Legal Fees; Your Rights & Section 68 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1994.
Your case involves “contentious business”. We are unable to predict our professional fees or disbursement at this stage.
Our costs are calculated as set out below;
Our Legal fees
1.1 You acknowledge that you and you alone are liable for the payment of Costs and shall pay our Costs promptly when requested so to so do. Our bill of costs will be furnished to you in accordance with Section 68(6) of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act, 1994.
1.2 Our professional fees shall be determined having regard to all relevant circumstances, and in particular to:¬-
(i) The complexity of the item or of the cause of the matter in which it arises and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;
(ii) The skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required, and the time and labour expended;
(iii) The number and importance of the documents (however brief) prepared or perused;
(iv) The place and circumstances in which the business involved is transacted;
(v) The importance of the cause or matter to you;
(vi) Where money or property is involved, its amount or value;
(vii) Any other fees and allowances payable to us in respect of other items in the same cause or matter but only where work done in relation to those items has reduced the work which would otherwise have been necessary in relation to the item in question;
1.3 It will be necessary for us to incur Disbursements on the your behalf for which you will be required to reimburse us. We will so far as is possible inform you in advance of any such expenditure but in the normal course of this business we will incur the following expenditure on your behalf:
• Garda Reports
• Medical Reports
• Fees for acquisition of medical notes and records
• Counsel’s Fees
The above list should not be regarded as exhaustive. Unless we hear from you to the contrary we shall be entitled to proceed on the understanding that we have your authority to incur this expenditure.
We will not incur any expenditure of an unusual nature such as instructing Senior Counsel or any Disbursement above €750 without firstly obtaining your express approval.
1.4 If the Case proceeds to Court and you are successful in your action, then at the conclusion of the action the Court can order that the other party to pay your costs. You hereby acknowledge that such an order does not relieve you of your responsibility to pay any bill which we may present to you. You remain responsible for the payment of our Costs even where a settlement is reached with the plaintiff/defendant or third party are ordered to pay costs. We will take all necessary steps to recover the Party/Party costs on your behalf. The process of recovering Party/Party costs may involve additional fees and outlay. The amount of the Party/Party costs may not cover our entire Costs. Insofar as the Party/Party costs recovered from the other party are insufficient to discharge your liability to us for Costs, then you will be liable to make up the shortfall.
We shall bill you in the normal way and you will be responsible for payment of this bill. We will then seek to recover as much as possible of this bill from the plaintiff/defendant or third party. The money so recovered will be refunded to you less any costs incurred in their recovery.
You should bear in mind that in the event of your
(a) Losing, or
(b) Compromising the case, or
(c) The court failing to award you your costs or a portion of them, or
(d) The court awards costs against you,
(e) Being unable to recover due to financial status of the other party,
you may be liable to pay the other party/parties costs as well as your own.
1.5 Any Party/Party costs recovered will be credited against our bill to you. You shall be liable for the payment of any balance. If there is an overpayment by reason of any payments on account made by you that over payment will be refunded to you.
1.6 If there is a dispute to the amount of the Party/Party costs, that dispute may be referred to a procedure known as “Taxation”, which is a separate legal proceeding conducted by an Officer of the Court known as the Taxing Master. This is a complex subject and Ian Mallon will be pleased to discuss it with you should you so wish. There can be considerable delay between the conclusion of an action and taxation but that delay can be partially offset by interest. You acknowledge that taxation may mean that a Legal Cost Consultant or Costs drawer may have to be retained and that further Disbursements may have to be incurred by way of the Costs Consultant’s fees and stamp duty payable on taxation. If proceedings were in the Circuit Court, that dispute may be referred to the Judge who heard the trial of the business.
1.7 In the event of any dispute between us as to any costs payable, this will be referred to a Judge of the High Court pursuant to Section 68(8) of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994, which provides as follows:
“Where a Solicitor has issued a bill of costs to a client in respect of the provision of legal services and you dispute the amount (or any part thereof) of that bill of costs, we shall
(a) take all appropriate steps to resolve the matter by agreement with you, and
(b) inform you in writing of:
(i) The client’s right to require the Solicitor to submit the bill of costs or any part thereof to a Taxing Master of the High Court for taxation on a Solicitor and own client basis, and
(ii) The client’s right to make a complaint to the Law Society under section 9 of this Act that you has been issued with a bill of costs that you claim to be excessive.”
Terms of Business
1.8 At the conclusion of the business, we will deliver to you a bill showing the costs payable by you and giving credit for all money received either from you as payments on account and/or Party/Party costs. If you have any queries about the bill we will be pleased to try and resolve those queries but if there matters which can not be resolved, then the bill of costs may be referred by either party to a Judge of the High Court pursuant to Section 68(8) of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994.
1.9 Interest will be charged (at the rate appropriate to a judgement debt which at the date of our retainer is 8%) from the date on which a bill was delivered to you, on all costs, which remain unpaid after 14 days. In the event that any costs remain unpaid we may at our option permit you to enter into an agreement to pay such unpaid costs by way of monthly instalments over a period not exceeding 12 months. We shall have the right to require you to make payment in such manner as we may decide.
1.10 All unpaid costs, whether a bill has been delivered in respect of same or not, shall be a first charge in favour of we upon all Damages and Party/Party costs. You will at our request authorise all other parties to any proceedings to pay all Damages and Party/Party costs to us and in our name.
1.11 We may require you to provide security for costs. Such security may without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing take the form of you effecting insurance against both costs and Party/Party costs as same are defined in this Notice. We can at your request seek to arrange for such insurance to be placed with a suitable company or body but you shall be responsible for the payment of any premium PROVIDED that before such insurance is put in place, we will explain to you why such insurance is necessary and the risk to you should insurance not be attained. Any premium so paid may not be recovered as Party/Party costs.
1.12 You have the right to withdraw your instructions and to terminate our retainer at any time, in which event the full amount of costs to that date, after allowance for any payments on account, will be charged to you. Should you withdraw instructions and terminate our retainer, we are entitled to retain any papers or other property including money which may belong to you but which are in our possession, until the full costs have been paid or adequate security given (this right is known as the “Solicitor’s lien”.)
1.13 Any other business which you may wish us to conduct on your behalf shall be the subject of a separate agreement.
1.14 Our retainer will terminate on the death or bankruptcy of either party or upon any other event which renders us unable to properly conduct the business. In the event of early termination of our retainer for whatever cause we shall be entitled to render a bill for all costs incurred to the date of termination.
1.15 This Agreement is governed by the Laws of the Republic of Ireland.
1.16 No alteration shall be made to this Notice except the consent of both parties in writing and the service of any Notice required by or effecting this Agreement shall be good service if served by Facsimile in the manner required by the Rules of the Superior Courts.
Ian Mallon Solicitors
31 -36 Ormond Quay Upper
Tel; 01 442 9110.