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Prior to the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) in April 1999, a commercial litigator was not worth his fees unless he sent the most robust seven-day letter demanding payment on behalf of his client, threatening the prospective defendant with the service of proceedings without further notice should his demands not be met. The mere suggestion from a lawyer to his client that perhaps the parties should meet and explore the possibility of settlement could result in his retainer being terminated, with the client taking the view that he needed somebody tougher to act on his behalf.

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