The Assignment of CFAs – Further Developments

With the appeal of Jones v Spire Healthcare adjourned part heard until 22 March 2016, the legal profession is left eagerly awaiting this decision to see what impact it will have upon the validity of retainers transferred between firms in the post Jackson era.

Yesterday, in the case of Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, DJ Besford sitting in Kingston-upon-Hull County Court found that a CFA that had been entered into solely as a protective measure was found to be enforceable.

The Claimant was advised in writing in March 2013 by his Solicitor, Baker Rees, that they had decided to stop handling PI work and that arrangements had been made to assign the original CFA to PI firm Neil Hudgell. As a contingency, Neil Hudgell entered into a second CFA with the Claimant to apply in the event that the assignment between the firms was found to be invalid.

The Judge found that the first CFA had been terminated by Baker Rees when they confirmed to the Claimant that they were no longer handling PI work – therefore there was no agreement to assign. The Claimant was unable to recover any costs for the work undertaken under the first CFA, but they did successfully recover base costs under the second CFA entered into with Neil Hudgell.

For more information, please see the Law Society Gazette report at CFA ‘terminated’ before assignment, court rules.

Any questions? Please contact Joanne Chase at joanne.chase@clarionsolicitors.com or call on 0113 336 3327.

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