THE “CONDUCT OF LITIGATION” CONSIDERED: WHEN NON-AUTHORISED PERSONS ATTEMPT TO ELBOW IN ON LITIGATION
We are looking for the third (and final) time at the judgment in Kassam -v- Gill (13th August 2018, County Court at Birmingham available on Lawtel). The judge considered the meaning of “conduct of litigation” as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007. He found that the services carried out by the company that acted for the claimant did amount to “conduct of litigation”. He made it clear that such a decision could not be viewed as binding on the company as it had not been represented in the litigation. (Readers may also want to read Nearly Legal’s post on this subject “Eviction companies, conducting litigation, and defective notices” which has a greater emphasis on the landlord and tenant aspects of the case)
The claimant landlord bought possession proceedings against the defendant tenants. He consulted an organisation “Remove a Tenant” to act on his behalf. This firm did not hold itself out to be solicitors. One of the issues the HH Judge Worster had to consider was whether the services breached section 14 of the Legal Services Act 2007. He found that it did.
THE COMPANY’S DESCRIPTION OF ITSELF
The judge described how Remove a Tenant described itself. It is important to point out that it was quite clear that it was not a firm of solicitors.
” Remove a Tenant carries on business providing services to landlords who wish to obtain possession of their property. At the top of its letterhead, underneath its trading name, are the words “Opening your doors for you” [H3]
Remove a Tenant are not solicitors. At the foot of the invoices it sent the Claimants in this case is this rubric [H16]:
Fentham Group are not Litigators. We offer assistance in the preparation and administration of possession claims from information and documentation supplied by the landlord relative to such claims”