Need For A Month’s Notice Before Suing For Legal Fees: Protecting The Poor’s Purse Or Tyranny Of Tradition?

INTRODUCTION

The Legal Profession Act of 1960 is the main statutory regime regulating the legal profession in Ghana. The Act provides that a lawyer who performs legal services for a client must issue a bill for the fees. The bill must inform the client the amount owed and any other terms and conditions of payment. The Act further states that the lawyer must allow a period of one month to pass before suing to recover the fees. The courts have given several judgments confirming the position of the law as set out in the Act. This article seeks to examine the continuous relevance of the one month’s notice requirement in the law in the light of the 1992 Constitution and other legislations that have abandoned such requirements.


The Legal Profession Act, 1960 and the mandatory requirement for a month’s notice to a client before suing for legal fees.

It is provided in the Legal Profession Act[1] that a lawyer who has done legal work for a client is not entitled to sue the client to recover the fees until the lawyer has given the client a bill of the fees and one month has passed. Therefore, before a lawyer who has done professional legal work for a party can initiate proceedings to recover the legal fees thereof, the lawyer needs to ensure that two important conditions precedent are satisfied. 

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