We are often asked to advise where firms are acquiring all or part of another practice.  As well as professional indemnity insurance and successor practice issues, this gives rise to questions about how to move the clients over.  Only too often, we come across firms which are purporting to ‘buy’ the clients, or in some cases a ‘will bank’, from an administrator of an insolvent practice with scant regard on either side to the duties of confidentiality to clients and their free choice of solicitor.

Costs issues are also common; many instructions relate to the transfer of litigation matters.   The transfer of a conditional fee agreement was held to be effective as a novation rather than an assignment in Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Civ 1980, but care is still needed in both the drafting and implementation of the agreements in order to achieve success.  (See https://www.legalrisk.co.uk/news/ for link.)

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