Bakers takes fee claims to court

Baker & McKenzie was in court last week in an attempt to recover £200,000 of outstanding fees from three former clients.

The case is a rare example of a dispute over unpaid fees hitting court. During the past year two firms, Irwin Mitchell and Manches, have launched claims to recover money, but neither dispute has yet gone to trial. Both these cases follow litigation on which the respective firms have acted, whereas the Bakers dispute is over corporate work.

The case, brought by the firm against two special-purpose vehicles, Reinsurance Run-Off and IAM, and an individual, George Chalhoub, was heard over several days last week in the High Court before John Leighton-Williams QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge.

The firm is trying to force the payment of a total of £200,000, including interest, from the defendants in respect of corporate work undertaken by Bakers.

The case has previously been through a number of preliminary skirmishes before finally reaching last week’s trial. Bakers is instructing City boutique Masseys for the litigation, with 1 Temple Gardens’ Nicholas Bacon as counsel.

Meanwhile, Chalhoub has instructed Southwark firm Izod Evans and Quadrant Chambers’ Michael McPartland as counsel.

The two companies are not represented.