State (Gallagher, Shatter & Company ) v De Valera (No 2)

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeFINLAY C.J.
Judgment Date01 January 1991
Neutral Citation1990 WJSC-SC 1887
CourtSupreme Court
Docket Number[1983 No. 493 SS]
Date01 January 1991
GALLAGHER SHATTER & CO v. DE VALERA
THE STATE AT THE PROSECUTION OF RICHARD F. GALLAGHER, SHATTER& CO.
Respondents

and

TURLOUGH DE VALERA, TAXING MASTER
Appellant

1990 WJSC-SC 1887

64/87

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

PRACTICE

Appeal

Notice - Contents - Grounds - Full statement of grounds required - General dissatisfaction with decision of trial judge insufficient - (64/87 - Supreme Court - 8/2/90) - [1991] 2 I.R. 198

|The State (Richard F. Gallagher, Shatter & Co.) v. de Valera|

PRACTICE

Costs

Taxation - Review - Party and party - Taxing Master - Discretion - Exercise - Principles applicable - Counsel's fees - Whether fees marked would have been acceptable to a reasonably careful and prudent solicitor - Notice of appeal - Contents - Grounds of appeal to be stated properly - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986, order 87, r. 4; order 99, r. 38 - (64/87 - Supreme Court - 8/2/90) - [1991] 2 I.R. 198

|The State (Richard F. Gallagher, Shatter & Co.) v. de Valera|

PROFESSIONS

Solicitors

Costs - Taxation - Review - Counsel's fees - Party and party - Taxing Master - Discretion - Exercise - Principles applicable - Whether fees marked would have been acceptable to a reasonably careful and prudent solicitor - Notice of appeal - Contents - Grounds of appeal to be stated properly - (64/87 - Supreme Court - 8/2/90) - [1991] 2 I.R. 198

|The State (Richard F. Gallagher, Shatter & Co.) v. de Valera|

SUPREME COURT

Appeal

Notice - Contents - Sufficiency - Grounds of appeal - Grounds to be stated fully - General allegation of error insufficient - (64/87 - Supreme Court - 8/2/90) - [1991] 2 I.R. 198

|The State (Richard F. Gallagher, Shatter & Co.) v. de Valera|

Citations:

RSC O.99 r15

RSC O.60

KELLY V BREEN 1978 ILRM 63

DUNNE V O'NEILL 1974 IR 180

ROBB V CONNOR 1875 IR 9 EQ 373

RSC O.99 r37(18)

GALLAGHER SHATTER & CO V DE VALERA 1987 IR 67

GALLAGHER SHATTER & CO V DE VALERA 1986 ILRM 3

ATTORNEYS AND SOLICITORS ACT 1844

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1924

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1936

1

JUDGMENT delivered on the 8th day of February 1990by FINLAY C.J. [WALSH CONC]

2

This is an appeal brought by the Taxing Master against the Order of the High Court made by Barrington J. on the 16th January 1987 on a motion to review the taxation of certain costs in this State Sideapplication.

3

In November 1980 the firm of Solicitors who are the Respondents on this appeal presented to one of its clients a bill of costs in respect of a considerable amount of legal work which had been carried on for a period of two and a half years. The client neither paid the bill nor made any requisition to have it taxed, and approximatley ten months later the Solicitors instituted proceedings for the recovery ofthe amount of the costs due in the Circuit Court. On the 9th October 1981 the client paid the amount of the bill in full and on the 1st October 1982 the client applied by signed requisition to tax to the Taxing Master to have the bill taxed.

4

The taxation was brought before the Appellant in this case and the Solicitors made a preliminary objection that having regard to the provisions of the Attorneys and Solicitors Act 1844 and to the payment of the bill that the petition was out of time and that the Taxing Master had no jurisdiction to tax the costs. The Appellant overruled this objection and proceeded to purport to tax the costs. The matter was re-entered before the Appellant in July 1983 as neither party had lodged a draft certificate of taxation or had taken up a certificate of taxation, and at that stage the Appellant purported to rule and direct that the Solicitors should take up a certificate of taxation and hand over and furnish the original to the client.

5

The Solicitors then obtained a Conditional Order of Certiorari dated the 12th August 1983 and against that the Appellant showed cause, raising amongst the issues put forward by him an issue as to whether anOrder of Certiorari could be made against a Taxing Master and also an issue as to whether there was a lack of candour on the part of one of the members of the Solicitor's firm in the affidavit filed by him and furthermore an issue as to whether the bill of costs submitted to the client on behalf of the Solicitors was "grossly excessive". The deponents on the hearing of the application to make absolute the Conditional Order of Certiorari were cross-examined after the service of notice and in a reserved judgment in the High Court Costello J. refused to make absolute the Conditional Order and allowed the cause shown.

6

Against that Order the Solicitors appealed to this Court, and for the purposes of that appeal served a notice on the Attorney General pursuant to Order 60 of the Rules of the Superior Courts raising a question as to the validity of Order 99, rule 15, of those Rules, having regard to the provisions of the Constitution, and also raising a question as to the validity of certain Sections of the Courts of Justice Act 1924and 1936, having regard to the Constitution, in the event of the Supreme Court upholding the interpretation of the law adopted in the High Court leading to the Order allowing thecause shown.

7

The matter was before this Court on the 4th, 5th and 6th days of December 1984 and judgment was reserved.

8

Judgment was delivered by this Court on the 20th December 1984 and the appeal was allowed and the Conditional Order of Certiorari was made absolute. This Court ordered then that the Appellant now before the Court, namely, the Taxing Master, should pay to the prosecutors, who are the Solicitors, their costs of the appeal, including their written submissions to this Court, and the costs of the proceedings in the High Court, including the costs of the Conditional Order, when taxed andascertained.

9

Upon the taxation of the costs, in pursuance of the Order of this Court of the 20th December 1984 Taxing Master Bell made deductions in respect of the fees agreed and paid to Counsel in the High Court and Supreme Court and disallowed objections to those deductions which were carried forward on behalf of the Solicitors. The Solicitors by motion dated 30th August 1985 sought to review the taxation of their costs in respect of these items.

10

This motion first came before Gannon J. in the High Court and he remitted the matter to Taxing Master Bell for the purpose of obtainingcertainfurther information to enable the motion to be decided.

11

The motion with this further information then came before Barrington J. in the High Court and judgment was reserved by him. He delivered judgment on the 16th January 1987 and allowed the motion to review, restoring in full as taxable disbursements Counsel's fees which had been reduced by the Taxing Master.

Grounds of appeal
12

The Notice of Appeal in this case unfortunately does not contain specific grounds, but merely states in bald fashion that the Judge misdirected himself and was wrong in law and in fact in allowing the sums claimed and in ordering and adjudging them to be allowed, and contains as a purported second ground "such further grounds as will be presented to this honourable Court on the hearing of...

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