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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73



Q. What retainer did you charge, and what fees per diem were you paid, in connection with the Patetere Blocks?

A. I received from the purchasers (the Patetere Company) ten guineas per diem for conducting the cases, and a general retainer of one hundred guineas on my brief, which I had in all large cases. From first to last I received from the directors of the Patetere Company about five thousand pounds. I may explain that I had to give up my time unreservedly on those occasions. It was a matter of absolute necessity. There could be no resting on the Sabbath whilst a case was proceeding. In all large cases I had a retainer of one hundred guineas on my brief. I had a retainer of that amount when I took up the Crown's work. Mr. Sheehan, as Native Minister, sent me that as a general retainer; and, in addition to that retainer, I always received a fee of ten guineas per diem whilst actually engaged on a case.

Q. Have you ever had a bill of costs in connection with Native lands amounting to £7,000, or thereabouts?

A. I do not think so. As far as I can remember, the largest bill of costs I ever had the pleasure of rendering was one against the Government for my services in the Wake Maori libel case in the Supreme Court. The bill of costs as first made up and rendered amounted to £2,500, or thereabouts. This was on the minimum scale as between solicitor and client. The Solicitor-General informed me that it was intended to tax the costs, and he accordingly allowed me to have the bill back for revision. In view of hostile taxation, I padded it with another thousand pounds. About one thousand pounds was taxed off, after three days' taxing, so that I practically got the amount of my original claim.