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Case details

Bott & Co Solicitors (Appellant) v Ryanair DAC (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2019/0054

Case summary


What are the limits to the principle (as espoused in Gavin Edmondson Solicitors Ltd v Haven Insurance Co Ltd [2018] UKSC 21) under which a solicitor can ask the Court to grant an equitable lien in order to protect his entitlement to fees as against his client?


The appellant is a solicitors' firm which deals with flight delay compensation claims on a "no win, no fee" basis. When it accepted a case, the appellant would send a letter before action to the relevant airline and ask for payment to be made to the appellant's client account. If this occurred, the appellant would check the payment, deduct its fees, and then pay the balance of the sum to the customer. If the airline failed to respond or disputed the claim, the appellant would consider issuing proceedings.

In approximately February 2016, the respondent, Ryanair, stopped dealing with the appellant on outstanding claims. Instead, it began to deal directly with the appellant's clients and to pay compensation directly to them. The appellant issued proceedings against Ryanair; one of the issues in the case was whether the appellant had an equitable lien over its fees.

The High Court and the Court of Appeal rejected this argument and dismissed the appellant’s claim. The appellant now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2019] EWCA Civ 143



Bott & Co Solicitors


Ryanair DAC



Lord Briggs, Lady Arden, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

20 May 2021

Hearing finish date

20 May 2021

Watch hearing
20 May 2021 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

16 March 2022

Neutral citation

[2022] UKSC 8

This judgment was reuploaded on 21/07/2023, to correct the neutral citation of Khans Solicitors in para 25.

Watch Judgment summary
16 Mar 2022 Judgment summary