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Thames Chambers Solicitors v Miah (Rev 1) [2013] EWHC 1245 (QB) - 16/05/13


Appeal against a wasted costs order against solicitors instructed by a bankrupt claimant granted on the ground that they conducted litigation in the absence of consent by the trustee in bankruptcy.

Held: A wasted costs order application may be made orally in the course of any hearing (CPD (CPR Pt 48) para 53.3(2)), provided the scope of the application is narrow and clear (Regent Leisuretime Ltd v Skerrett [2006] EWCA Civ 1032). It is negligent for solicitors to commence an action for a bankrupt in relation to a cause of action which is vested in the bankrupt's trustee, unless the client has grossly misled them (Pickthall v Hill Dickinson LLP [2009] EWCA Civ 543; Nelson v Nelson [1997] 1 All ER 970f).

Appeal dismissed. In the present case, it was not necessary for the defendant to issue a Part 23 application as there was a strong prima facie case that the solicitors acted improperly, unreasonably and negligently - any competent solicitor must know that proceedings to enforce a claim by a bankrupt can be pursued only with the consent of the trustee.