Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

150.

Legal practitioner to provide notice of conduct of matter, costs, etc.

150. (1) A legal practitioner shall, whenever required to do so under this section, provide to his or her client a notice (in this section referred to as a “notice”) written in clear language that is likely to be easily understood by the client and that otherwise complies with this section.

(2) On receiving instructions from a client, a legal practitioner shall provide the client with a notice which shall—

(a) disclose the legal costs that will be incurred in relation to the matter concerned, or

(b) if it is not reasonably practicable for the notice to disclose the legal costs at that time, set out the basis on which the legal costs are to be calculated.

(3) Where subsection (2)(b) applies, the legal practitioner concerned shall, as soon as may be after it becomes practicable to do so, provide to the client a notice containing the information specified in subsection (2)(a).

(4) A notice shall:

(a) subject to subsection (2)(b), specify the amount of legal costs—

(i) certified by the legal practitioner as having been incurred as at the date on which the notice is provided,

(ii) certified by the legal practitioner to be of a fixed nature or otherwise certain to be incurred (or if it would be impracticable for the legal practitioner to so certify, the basis on which they are to be charged), and

(iii) insofar as is practicable, certified by the legal practitioner to be likely to be incurred;

(b) specify the amount of value-added tax to be charged in respect of the amounts referred to in paragraph (a);

(c) set out the basis on which the amounts were or are to be calculated, explained by reference to the matters set out in paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 ;

(d) contain a statement of the legal practitioner’s obligation under subsection (5);

(e) if the matter which is the subject of the notice involves or is likely to involve litigation, provide—

(i) an outline of the work to be done in respect of each stage of the litigation process and the costs or likely costs or basis of costs involved in respect of each such stage, including the likelihood of engaging a practising barrister, expert witnesses, or providers of other services,

(ii) a statement of the legal practitioner’s obligation under subsection (6),

(iii) information as to the likely legal and financial consequences of the client’s withdrawal from the litigation and its discontinuance, and

(iv) information as to the circumstances in which the client would be likely to be required to pay the costs of one or more other parties to the litigation, and information as to the circumstances in which it would be likely that the costs of the legal practitioner would not be fully recovered from other parties to the litigation;

(f) specify a period, which shall be not longer than 10 working days, for the purposes of subsection (7).

(5) Where the legal practitioner becomes aware of any factor that would make the legal costs likely to be incurred in a matter significantly greater than those disclosed or indicated in a notice relating to that matter provided under this section, he or she shall, as soon as may be after he or she becomes aware of that factor, provide the client concerned with a new notice.

(6) Where a matter which is the subject of a notice under this section involves or is likely to involve litigation, the legal practitioner shall not, in relation to that matter, engage a practising barrister, expert witness or provider of any other service without first, to the extent practicable—

(a) ascertaining the likely cost or basis of cost of engaging the person,

(b) providing the client with the information referred to in paragraph (a), and

(c) having complied with paragraph (b), satisfying himself or herself of the client’s approval (whether express or implied) of the engaging of the person.

(7) A legal practitioner shall not, during the period referred to in subsection (4)(f) that is specified in a notice, provide any legal services in relation to the matter concerned, unless—

(a) the client concerned confirms that he or she wishes to instruct the legal practitioner to continue to provide legal services in connection with the matter concerned, or

(b) subsection (8) applies.

(8) A legal practitioner to whom subsection (7) applies shall, notwithstanding that subsection, provide legal services in relation to the matter concerned where—

(a) in the professional opinion of the legal practitioner, not to provide those legal services would constitute a contravention of a statutory requirement or the rules of court or would prejudice the rights of the client in a manner that could not later be remedied,

(b) a court orders the legal practitioner to provide legal services to the client, or

(c) where the matter involves litigation, a notice of trial has been served in relation to the matter or a date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter concerned.

(9) The legal practitioner shall provide his or her client with clarification in relation to a notice, as soon as is reasonably practicable after having been requested to do so by the client.

(10) Where a practising solicitor, having received instructions from a client in relation to a matter, proceeds to instruct a practising barrister in relation to that matter—

(a) an obligation on the barrister under this section to provide a notice shall be fulfilled where the barrister provides the notice concerned to the solicitor,

(b) a duty owed by the barrister under subsection (6), (7) or (9) to his or her client shall be construed as a duty owed by the barrister to the solicitor, and

(c) the solicitor concerned shall—

(i) where he or she considers it appropriate, or where requested to do so by the client, request the barrister to provide clarification in relation to a notice provided by the barrister, and

(ii) immediately on receipt of a notice referred to in paragraph (a) or the clarification referred to in sub paragraph (i), provide that notice or clarification to the client.