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Supreme Court clarify the rules regarding solicitors equitable lien

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The UK Supreme Court has clarified the rules that apply at when a Defendant pays a Claimant directly, and the Claimant’s solicitor loses out on fees as a result. This is a complex area of law with a long history, and is a minefield for large customer-facing businesses that must handle a large volume of pre-court consumer claims.

Trying to resolve pre-court matters directly with the customer makes commercial sense, but without well-prepared terms and conditions it could now prove painfully costly, as the Supreme Court has made it easier for solicitors to claim their fees back from the business.

Oracle acted for Ryanair throughout the case, from the High Court Stage, through the Court of Appeal and the UK Supreme Court, and was instrumental in securing the Court of Appeal’s earlier ruling – left in place by the Supreme Court – that Ryanair’s terms and conditions are fair and enforceable. Oracle also secured a ruling allowing Ryanair to continue to contact its customers directly even once they have engaged a claims management company to handle their compensation claim. The UK Supreme Court overturned only one ruling in Ryanair’s favour, which concerned Ryanair’s liability to claims managers prior to the change in its terms and conditions in 2016.

Airlines or other businesses that wish to protect themselves against solicitors’ fee claims are welcome to get in touch with our expert lawyers for a free no-obligation discussion on the issue.

Harry Snook

Harry Snook leads Oracle’s Aviation teams across multiple jurisdictions, ensuring that each of Oracle’s airline clients benefits from a consistently excellent legal service that is...

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