Client care

Can I still issue cost recovery proceedings if a client complains?

My client failed to pay my final invoice. I’ve informed them that I intend to issue proceeding to recover costs. They responded by making a complaint about the costs information that I provided at the outset. Can I still issue proceedings?

There’s nothing to prevent you issuing proceedings for recovery of the debt and at the same time dealing with the complaint under your internal complaints handling procedure.

Whether this is in fact appropriate depends on the circumstances of the matter.

If, for instance, you find that there are failings in respect of the costs information you provided during the retainer, then there may be little point in obtaining judgment for the full amount, only to have to provide a partial refund of your fee for admitted poor service.

However, if you feel that the costs information is adequate and the charges are fair, then your complaints handing procedure will result in a final letter recording the outcome of your investigation and informing the complainant of their right to refer the complaint to Legal Ombudsman.

At the same time, you may continue with your costs recovery proceedings.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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