The Issues: The Parties reached agreement at the doors of the Court, on the day fixed for the quantum trial. The trial judge approved an Order in the agreed terms. Subsequently both the Claimant’s solicitors and Counsel claimed a success fee of 100%, as a fixed recoverable success fee on the basis that the case concluded at trial, however the Defendants objected saying that the case had concluded before the trial had commenced. When is a trial said to have commenced for the purpose of assessing the success fee?
Held: The claim itself remained live on the day of the trial. Agreement was not reached until after the time for commencement of the trial and in addressing the Court with regard the agreement between the Parties, the case had begun (para 26). The Court had regard to the overriding objective which encourages the early settlement of cases. The Defendant had the opportunity of negotiating an early settlement but decided to wait until the day of the trial. Accordingly the Claimant’s solicitors and Counsel were entitled to recover a 100% success fee.