Legal Business Blogs

Back in court: Dechert sues client Ikon Finance over fees

Just over a month after a High Court judge ruled on Dechert’s fee dispute with Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), the US firm has sued its client Ikon Finance over the non-payment of nearly £860,000 in fees.

In June 2016, Dechert filed a claim against Ikon Finance in the Queen’s Bench Division alleging non-payment of legal services, a figure amounting to £859,356,85.

Ikon Finance subsequently commenced a process with the Senior Courts Costs Office to have these fees assessed in September 2016, with the two parties expected to come to a confidential resolution in the next few days.

According to court documents obtained by Legal Business, Ikon Finance drafted Dechert in to assist with a variety of matters, including credit litigation and arbitration, in addition to general legal advice. Ikon Finance had paid roughly £210,000 towards the fees, but were yet to reach the quoted £860,000 bill.

Dechert, which was represented by its partner David Hughes, claimed a growing interest rate of £200 per day until judgment or an earlier payment. A central disagreement related to Ikon Europe director Engin Yikilmazoglu, who Dechert argued was responsible for signing financial documents on Ikon Finance’s behalf. Ikon Finance, however, stated Yikilmazoglu was not a director and had no such authority.

The documents also reveal that Ikon Finance was ‘unhappy’ with Dechert’s fees, particularly the hourly charges. Ikon Finance contended the fee was agreed to be £400 an hour, before being changed by Dechert to £550.

A spokesperson for Dechert said: ‘The issues in dispute have now been resolved and a consent order terminating proceedings is expected to be filed in the coming days. The terms of that settlement will be confidential.’

In February, ENRC successfully argued to have its multimillion-pound bills from Dechert assessed after the mining company claimed it had been overcharged.

Master Rowley, who handed down the decision, described discrepancies between Dechert’s estimates and the costs actually billed, noting that some of those estimates were ‘considerably awry on every occasion.’