Lawyers face being seriously out of pocket as a result of a landmark judgment against law firm Nelsons, which received around 300 per cent less fees than it believed it was owed
Nelsons was effectively punished by the court because it failed to inform its former client, Long Eaton Plant Hire, that it was having to do extra work, making its original costs estimate irrelevant, and that its fees had increased more than threefold. Costs Judge Campbell has ruled that Nelsons should receive a meagre £6,000, based on an assessment the firm gave Long Eaton at the end of January 2000, plus 15 per cent. Nelsons was claiming costs of £20,000. Solicitors who now undershoot in their original costs assessments can expect to receive only a 15 per cent increase. Nelsons' costs rose as a result of unexpected price increases in preparing witness statements. One costs expert said: "This judgment will likely cause solicitors to overstate their costs."