Defection of claimant RTA lawyers to other areas of PI not happening, report finds

Bavita Rai Weightmans

The widespread expectation that claimant firms would diversify away from road traffic accident work into other, potentially more lucrative areas of personal injury has not proved to be the case, according to new research. It also said the plan to introduce a tariff for low-value RTA damages would remove the “inflationary involvement of the judiciary”.

March 28th, 2017

Master validates party’s defective delivery of part 36 withdrawal because of new discount rate

Business on a laptop

A High Court master has allowed a party’s bid to withdraw a part 36 offer ahead of the new discount rate coming into force on Monday, even though they used a defective method to deliver it. Master Yoxall said it was “no secret” that the claimant wanted to withdraw the offer because the new rate nearly doubled the value of the claim.

March 23rd, 2017

High Court overturns security for costs order against chief’s son

City of Lagos, Nigeria

The High Court has allowed an appeal by a son of a Nigerian chief against a security for costs order made against him. Mr Justice Newey overturned a recorder’s ruling that Clifford Chuku, one of the 37 children of Chief Friday Chuku, did not live in this jurisdiction and could be treated as a “nominal claimant”.

March 21st, 2017

Budgeting uncertainty set to roll on until Merrix appeal

Gary Knight2

The fall-out is continuing from the recent High Court decision that budgets bind the parties at detailed assessment unless there is good reason not to, although it seems clear that parties are waiting for a definitive ruling from the Court of Appeal.

March 16th, 2017

Trial judges should not “trammel” costs judges’ jurisdiction when parties go over budget


A deputy High Court judge has refused to provide a receiving party with an “indication” of whether it acted reasonably in exceeding its costs budget, saying trial judges should “not seek to trammel the costs judge’s jurisdiction” unless there are specific issues they want to raise.

March 14th, 2017

Burford unveils sharp increase in profits but warns over lack of ATE for big cases

Chris Bogart colour

Litigation funder Burford Capital has announced a 75% increase in net profits for 2016, taking the figure to $115m (£95m), while warning the government that the Jackson reforms had made it impossible to provide after-the-event (ATE) insurance for “large and complex” commercial cases.

March 14th, 2017

High Court overturns costs judge ruling that holiday claimants should have used ABTA mediation scheme

Beach holiday

Claimants who litigate instead of using an available ADR scheme are not automatically acting unreasonably, the High Court has ruled. It overturned a costs judge’s decision that holiday claimants should have used the Association of British Travel Agents’ mediation scheme rather than litigate.

March 9th, 2017

Jackson floats idea of ‘intermediate track’ for fixed-costs cases

Lord Justice Jackson

A new “intermediate track” involving lower-value multi-track cases and fixed recoverable costs (FRCs) could be piloted on a voluntary basis, Lord Justice Jackson revealed today. He also recorded that evidence submitted to his review of FRCs showed increased support for costs management.

March 7th, 2017

All you need are costs: “real party” must pay in dispute over Beatles documentary

The Beatles

A venture capitalist was the “real party” in a dispute between two companies over a documentary based on the Beatles’ first concert in the USA, a High Court judge has held. As as result, the court ordered him to pay the costs of its unsuccessful defence of a copyright claim.

March 7th, 2017

High Court refuses to strike-out claim against Saudi prince over unpaid interim costs order

rcj 2

A High Court judge has refused to strike-out a claim by a woman who failed to comply with a Court of Appeal order to pay £250,000 in interim costs, on the grounds that it would breach her rights to a fair trial. He said that even if it technically amounted to contempt of court, it did not impedes the course of justice.

March 2nd, 2017


Proportionality – not just a matter for detailed assessment

Stack of documents and papers

Proportionality is one of the major issues that we find we are dealing with at the end of a matter, particularly in the small-to-medium-value claims. Why was it introduced? It was considered that the then existing system was not working and that a system needed to be put in place which would “promote access to justice at proportionate cost”. In 2009, Court of Appeal judge Sir Anthony May said: “Assessments which have to concentrate retrospectively on what the winning party has spent will always risk producing a disproportionate result.”

March 29th, 2017

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John M Hayes

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Featured Associate