The fact that a clinical negligence case had become a quantum-only dispute did not take it out of the costs management regime, meaning that the claimant’s failure to serve a costs budget restricted its recoverable costs to the court fees only, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
The civil courts need to learn from the ombudsman model, “whereby huge numbers of relatively low value or low stakes cases are resolved simply, quickly and cheaply by avoiding hearings all together”, according to the civil servant in charge of digitising the courts.
The Court of Appeal has provided authority to back up recent lower court rulings that failing to prove a case does not mean the claimant was dishonest and so should lose the protection of qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS).
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The recent administration of insurance agent AU Insurance Services gave a real-life example of the difficult trading conditions in the post-LASPO era. We have seen law firms cease trading, but until now there have been fewer service providers casualties. Whatever the reason for AU’s failure, it is clear that the effect of the reduction in income post-LASPO is having an impact on a range of services. So what is the impact on a solicitor and their customers when their insurance provider goes in to administration/run off?