Solicitor Costs - Creating Time

On a detailed assessment of solicitor costs payable by the Legal Services Commission the judge noticed that there was a bundle of pristine time notes in the papers.

Written time records should normally age in accordance with the file around them. The existence of a pristine bunch of computer generated notes was therefore questionable. It also appeared from the notes that the solicitors had been in possession of documents at a time when they told both the court and the other side that they did not have them.

The solicitors were asked to explain their conduct on the basis that they appeared to have lied to the court. At the hearing the solicitors explained that they had not lied to the court about the documentation they held and that the time attendance notes were false.

Apparently the person preparing the bill had felt that the amount of time that they would have expected to be spent on the case was not reflected in the time records on file, with the effect that they were concerned that the charges were insufficient. They therefore decided to create some more.

The costs got reduced considerably as a result. The solicitors then asked for the costs of dealing with the costs. Needless to say, they did not recover them.

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