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Solicitor and client disputes
The costs team has a particular interest in solicitor and client disputes. Solicitor and client disputes are nearly always fraught affairs, and the costs team understands the importance of achieving a prompt commercial resolution (either by litigation, negotiation or, increasingly, ADR).
It is best to take advice at an early stage as mistakes can have serious and irreversible consequences. If in doubt about whether that stage has been reached, please discuss the matter with a member of the costs team. They rarely charge for brief informal advice giving over the telephone.
Counsel will usually need a copy of the retainer (or retainers), the invoices set out in chronological order together with any covering letters, any other relevant correspondence, and (if it is available) a copy of the cash account. If there is a dispute as to quantum, it is usually best to ensure that counsel is provided with an advice on quantum drafted by a costs draftsman; this is because quantum is so important in solicitor and client disputes that counsel needs to be able to form a view on that before he incurs significant costs. If such a report is not available and if quantum is in dispute, then it will usually be best to send counsel the whole file.
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