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Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

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Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, Section 68 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 12 December 2017. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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[F1Effect on contentious business agreement of death, incapability or change of solicitorN.I.

68.(1) If, after some business has been done under a contentious business agreement but before the solicitor has wholly performed it—

(a)the solicitor dies, or becomes incapable of acting; or

(b)the client changes his solicitor (as, notwithstanding the agreement, he shall be entitled to do); or

(c)the solicitor withdraws from the retainer,

any party to, or the representative of any party to, the agreement may apply to the court, and the court shall have the same jurisdiction as to enforcing the agreement so far as it has been performed, or setting it aside, as the court would have had if the solicitor had not died or become incapable of acting, or the client had not changed his solicitor, or the solicitor had not withdrawn from the retainer.

(2) The court, notwithstanding that it is of the opinion that the agreement is in all respects fair and reasonable, may order the amount due in respect of business under the agreement to be ascertained by taxation, and in that case—

(a)the taxing officer, in ascertaining that amount, shall have regard so far as may be to the terms of the agreement; and

(b)payment of the amount found by him to be due shall be paid forthwith by the party liable to pay the same, unless rules of court provide otherwise pending the determination of an appeal under Article 71G(6).

(3) If in such a case as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(b) an order is made for the taxation of the amount due to the solicitor in respect of the business done under the agreement, the court shall direct the taxing officer to have regard to the circumstances under which the change of solicitor has taken place, and the taxing officer, unless he is of the opinion that there has been no default, negligence, improper delay or other conduct on the part of the solicitor affording the client reasonable ground for changing his solicitor, shall not allow to the solicitor the full amount of the remuneration agreed to be paid to him.

(4) If in such a case as is mentioned in paragraph (1)(c) an order is made for the taxation of the amount due to the solicitor in respect of the business done under the agreement, the court shall direct the taxing officer to have regard to the circumstances under which the withdrawal from the retainer has taken place, and the taxing officer, unless he is of opinion that the withdrawal from the retainer was for good cause, shall not allow to the solicitor the full amount of the remuneration agreed to be paid to him.]

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