Michelle Castle in historic High Court decision regarding the Chorley exception

13th Floor News

Michelle Castle, a member of 13th Floor St James Hall, recently appeared as junior counsel in the High Court in the matter of Bell Lawyers v Pentelow [2019] HCA29.  In an historic decision, the High Court held that the Chorley exception is not part of the common law of Australia.

The decision can be found here: Bell Lawyers v Pentelow [2019] HCA 29

A recent article co-authored by Michelle for publication in the LSJ can be found here: Chorley Abolished! High Court has final say

Further comment from the High Court on Chorley

On 4 September 2019 the High Court delivered judgment in Bell Lawyers v Pentelow [2019] HCA 29. The judgment abolished the Chorley exception, ie, the rule that permitted lawyers to recover costs for their own time spent on litigation if they were awarded costs. An article discussing this case can be found here: http://13stjames.net.au/papers/uploads/2019/09/Chorley-abolished.pdf

In a further development, In Coshott v Spencer, 11 September 2019, unreported, the High Court (Keane J) has made obiter comment about whether an incorporated legal practice is to be treated in accordance with the rules about costs of employed solicitors or whether “’no significance’ should be attributed to the circumstance that, pursuant to the Uniform Law, an incorporated legal practice is interposed between the individual who is the client in litigation and the same individual who renders legal services”: at [17]. His Honour concluded that the applications before him were not the occasion to examine these competing views. The judgment can be obtained here: http://13stjames.net.au/papers/uploads/2019/09/Coshott-v-Spencer-S182-2017-and-S4-2018-judgment-on-review-of-taxation.pdf

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