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Taxation of Parliamentary Costs.-Metropolitan and Provincial Law Association, which has not been printed, and to which the practising in England and Wales, and there.) petitioners have therefore not had access. fore the costs of other solicitors and parlia
“ The petitioners, as representing the in- mentary agents cannot be taxed under it, yet terests of all the solicitors practising in Eng- the Taxing Masters of the Court of Chancery land and Wales, object to the bill for the fol- have hitherto, under the Speaker's appointa lowing among other reasons ;
inent and the provisions of the act 6 Geo. 4, c. “1stly.—Because it is thereby proposed to 123, taxed all the costs which the Speaker has appoint a new and permanent tribunal, without been called upon to refer for taxation under appeal, for the taxation of the bills of all solici- that act, with satisfaction to the Speaker and to tors and parliamentary agents, for a part of the all parties interested; and they are ready and parliamentary business transacted by them, willing to undertake the duty of taxing all costs viz., so much of it as is transacted in the House which, under the provisions of the bill now beof Commons, notwithstanding that there is an fore the house, are to be rendered liable to taxalready existing tribunal, (the Taxing Masters ation; and this obvious course will not be at. of the Court of Chancery,) which, under the tended with any increase of expense, present or provisions of an act passed in 1843, (6 & 7 future, to the public. Vict. c. 73,) has jurisdiction to tax the whole of the bills of all solicitors practising in England
“It is understood that the other objectionable and Wales, including all business transacted in provisions contained in the bill are to be both houses of parliament ; and because the abandoned, and consequently the petitioners
make no observations upon them. taxation of part of a bill only, and the taking of a partial account between the solicitor and “The petitioners therefore submit that all the the client in cases where the whole bill and the objects professed by the bill can be satisfacwhole account relate to one and the same matter, torily attained without the appointment of any must inevitably cause inconvenience and injury new officers, and without any expense to the to both parties.
public, by extending the provisions of the 6 & 7 “2ndly.-Because the act of the 6 & 7 Vict. Vict. c. 73, to the taxation of costs incurred in c. 73, under which the party chargeable with the House of Commons; and they confidently the bills of solicitors practising in England or rely on the justice and wisdom of parliament Wales for business transacted in either house for preventing the public from being permaof parliament has a right to require the taxation nently saddled with the expense consequent on of such bills, has been found to answer most the creation of a new office which they have effectually the purposes for which it was framed, shown to be totally unnecessary." after mature consideration of the whole subject by the judges of the courts of law and equity, and by the solicitors and attorneys who are METROPOLITAN AND PROVIN. affected by it; and because the Taxing Masters CIAL LAW ASSOCIATION. of the Court of Chancery, on whom the duty of taxing all parliamentary costs devolves, and who have had all the experience consequent
We understand that the committee of upon the taxation of such costs to a very large management are proceeding actively in amount, and to whom the legislature specially maturing the plan of this society. It will, confides the taxation of the costs of all Estate of course, be necessary to enlarge the comActs, a number of which are passed every mittee, and include within if members session, have executed their duty to the satis- practising in all the populous districts, and faction of the court, the clients, and the so- to form sub-committees for carrying out licitors.
the various details stated in the address, “ 3rdly.--Because the establishment of a new and permanent tribunal for the taxation of par
and others which are essential for successliamentary costs would be a breach of the com- fully accomplishing the purposes of the pact upon the faith of which the solicitors of association. England and Wales waived the objections It cannot be too often pointed out that which they might have made to the provisions the great use of this association consists in of the act 6 & 7 Vict. c. 73, which rendered the union of town and country solicitors. their costs for parliamentary, conveyancing, for the benefit of the whole profession. and general business liable to taxation, to which No doubt much that it seeks to attain such bills were not previously liable, in consideration that such bills should be taxed by the might be done by the Incorporated Law Taxing Masters of the Court of Chancery, as is Society in London, and by the Country Law provided by that act.
Societies in their several districts; but “4thly:-Because there ought to be an appeal there is much that can only be accom.. from all tribunals of the nature proposed to be plished by uniting the influence of both created by the bill; and such appeal can only classes. The separate society may aid the satisfactorily lie to the Court of Chancery, which already has the jurisdiction in similar joint body. The latter will leave to the cases.
former whatever can be effectually done in . "And 5thly.-Because, although the act of their several localities. The Metropolitan the 6 & 7 Vict. c. 73, extends only to solicitors and Provincial Association will, of course,
Construction of Attorneys and Solicitors' Act. chiefly attend to those subjects and to that was retrospective, and the plea followed the course of proceeding which can be more words of the 37th section. completely effected by the united body. Upon the first point the court deter
mined, that the plea was sufficient without CONSTRUCTION OF ATTORNEYS stating that the work was done after the AND SOLICITORS' ACT, passing of the statute 6 & 7 Vict., as the
court had already decided, in a case of
Scadding v. Eyles,e that the stat. 6 & 7 DELIVERY OF CONVEYANCING BILL BEFORE
Vict. was retrospective in its operation, THE STATUTE.
and that it was immaterial in this respect LORD Denman delivered the judgment whether the charges contained in the bill of the Court of Queen's Bench, in Hilary were taxable or not before the passing of Term last, upon a case argued in the pre- the act. ceding Trinity Term, involving some points The second question, whether a delivery of great importance in reference to the before the passing of the statute was a sufright of an attorney or solicitor to maintain ficient compliance with the statute ? dean action for conveyancing business done pended upon the construction of the 37th before the passing of the statute 6 & 7 section. That section enacts, “that from Vict. c. 73.1
the passing of the act, no attorney, &c., The opinion of the court was required shall commence or maintain any action for under the following circumstances :-Mr. the recovery of any charges for any busiBrooks, a solicitor, brought an action in as- ness done by him, until the expiration of sumpsit for work and labour and upon an one month after such attorney shall bave account stated, and the defendant pleaded delivered unto the party to be charged that no bill was delivered as by the statute therewith, or sent, &c., a bill of such fees, required, to which the plaintiff replied, &c., and which bill shall either be subthat a bill was delivered modo et formá, scribed with the proper hand of such at. without noticing the words in the plea, “as torney, &c., or be inclosed or accompanied by the statute required.” At the trial by a letter subscribed in like manner referbefore Coleridge, J., it appeared that all ring to such bill.” The words “shall have the items in the plaintiff's bill were for been delivered” were general, and there conveyancing business done previous to the had been a literal compliance with them as 5th August, 1840, and that on that day a bill had been delivered. Still, the object the bill was transmitted to the defendant, of the statute must be considered : it reinclosed in a letter signed by the plaintiff, quired a delivery that the party charged and referring to the bill. The action was might have a taxation, if desired, within not commenced until the month of January, one month. Now, a delivery of a convey1844. Upon this state of facts it was con- ancing bill before the statute had not the tended on behalf of the plaintiff-Ist, that effect which the statute contemplated. the plea was bad, for not stating that the The party charged could not procure a taxwork had been done since the passing of ation of such a bill within a month, nor was the act; and 2ndly, that if the statute re. the attorney bound to wait a month before quired the delivery of a bill where the he commenced an action on such a bill. It charges were incurred before the passing would be entirely defeating the retrospecof the act, it was satisfied by a delivery be- tive operation of the statute to hold a de fore the act, such as the act requires. On livery before the passing of the act effectual the other hand, it was insisted, that the in the case of a conveyancing bill. It object of the statute clearly was to render might be otherwise in the case of a taxable conveyancing bills taxable like bills con- bill; such a bill may fall within the operataining other charges, and that as the tion of the saving in the first section, as plaintiff's bill for conveyancing was not being “a thing done before the passing of taxable before the statute, a delivery of the the act;" but the delivery of a bill of bill before the statute was not a compliance charges incurred in conveyancing was not with the statute. As to the objection that a thing done under any of the repealed the plea omitted to state that the work was statutes. Upon these grounds the court done after the passing of the statute, such was of opinion, that the delivery of a constatement was unnecessary, as the statute veyancing bill before the statute 6 & 7
Vict. c. 73, did not satisfy the requirements a Brooks v. Bockett, reported 16 Law Jour. 178, Q. B.
e 15 Law Jour, 364, Q. B.
Attorneys and Solicitors' Act. --Taxes on the Administration of Justice. 1432 of the statute. In coming to this conclu- several witnesses. The inquiry is very sion, the court observed, that it was in some comprehensive :-it includes sense undoubtedly true, as suggested in 1. The taxation of suitors in the courts the argument, that although an attorney of law and equity by the collection of fees, might have complied with all that the and the amount thereof. statute required, before it passed, if he were 2. The mode of collection. bound to deliver his bill anew and wait a 3. The appropriation of fees in the month before he commenced his action, courts of law and equity. the Statute of Limitations might intervene 4. The like in all inferior courts. and bar him of his remedy. It was equally 5. The like in the courts of special and true and equally inconvenient, that an at- general sessions in England and Wales. torney whose demand was only for convey. 6. The salaries and fees received by. ancing, and who had delivered no bill, and officers of those courts. waited until within less than one month 7. Whether any, and what, means can of the expiration of six years, should be be adopted with a view of superintending barred by the statute without any default and regulating the collection and appropri. of his own, as no act (before the 6 & 7 ation of the fees. Vict.) required him to deliver a bill or wait The following has been added to the a month. The inconvenience suggested, original order of the house :however, could not be obviated, without 8. To include within the inquiry the holding that the 37th section was not retro- Ecclesiastical Courts and the Court of spective, and the court had already come Admiralty. to an opposite conclusion.
A change having taken place, we subUpon these grounds a rule was made join the names of members now constitutabsolute to enter a verdict for the de- ing the committee :fendant.
Mr. Watson, Sir James Graham, Mr. It will be perceived from this analysis of Attorney-General, Mr. Solicitor-General, the judgment of the Court of Queen's Sir Frederick Thesiger, Mr. Stuart Wortley, Bench, that no distinct opinion was pro- Mr. Romilly, Mr. Walpole, Mr. Bickham nounced as to the sufficiency of the de- Escott, Mr. Roebuck, "Mr. Parker, a Mr. livery of a bill containing taxable items be. Hume, Sir John Hanmer, Mr. Ewart, Mr. fore the statute ; but the case is a direct Henley. authority, that an action cannot be main- This reference is undoubtedly one of the tained upon a bill rendered taxable for the most important that was ever made by first time by the statute 6 & 7 Vict., unless either house of parliament. The com the attorney bas delivered a bill, as re- mittee appear to be particularly well con, required by sect. 37, since the 22nd Au-stituted, and are evidently disposed to carry gust, 1843, and waited one month after such out most fully the objects of the house. delivery.
The enormous amount of these “taxes on In the present state of the law, perhaps justice," and the highly objectionable way it will be expedient, as matter of prudence, in which they are levied, are grievances not to rely in any case upon the delivery calling loudly for redress. In numerous of a bill antecedent to the day, named, instances they operate as a total denial of when the statute received the Royal justice, and in others drive the suitors to Assent.
submit to unjust compromises. It ought, perhaps, to be added, that the It is the duty and the interest of every judgment in Brooks v. Bockelt, is only to practitioner to aid the important labours be considered as embodying the opinion of of the committee by every assistance and Lord Denman and Justice Coleridge on the information in their power. We are glad case, the other judges of the court not to hear that the council of the Incorporated having heard the arguments.
Law Society have tendered their services,
and that the committee have been pleased TAXES ON THE ADMINISTRA- to accept them. Some of the members of TION OF JUSTICE.
the council or society are in attendance at
every meeting of the committee. The Select Committee of the House of Commons, of which Mr. Watson, (Q.C.,) is à It is intended to substitute Sir William the cliairman, holds ils sittings twice a Molesworth and Mr. Christie for the Attorneyweek, and they have already examined General and Mr. Parker.
Report of the Select Committee on Railways. Much time must be necessarily occupied tion to present a petition for the re-introin collecting all the details. The facts duction of any such bill. bearing on the working of this vast fee
Upon a petition for leave to bring in a taking system will, of course, be thoroughly
railway bill being presented during the
session of 1848, and referred to the exsifted, and the opinions of the most com
aminer of petitions, he is to examine petent persons will, no doubt, be collected.
whether the petition be the same in subIt would be very desirable, if the com- stance as any petition for the same purpose, mittee should deem it proper, to report the
and from the same parties, which was pre. evidence from time to time to the house,
sented in the session of 1947; and in that and allow it to be published for the infor
case, whether any bill broughtinto the house mation of the public and the profession,
in pursuance of such petition in the session
of 1847, was pending in either house of parand we think the inquiry would thereby be liament on the termination of such session; materially assisted.
and if so, whether a subscription contract,
as required by the standing orders, bind. REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE
ing in the usual way the subscribers to the ON RAILWAYS.
undertaking, has been entered into, and is valid at the time of such inquiry, and
whether the deposit of 10l. per cent. upon THE Select Committee appointed to consider such subscriptions is lodged in the manner whether it is expedient that any measures
required by the standing orders. should be adopted for suspending further pro
În such case, and on proof of such noceedings in all or any of the Railroad Bills in tice having been given as aforesaid, and if the present session; and for enabling the it appears that such bill had, in the session parties, under certain conditions, to proceed
of 1847, been suspended in the House of with the same in a future session of parliament;
Lords, or in the House of Commons, on and also, whether it is advisable that any fur
or after the second reading, the standing ther provisions should be made in the standing
orders, with respect to any such bill, are orders of the house relative to bills for the con
to be held to have been complied with. struction of railroads; and who were
The time between the second reading of powered to report their opinion thereon, from any such bill and the meeting of the com time to time, to the house ;-have considered mittee thereon, is shortened to three clear the matter referred to them, and agreed to the
days, the parties to give the regular notices following resolutions :kam
in the Private Bill Office, 1. That the promoters of all railway bills in
In case such bill shall have been rethe present session of parliament, shall be em- ported in the session of 1847, the commitpowered, on the second reading, or on the com
tee on the bill are to examine whether the pletion of any subsequent stage of any such
bill be in every respect the same as such bill, to suspend any further proceeding in the
former bill at the last stage of its proceedpresent session, with the option, under the ing in the house in the session of 1847, following conditions, of proceeding with the
and in such case no evidence is to be resame bill in the next session of parliament, at
ceived by such committee; and on the the stage where the bill shall be now suspended.
reception and adoption by the house of a Conditions.
report from such committee, that the bill
referred to them is in every respect the The promoters of such bills are to give
same as such former bill at the last stage notice in the Private Bill Office, on or be
of its proceeding in the house in the sesfore the 18th day of June; or if the bill sion of 1847, such bill may be ordered to shall be in committee, then within six
be ingrossed without any further proceeddays of the report of the committee, of ing in respect thereof. their intention to suspend any further proceedings thereon, on the completion of
2. That the deposits made in respect of all some subsequent stage of the bill.
railway bills, the proceedings on which shall The promoters of such bills are to give have been suspended, shall be returned to the notice by advertisement for three succes
depositors; but that before proceeding in a sive weeks, in October and November, in future session, deposits to the same amount the London, Edinburgh, or Dublin
Gazette, shall be again duly paid in, according to the as the case may be, and in the local paper standing orders of the House of Commons. or papers usually in circulation in the part
3. That a clause shall be inserted in every railof the country through which the line of way bill, in the present and every future session railway is proposed to pass, of their inten- of parliament, prohibiting the payment of any
interest or dividend in respect of calls (except
the interest by way of discount on subscriptions The following are the names of the members of the committee :--The Chancellor of the of the capital authorized to be raised in such
prepaid, agreeably to 8 Vict. c. 16, s. 24), out Exchequer, Sir James Graham, Mr. Hume, bill, either by means of calls, or of any power Mr. Hudson, Sir George Clerk, Mr. Charles of borrowing contained therein. Russell, Mr. Strutt, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Ellice.
4. That in all cases of application to parlia
Report of the Select Committee on Railways.-Selections from Correspondence. 145 ment by existing railway companies, either for SELECTIONS FROM CORRESPON. powers to construct branches or extensions, or
DENCE. to contribute towards the expense of constructing other lines of railways, a subscription contract for three-fourths of such additional capital
COUNTY COURTS. as may be required for these purposes, shall be SIR, -I agree with those who are of opinion given in, beyond the capital authorized for the that the provisions of the New County Courts existing lines, and deposits shall be duly paid Bill, if not made to exclude the legal profession thereon.
from the court practice, will have that effect. 5. That a clause shall be inserted in every Cheap law and the existence of a respectable railway bill in the present and in every future and well-educated class of practitioners I hold session of parliament prohibiting any railway to be incompatible. As every man is worthy company from paying, out of the capital which of his hire, not excepting the legal labourer, they have been authorized to raise for the pur- the privilege of appearing provided for in the poses of any existing act, the deposits required act seems to me as of little worth, rather a disby the standing orders to be made for the pur- abling clause than a boon. However, I am far poses of any application to parliament for a bill from opposing cheap justice, though it may be for the construction of another railway. inconsistent with professional profit; on the
6. That in every bill of the present session contrary, I would rather that the profession containing powers of purchase, sale, lease, or were excluded altogether than that such an inamalgamation, a clause shall be inserted pro- jury should be inflicted on society. hibiting any company from exercising such The expense of administering justice has powers until they shall have proved to the sa- always been great, principally from the diffitisfaction of the railway commissioners, that culty which exists of making laws that may be they have paid up, and expended, for the pur- easily understood. The costs of making are poses authorized by their acts, a sum equal to small in comparison to those incurred in ex. one-half of the capital authorized to be raised pounding laws. thereby.
Amongst others, barristers' fees, those for 7. That in future sessions of parliament no consultations, arbitrations, and for the “attendpowers of purchase, sale, lease, or amalgama- ances and advisings thereon” of attorneys, are tion, shall be contained in any act for the con- no trifling auxiliaries in the legal sums total. struction of a railway.
The new bill proposes (virtually, if not openly,) 8. That in future sessions of parliament no to abolish these fees, and with them the necespowers of purchase, sale, leare, or amalgama- sity for the practitioner's intervention. This tion, shall be given to any railway company or will nearly exclude the advocate, for few of the companies, unless previous to their application profession are known to work without pay, and to parliament for such purpose they shall have the opinion of those who do is considered of proved to the satisfaction of the railway com- little worth. The uncertainty of the law to a missioners, that they have respectively paid up degree will always remain, as long at least as and expended, for the purposes authorized by man's imperfection lasts—that period I for one their act, a sum equal to one-half of the capital decline to measure. The change contemplated authorized to be raised thereby.
by the new act will amount to this, that the 9. That no railway company shall in the present practitioners will be replaced by others. present, or any future session of parliament, be The judges, their clerks and officers, will authorized, except for the execution of its alone have the conduct of the suit from the enoriginal line, to guarantee interest on any tering of plaints to their hearing, and from the shares which it may issue for creating addi- service of process to its execution. I have long tional capital, or to guarantee any rent or divi- since been of opinion that the state should prodend to any other railway company, until such vide judges to expound and officers to enforce first-mentioned company shall have completed the law. and opened for traffic its original line.
A PRACTITIONER. 10. That in bills in the present, or any future session of parliament, for the amalgamation of railway companies, the amount of capital created
REGISTRY OF DEEDS. by such amalgamation shall in no case exceed the sum of the capitals of the companies so ther erroneous in supposing in the case he puts,
SIR,—Your “Constant Reader” is surely raamalgamated. 11. That in bills in the present, or any future
“That A.'s judgment would still remain a session of parliament, empotvering any railway charge on the premises in the hands of T.," company to purchase any other railway, no ad- after a lapse of 20 years and no registry, for dition shall be authorized to be made to the though at the time B. purchased there might capital of the purchasing company, beyond the have been a charge upon the estate, still 1 & 2 amount of the capital of the railway purchased; Vict. enacts, that the registry, shall be null and and in case such railway shall be purchased at void after five years, unless,” &c. At the exa premium, no addition on account of such piration therefore of the five years, and no repremium shall be made to the capital of the gistry, the estate is freed from the incumbrance purchasing company.
by the registry affecting it,--any notice that 7th June, 1847.
B. might be presumed to have had coming within 3 & 4 Vict. c. 82, s. 2. The construc