Mr Bassett instructed Sears Tooth to act in his divorce and his wife's application for ancillary relief. Sears Tooth issued a number of bills to Mr Bassett during the course of the litigation. At the end of the matter, Mr Bassett sought to have a number of these assessed, including some that he had already paid.

Russell-Cooke acted for Mr Basset in seeking to obtain permission to proceed to have a solicitors act assessment of the bills Mr Basset had received. The Judge found that the failure by Sears Tooth to provide estimates during the course of the proceedings amounted to 'special circumstances' which justified the court making an order that a number of bills that had already been paid be subject to detailed assessment. The case involved consideration of the law in relation to special circumstances and when and how solicitors' bills can be challenged by clients even if paid.