Exclusive: Levy & McRae to appeal ‘far-reaching’ fees judgment

Exclusive: Levy & McRae to appeal 'far-reaching' fees judgment

Copyright: Scottish Legal News

Levy & McRae is to seek leave to appeal a decision which has significant implications for the way the profession bills clients.

The firm announced the move following the decision in a case raised by former client Robert Kidd. The firm successfully acted for Mr Kidd and his business in a damages claim against another firm of lawyers, securing a settlement and payment of an eight figure sum in 2018.

However, when the fees for the three-and-a-half years of highly complex legal work became due, Mr Kidd launched a further legal action, stating that the billing arrangements were unenforceable.

A spokesman for Levy & McRae told Scottish Legal News: “The damages case we were asked to undertake by Mr Kidd was among the most challenging and highly complex seen in the Scottish courts for many years.

“For that reason, before proceeding with the case, detailed discussions took place and advice was sought on the proposed fee arrangements to ensure they complied with all necessary legislation. This included advice from the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, who stated: ‘I am content with this. It is of the essence of a speculative fee that the amount of the fee will be linked to the outcome. We crossed that Rubicon long ago’.

“We were therefore satisfied that our billing agreement, which was the subject of detailed negotiation between this firm and independent legal advisors for Mr Kidd, was entirely appropriate. We remain of the opinion that these fee arrangements complied with the rules.”

The Scottish government has now legislated to allow American style feeing arrangements in which lawyers take a percentage of damages as fees in commercial cases. Those rules are not yet in force but it is anticipated that they will be shortly.

The spokesman added: “We will seek leave to appeal this judgement, which we believe has significant implications for our profession. The challenges involved in Mr. Kidd’s case cannot be overstated. It was among the most time-consuming and highly-complex seen in Scotland in many years. It involved consideration of hundreds of thousands of documents and highly complex financial analysis.

“In those circumstances, it was extremely disappointing to have had our fees challenged in circumstances where the basis of feeing was agreed and after having secured an excellent result for our client.”

Share icon
Share this article: