Landmark DBA Judgment in Lexlaw v Zuberi

“because nobody can pretend that these Regulations represent the draftsman’s finest hour, it is appropriate if I add a few words to explain my own approach to the issues.“ 

The Court of Appeal has delivered the long awaited judgment in LEXLAW V ZUBERI. It accepts that the DBA  Regulations are less than perfect in the way they were drafted . Coulson LJ , quoted above, makes the excellent point that the argument put forward by the client equated to “ commercial suicide “ for lawyers and it was rejected outright.

The client engaged LEXLAW to pursue a claim against her bank using a DBA whereby she would pay 12% of damages recovered in the event of success .

The agreement stipulated that if she were to end the arrangement she would be liable to pay costs incurred. She made her recovery but then argued that the agreement was invalid because the Regulations do not permit one to charge anything to the client if one proceeds using a DBA .

Put succinctly, the provision to charge if the client terminated was outside the DBA and did not fall foul of the restriction upon so called ‘ hybrid ‘ arrangements. Good news for Solicitors . 

This blog was written by Professor Dominic Regan who is working with the Costs and Litigation Funding team as a consultant.

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