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Solicitors Act 1974

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71[F1Assessment] on application of third parties.E+W

(1)Where a person other than the party chargeable with the bill for the purposes of section 70 has paid, or is or was liable to pay, a bill either to the solicitor or to the party chargeable with the bill, that person, or his executors, administrators or assignees may apply to the High Court for an order for the [F2assessment] of the bill as if he were the party chargeable with it, and the court may make the same order (if any) as it might have made if the application had been made by the party chargeable with the bill.

(2)Where the court has no power to make an order by virtue of subsection (1) except in special circumstances it may, in considering whether there are special circumstances sufficient to justify the making of an order, take into account circumstances which affect the applicant but do not affect the party chargeable with the bill.

(3)Where a trustee, executor or administrator has become liable to pay a bill of a solicitor, then, on the application of any person interested in any property out of which the trustee, executor or administrator has paid, or is entitled to pay, the bill, the court may order—

(a)that the bill be [F3assessed] on such terms, if any, as it thinks fit; and

(b)that such payments, in respect of the amount found to be due to or by the solicitor and in respect of the costs of the [F4assessment], be made to or by the applicant, to or by the solicitor, or to or by the executor, administrator or trustee, as it thinks fit.

(4)In considering any application under subsection (3) the court shall have regard—

(a)to the provisions of section 70 as to applications by the party chargeable for the [F5assessment] of a solicitor’s bill so far as they are capable of being applied to an application made under that subsection;

(b)to the extent and nature of the interest of the applicant.

(5)If an applicant under subsection (3) pays any money to the solicitor, he shall have the same right to be paid that money by the trustee, executor or administrator chargeable with the bill as the solicitor had.

(6)Except in special circumstances, no order shall be made on an application under this section for the [F6assessment] of a bill which has already been [F7assessed].

(7)If the court on an application under this section orders a bill to be [F8assessed], it may order the solicitor to deliver to the applicant a copy of the bill on payment of the costs of that copy.

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F1S. 71: word in section heading substituted (1.1.2010) by Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29), ss. 177, 211, Sch. 16 para. 66(a) (with ss. 29, 192, 193); S.I. 2009/3250, art. 2(f)(ii) (with art. 9)

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