Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The cost of court action should never be ignored

  • Comment
Letters

I have just seen Kim Franklin's column 'More losers than winners with no win, no fee litigation', (AJ 20.8.01) in which she argues that lawyers should not have a stake in the outcome of their cases. Her argument would be true in a perfect world, but like many lawyers, she ignores the appallingly high cost of taking legal action.

The small architectural practice, for example, when faced with a client who unreasonably withholds payment of a large fee, is hit in three ways: first they are out of pocket from the non-payment; second they would have to commit substantial resources to mount a debt-collection action;

and third, in their weakened state, they can be faced with a security for costs application, requiring them to pay yet further sums into court.

Conditional fee agreements (CFAs) are a relatively inexpensive way for an architect with a good cause to get around these problems. This is why I helped establish such a scheme for the RIBA with S JBerwin, a large firm of City solicitors.

CFAs can provide justice for architects, who otherwise would have no recourse.

Those architects who use the April 2000 edition of the RIBA's SFA/99 Architect/Client Agreement (which bars security costs for example) will find that they are more likely to have cases which lawyers will wish to take on under a CFA.

Stephen Yakeley, Yakeley Associates, London N1

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.