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Assaubayev v MWP [2014] EWCA Civ 1491

DATE: 20 Nov 2014

Important case on the correct interpretation of sections 20, 21, 24 and 25 of the Solicitors Act 1974; the application of that act to persons who are not solicitors; the relationship between the remedies available under that act and arbitration under the Arbitration Act 1996.

The High Court Judge allowed an appeal from a Cost Judge who had refused to stay proceedings in the Senior Court Costs Office in favour of arbitration on the grounds that a person who held himself out as a solicitor should be subject to the remedies in Part III of the 1974 Act even though he was not in fact a solicitor.

The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the High Court Judge. It doubted whether the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court over solicitors could apply to someone who was not and could not be a solicitor. It upheld the Judge’s decision to stay the court proceedings pending arbitration but held that they should have been stayed under section 9 of the 1996 Act

David Holland QC acted for the Respondent.