable because the solicitors had not disclosed to her a conflicting interest in recommending insurers. The issue was whether the CFA was . .
CitedAdams v London Improved Motor Coach Builders Ltd CA 1921
The plaintiff successfully sued his employers for wrongful dismissal. The defendant argued it should not pay costs since it was the plaintiff’s union who had retained the solicitors in the case, and it was the union to which the solicitors looked . .
CitedWay v Latilla HL 1937
Mr Way (W), the plaintiff, was employed by Ariston, which had mining operations in Africa, as a consulting engineer and manager. He met the respondent (L) in England. He was asked to seek options to acquire concessions the respondent might acquire. . .
CitedKenneth L Kellar Carib West Limited v Stanley A Williams PC 24-Jun-2004
(Turks and Caicos Islands) The appellant had failed in his action but argued that he should not be called upon to pay the costs of the respondent because there had been an unlawful conditional fee agreement. The bill had referred to one factor as . .
CitedWhitworth Street Estates (Manchester) Ltd v James Miller and Partners Ltd HL 1970
The parties disagreed as to the curial law of an arbitration agreement. The proper law of the building contract and the arbitration agreement was English but the reference was conducted in Scotland.
Held: Evidence of behaviour after a contract . .
CitedLewis v Averay (No 2) CA 1973
The defendant had been unable to obtain legal aid, and resorted to the Automobile Association which indemnified him for his costs of his successful appeal. The respondent was legally aided on the appeal and the appellant sought an order for his . .
CitedSwainland Builders Ltd v Freehold Properties Ltd CA 2002
Swainland Builders Ltd owned the freehold of a block of flats. It had granted 99-year leases at ground rents of all the flats except numbers 11 and 18. It had intended to sell the block subject to the retention of flats 11 and 18 which it initially . .
CitedThornley v Lang CA 29-Oct-2003
The claimant had pursued the case under a collective conditional fee agreement, organised by her trade union. The defendant challenged an order for payment of the costs, arguing that under the indemnity principle, the claimant would be under no duty . .
CitedKitchen v Burwell Reed and Kinghorn Ltd QBD 3-Aug-2005
The court considered the effect of collective conditional fee agreements. The defendant appealed against the decision of the Costs Judge whereby he held that the Claimant was entitled to claim a success fee and that there had been no breach of the . .
CitedOyston v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc SCCO 16-May-2006
The client and his solicitor had entered into a CFA in 2002 which provided for a success fee of 100% of reasonable costs, plus andpound;50,000 if the claimant recovered damages in excess of andpound;1m. This was a champertous agreement at common law . .
CitedDavies v Taylor (No 2) HL 2-Jan-1974
The plaintiff argued that no costs had been incurred by the successful defendant, as he was insured, and the insurance company was bound to pay his costs.
Held: ‘In this case the solicitors, no doubt first instructed by the insurance company, . .
CitedOyston v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc SCCO 16-May-2006
The client and his solicitor had entered into a CFA in 2002 which provided for a success fee of 100% of reasonable costs, plus andpound;50,000 if the claimant recovered damages in excess of andpound;1m. This was a champertous agreement at common law . .
CitedBirmingham City Council v Forde QBD 13-Jan-2009
Christopher Clarke J upheld the validity of a retrospective CFA entered into between solicitor and client on the eve of a settlement, in the knowledge that the existing arrangement might be vulnerable to challenge. The paying party alleged undue . .
CitedChartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd and Others HL 1-Jul-2009
Mutual Knowledge admissible to construe contract
The parties had entered into a development contract in respect of a site in Wandsworth, under which balancing compensation was to be paid. They disagreed as to its calculation. Persimmon sought rectification to reflect the negotiations.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Costs, Legal Professions.

Updated: 19 January 2022; Ref: scu.566789