Fenton V Holmes

[2007] All ER (D) 12 (Jun)

6th June 2007

High Court


The Claimant had already conducted successful litigation against the Defendant, pursuant to a conditional fee agreement. Although the majority of documents relating to the CFA had been properly completed, a letter comprising additional terms had not been signed by C. Accordingly, the CFA as a whole did not comply with reg 3(2)(b) of the Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations 2002 SI 2000/692, in relation to the risk assessment and dependent uplift fee, and thus the CFA was unenforceable. This was an appeal against that finding on the grounds that the breaches were not substantially material and thus the CFA should stand.


The purpose of reg 3(2)(b) of the Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations 2002 SI 2000/692 was to provide the court with important evidence to assist in the assessment of a reasonable success fee under the individual CFA. That the information was missing from the CFA had a potentially substantial adverse effect on the administration of justice. The requirement that both parties sign all parts of the CFA was to ensure consumer protection and the proper administration of justice. As the CFA also failed to comply with reg 5, it was unenforceable. Appeal dismissed.

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