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  6. My client has an outstanding bill. Can I begin recovery proceedings?

My client has an outstanding bill. Can I begin recovery proceedings?

Do I have to inform a client of their right to detailed assessment prior to pursuing them on an outstanding bill?

A client must be informed of their right to challenge or complain about your firm's bill and the circumstances in which they may be liable to pay interest on unpaid bills - see Outcome 1.14 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.

Provided that the bill complies with the requirements of s.69 of the Solicitors Act 1974, you may begin recovery proceedings one month from the date of delivery of the bill.

However, you will be prevented from issuing recovery proceedings where the client has made an application for detailed assessment of the costs within the time limit or where they have obtained an order for the bill to be assessed - see s.70 of the Solicitors Act 1974.

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.

Have you got a practice question? Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk

The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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