Authority to act
Posted on Wed 3rd July 2019 1.49PM General

When you instruct your solicitor in England to act for you in say an accident claim, the solicitor's retainer is normally governed by his engagement letter, which sets out what he is instructed to do and his likely costs. More and more people today have look to pursue claims which relate to things which happen in another country.

Suing a defendant who is abroad is even more time consuming and costly than it is when they are in the UK. However, there are other hoops to jump through.

The recent Court of Appeal case of Al-Zahra (PVT) Hospital & Ors v DDM [2019] EWCA Civ 1103, (judgment 27 June 2019) shows how important it is to make sure that when trying to pursue a foreign defendant the solicitor complies with local rules. In the Al-Zahra case, the solicitors failed at a basic level. Had they taken advice on the rules in the state where the defendant resided, in this case the UAE, they would have appreciated that to do anything the client should have executed a formal power of attorney appointing them to act, and this power of attorney should have been notarised.

Notaries do not deal with court cases. They are however used to dealing with foreign countries' legal systems and will often have a good feel for what is needed. Don't ever assume that everyone else in the world does things the way we do, certainly when it comes to law!.


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