Legal Services Regulation Act 2015
Legal practitioner to attempt to resolve dispute
153. (1) Where a client disputes any aspect of a bill of costs, he or she shall, within 21 days of the bill of costs being provided to him or her under section 152 , send the legal practitioner concerned a statement in writing setting out the nature of the dispute.
(2) Where a legal practitioner receives a statement in accordance with subsection (1), he or she shall, before making an application under section 154(5) , take all appropriate and reasonable steps to attempt to resolve the dispute by informal means, which may include, where appropriate and with the consent of the client, mediation.
(3) Where the legal practitioner or the client, as the case may be, having made reasonable attempts to resolve the dispute in accordance with subsection (2), is of the opinion that the attempt has failed, he or she shall inform the other party in writing of that opinion.
(4) In reckoning the period of time for the purposes of subsection (5) or (7) of section 154 , the period beginning on the date on which the client sends the legal practitioner a statement under subsection (1) and ending on the date on which the legal practitioner or the client, as the case may be, informs the other party of his or her opinion referred to in subsection (3), shall be disregarded.
(5) Failure by a client to pay a bill of costs to a legal practitioner within the time period referred to in section 154(5) shall not be construed as a formal communication of the existence of a dispute by the client to the legal practitioner.