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  6. In a contentious matter, must I supply a detailed breakdown of costs?

In a contentious matter, must I supply a detailed breakdown of costs?

I have issued a gross sum bill to my client in a contentious matter. He has now requested a detailed breakdown. Must I supply this?

In contentious matters, where a solicitor has issued a gross sum bill, the client may request a detailed breakdown of costs in lieu of the original bill within three months of receiving the bill. 

This does not apply if the solicitor has issued proceedings for payment of the bill or if the costs are subject to a Contentious Business Agreement (see Solicitors Act 1974 s64(2)).

However, you might wish to explain to your client that his request has the dramatic effect of cancelling the original gross sum bill. If, when going through your file, you consider you did not include all of your costs in the original bill, you are free to draw up a bill for the higher amount.

Disclaimer: 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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