Bott & Co v Ryanair: Recovering costs





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Bott & Co VS Ryanair: Recovering Costs


Solicitors at Bott & Co, who were helping to assist and give invaluable legal advice to clients in claiming flight compensation for delayed or canceled flights, had a right to their costs, stated Lord Burrows in the recent Supreme Court case,despite the airlines attempting to deal directly with the claimants without the Solicitors knowledge, to avoid having to pay extra fees.  

This decision comes after the High court and Court of Appeal initially backed the airline over Bott & Co; however, the Supreme Court has now overruled this. The court allowed this new appeal, finding that the firm was indeed entitled to the costs, winning by a 3-2 majority.

Prior to 2016, Ryanair followed a strict cost scheme where they would pay any compensation fee for Bott & Co’s clients straight into their client account, which would then be distributed between the clients who claimed compensation. This would enable Bott & Co to charge for their legal service and advice.

However, Ryanair changed their ways of working, and instead started communicating and paying Bott & Co’s clients directly, attempting to pay their compensation directly, without the knowledge of Bott & Co, ultimately attempting to avoid having to pay the claimant’s legal fees. 

Legal proceedings 

Within the legal proceedings, in the Supreme Court, Lord burrows stated that Bott & Co had provided their clients with valuable legal support and advice, which would help aid them with their claim for compensation for any delayed or canceled flights with Ryanair; and therefore, the ruling needed to be overturned in their opinion. 

Giving separate judgments, Lady Arden and Lord Briggs also supported Bott’s appeal. 

Lady Arden stated that effective access to justice included ensuring that a person can get advice and was a ‘foremost animating principle’ of the equitable lien. 

Lady Arden also noted that ‘‘the work of the solicitors in this case, while inconvenient to Ryanair, is entrepreneurial and clearly results in solicitors providing a service which people find useful.’’

 The Effect & Result 

  • Lord Biggs felt it was a major stepping stone for the innovation for the law sector as he stated “We believe today’s ruling enables innovation to persist, with the law catching up with modern legal services”. 
  • It also showcased that any defendant should not interfere with any matters where the client has chosen to seek legal representation and advice and allowed justice to be served for the solicitors at Bott & Co. 

How could ARC Costs Assist?

Our team at ARC costs has a team of experienced costs draftsmen and costs lawyers who have a wide range of skills, therefore being able to assist you in any legal costs matters. If you need advice on any legal fees or you find yourself in a situation where you’re trying to recover costs where the defendant has been directly paid off by the claimant or you need help calculating any other costs then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please contact us at 01204 397302 or where we can provide you with advice on your case.


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