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(1) WESTLAW SERVICES LTD (2) TAHIR KHAN (Appellants) v LISA ANN BODDY (EXECUTRIX TO THE ESTATE OF PETER BODDY, DECEASED) (Respondent) & SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY (Interested Party)

Agreements between a solicitor and the appellants were unlawful agreements to share fees, in breach of the Solicitors' Practice Rules 1990 r.7(1), and so were void and unenforceable, and the second appellant was not an employee within the exception in r.7(1)(c).

9 August 2010

The appellants (W and K) appealed against a decision dismissing their claims for payment for services provided to a solicitor (B). B was a sole practitioner, mainly conducting publicly-funded criminal litigation in the magistrates' courts. With a view to expanding his work in the Crown Court he entered into agreements with K, who was not legally qualified, and with a law graduate (V) who later qualified as a solicitor. They were successful in obtaining Crown Court work for the firm. W, which sued as assignee of V, and K alleged that B had agreed to pay V 75 per cent of the net fee received from the Legal Services Commission in a particular case and K 50 per cent, and that B would reimburse disbursements incurred by V and K in the course of their work for him. They claimed that B had been paid by the commission, but in breach of contract B had not paid them. The judge dismissed their claims on the basis that the alleged agreements between V and K and B were unlawful agreements to sha...

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