The High Civil Court obligated a contracting company to pay BD17,000 in dues to a lawyer for nearly two years of representation in various cases. The company pleaded that the lawyer’s right was forfeited due to the statute of limitation. However, the court confirmed that while the lawyer’s right to request an estimate of fees is null within the passage of a year since the completion of work, in this case, the lawyer’s request pertained to a contractual obligation.
Therefore, the statute of limitation does not apply. The plaintiff had filed a lawsuit demanding that the contracting company be obligated to pay BD17,000, along with legal interest, attorney’s fees and expenses. She indicated that according to a signed agreement in her capacity as the owner of a law firm, the defendant entrusted her to follow up on cases in exchange for BD9,000 annually. The amount was raised to BD10,500.
However, the defendant refused to pay her dues for nearly two years, claiming the forfeit of the plaintiff’s right due to the statute of limitation. According to the provisions of Article (37) of the Law of Legal Practice, the right of the lawyer to request an estimated fee is forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article (33) of this law after the lapse of one year from the date of termination of the representational work.
This article furthermore relates to the estimation of fees; however, the plaintiff’s request is for the defendant to fulfil a contractual obligation. Therefore, there is no statute of limitation on her right, and the court rejected the defendant’s claim. Furthermore, the Law of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters stipulates that the creditor must prove the validity of obligation while the debtor must prove his exemption thereof.
The defendant did not deny the legitimacy of the signature, seal, or fingerprint authenticating the contract agreement. In accordance with the Court of Cassation, a document derives its binding power from its signature, and if the signature is valid, the enclosed content is legally binding