Recent Cases

Bell Lawyers Pty Ltd v Pentelow [2019] HCA 29 (04 September 2019) (Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon and Edelman JJ)


Practice and procedure – Costs – Legal practitioners – Barristers – Where self‑represented litigant may not obtain any recompense for value of his or her time spent in litigation – Where exception commonly referred to as “Chorley exception” exists for a self-represented litigant who is a solicitor – Where first respondent is a barrister – Where first respondent undertook legal work in litigation in which she was represented – Where first respondent incurred costs on her own behalf and for legal services provided by herself – Whether Chorley exception operates to benefit barristers – Whether Chorley exception recognised as part of common law of Australia.

Words and phrases – “anomalous”, “Chorley exception”, “common law of Australia”, “costs”, “costs payable”, “creature of statute”, “employed solicitors”, “equality before the law”, “exception to the general rule”, “exercise of professional skill”, “incorporated legal practice”, “indemnity”, “judicial abolition”, “professional legal services”, “prospective overruling”, “remuneration”, “rule of practice”, “rules committees”, “self-represented litigants”, “statutory power”.