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Arlene Fortune v Jonathan Roe (2011), [2011], EWHC 2953 (QB), 10/11/11


A success fee of 100% was unreasonable where judgement had already been entered as the main risks to the litigation had gone. Non-recovery of charges would only have arisen if the C rejected a Part 36 offer and subsequently failed to beat that offer. The Master had originally decided that as the C was litigating in a risk free environment a success fee of 20% as opposed to 100% was appropriate following the C's acceptance of the D's Part 36 some 3 weeks before trial. There mere fact that a 2 stage success fee was in place did not mean that the 100% uplift could be justified. If there was no proper justification for the first stage fee it could not be used as a platform for the second stage fee, and it was difficult to see how the first stage fee of 25% cent was justified as there was no significant risk facing the C or her solicitors until a Part 36 offer was served. Where the risk was not great, and a substantial proportion of the costs were already secured for the Claimant's solicitors, a success fee of 10 0 per cent was unjustified and a reasonable success fee was 20%.