AGTC Inc. v. CoBon Energy, 2019 UT App 124 (July 18, 2019)

CoBon Energy entered into a consulting agreement with Appellants regarding pursuing certain tax credits related to the manufacture of synthetic fuels from coal.  Appellants’ principals had significant training and education in mining engineering but were not licensed as professional engineers.  CoBon’s principals, however, were licensed professional engineers.  Appellants sued for unpaid fees pursuant to the consulting agreement.  CoBon asserted Appellants could not recover under the consulting agreement because Utah’s “non-recovery rule” bars unlicensed professionals from seeking enforcement of contracts for professional services where the licensing requirements have been enacted with the purpose of protecting the public.  The court of appeals held that CoBon could not invoke the non-recovery rule because its principals were engineers, and “professional engineers of any type may be classified within the same trade or profession,” removing CoBon from the class of individuals intended to be protected by licensing requirements.