I came across a really bad interstate solicitor a while back. One of his peccadillos was to write, at the end of all of his letters to my instructor — his opponent — ‘We thank you for your cooperation, and if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.’ The thing is we so weren’t cooperating. I just kept on objecting to the affidavits of merits put up in support of the application to set aside a default judgment until his client decided it was no longer worth the effort. His other favourite line was ‘This letter will be used on the question of costs’ to which I thought ‘Yeah, right.’ I don’t think I ever use that purported threat in correspondence. What’s the point? But it’s so commonplace a tic that I wonder whether there is in fact any good reason for it, whether it might be a hangover from the past and I’m too young to get it. So, my question: has anyone ever crashed and burned, unable to use a letter on the question of costs for want of such a sentence? Anyone want to defend the practice? (Of course, we’re not talking about Calderbank letters here. Putting ‘without prejudice save as to costs’ on a letter is useful, no doubt.)
- Inferences from non-response to assertions in correspondence received by you
- What are ‘legal proceedings to recover legal costs’?
- Wentworth v De Montfort: a case on ownership of documents in solicitors’ files
- Law Society’s conduct in Goldberg v Ng
- Without prejudice privilege and the Evidence Act, 2008