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Wills & probate update

Catherine McAleavey reports on recent cases and developments

23 January 2004

Jemma Trust Co Ltd v Liptrott Although widely reported elsewhere, no Wills and Probate update would be complete without some mention of the Court of Appeal’s eagerly awaited decision in Jemma Trust Co Ltd v Liptrott [2003] EWCA Civ 1476 which was handed down on 24 October 2003. The costs judge had held that, in the absence of express agreement, it was anachronistic and wrong for solicitors to charge a value element in addition to an hourly rate. The solicitors appealed. The Law Society intervened on behalf of the profession. The Court of Appeal upheld the appeal for two reasons:
  • It is still open to solicitors who are administering an estate to make a separate charge based on value provided that the overall charge is fair and reasonable.
  • By disallowing a charge based on the value element and allowing such a low hourly rate the judge had not allowed for the value of the estate at all. The case was remitted to the costs judge for fin...
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