*Blankley v Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust

Solicitor – Retainer. At a time when the claimant had had capacity, she had entered into a conditional fee agreement with a firm of solicitors in respect of medical negligence proceedings that she had issued. She subsequently lost capacity. She succeeded in her claim and her solicitors submitted their bill of costs in order to seek recovery of those from the defendant. The defendant disputed the costs that related to the period when the claimant had been acting through the deputy appointed on her behalf. The regional costs judge, who had accepted the defendant's submissions, was overturned by the High Court. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the defendant's appeal and held that the parties had to have contemplated that the claimant might lose capacity and that instructions could be given on her behalf. In all the circumstances, it could not have been the intention of the parties that the claimant had to give instructions personally and her supervening incapacity had not rendered the contract incapable of performance.

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