A costs judge has emphasised the need for solicitors to plan their litigation so as to ensure that their costs are proportionate, after slashing a £72,000 bill for a low-value clinical negligence case by two-thirds. He also added to the confusion over whether additional liabilities should be included when undertaking the proportionality test.
There are suggestions that some accident victims are being “forced into rehab” by lawyers and claims management companies determined to “boost their own incomes”, an independent report has found.
Whole of split bill, less additional liabilities, subject to proportionality test, rules regional costs judge
A court faced with a bill of costs that straddles the Jackson reforms should consider both the pre and post April 2013 costs when deciding whether it is proportionate, but ignore any additional liabilities, a regional costs judge has ruled.
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Before the Jackson reforms, the relationship between proportionality and additional liabilities was clearly defined. One of the key reforms was the introduction of a new proportionality test. Unfortunately, the new rules are silent as to the application of this test to additional liabilities. Unfortunately, the judges at the Senior Courts Costs Office are in disagreement as to the interplay between the new proportionality test and additional liabilities.