Azim v Tradewise Insurance Services Ltd  EWHC B20 (Costs) (22 August 2016)
At detailed assessment of the Claimant’s costs payable by the Defendant, Master Leonard considered the objections of the Defendant to the validity of the assignment of a pre April 2013 CFA.
The Claimant had instructed 3 firms of Solicitors under CFAs with a success fee and it was the assignment of the 2nd CFA from the 2nd firm of Solicitors to the 3rd firm of Solicitors in July 2014 that was causing issue. The Defendant disputed validity of the assignment of this 2nd CFA and therefore the recoverability of the Claimant’s costs under this 2nd CFA. There was also an issue as to whether the 2nd Solicitors had terminated the CFA at the time of assignment.
The cases of Budana and Webb were referred to by the Defendant but Master Leonard found that the CFA was not terminated. So the remaining issue was whether the CFA had been validly assigned.
Master Leonard also considered the case of Jones v Spire Healthcare and he agreed with this ruling, in that there was no need for a relationship of trust for an assignment of a conditional fee agreement to be valid. Therefore Master Leonard had not found any obstacle, ‘in the principles governing assignment of the benefit and burden of contracts, to the validity of a bona fide, arms-length CFA assignment in the circumstances of this case.’
The full judgment can be read here.