By Chloe Howard, a Solicitor of Matthews Folbigg, in our Insolvency, Restructuring and Debt Recovery Group
They say a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. However if the person is lawyer, at least the ‘fool’ could recover his or her own professional costs in debt recovery proceedings. Or at least that was until a High Court’s decision this week abolished this special treatment for lawyers.
Normally, it is not possible for a self-represented litigant to recover any costs of litigation, including debt recovery. Until recently, however, there was a benefit of lawyers keeping their own debt recovery in-house: The Chorley exception. This exception, adopted from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales case of Scottish Benefit Society v Chorley (1884) 13 QBD 872, meant that lawyers who represented themselves in litigation, including debt recovery for their own fees, were entitled to recover the costs associated with litigating that claim.