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Fladgate LLP v Lee Harrison

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In a dispute between solicitor and client, the Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE found, at paragraph 39, that: "In my judgement, the giving of instructions by a client to a solicitor constitutes the solicitor’s retainer by that client. It is not essential that the retainer is in writing. It may be oral. It may be implied by the conduct of the parties in the particular case. Under the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, certain matters must be provided in writing:

i) The name and status of the person dealing with the matter, and the person responsible for overall supervision (rule 2.02(2)(d));
ii) Any information about the cost (rule 2.03(5));
iii) Details of the applicable complaints procedure (rule 2.05(1)(b)).

But the Code Guidance explains that “it is not envisaged or intended that a breach …should invariably render a retainer unenforceable”.

Click here to read the full decision.