Costs

Jackson to pilot £80,000 costs cap for some cases worth up to £250,000

Lord Justice Jackson

The work on extending fixed recoverable costs is going to start with a pilot to test capping costs at £80,000 for claims up to £250,000 in a limited number of courts, it has emerged. The voluntary pilot – which will see caps set for stages as well as the overall cap – will run for two years.

June 22nd, 2017

Court of Appeal upholds primacy of budgeting over detailed assessment

Sir Terence Etherton 2

Costs judges on detailed assessment can only depart from approved or agreed budgets if there is good reason to do so, the Court of Appeal has confirmed today – although it said that proportionality remains a backstop safeguard. The much-anticipated ruling also upheld the recent decision by Mrs Justice Carr in Merrix.

June 21st, 2017

Implementation of electronic bill of costs put on hold until 2018

Francis Kendall

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has decided to delay compulsory introduction of the new electronic bill of costs, it has emerged. It was due to start in October 2017, but has been deferred “to ensure that all courts are ready to accept electronic bills of costs”

June 21st, 2017

Rule committee should look at gap in QOCS exception, says High Court judge

Nick Lavender

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee may need to address a hole in the exception from qualified one-way costs-shifting (QOCS) that meant defendants in a personal injury claim could not seek their costs because service of the claim had been set aside, rather than struck out, a High Court judge has ruled.

June 19th, 2017

Hundreds of users suspended by MedCo for failing to sign financial links agreement

handshake

Some 560 authorised users of MedCo – law firms, claims management companies and compensators – were suspended from the system earlier in the spring for failing to accept the new user agreement that requires them to declare financial links with any medical reporting organisation. Meanwhile, four tier 1 MROs have been reclassified as tier 2.

June 15th, 2017

Judge warns of costs sanctions for parties that drowned him in skeletons and bundles

The pile of file binder with papers

A High Court judge has described as “absurd” the conduct of parties in an employment dispute that produced thousands of pages in bundles – but only referred to 100 of them – and skeleton arguments more than seven times the expected length. Mr Justice Garnham warned that he was likely to penalise them in costs.

June 14th, 2017

MedCo kicks out more shell companies

stethoscope

MedCo has identified and suspended a further 21 ‘shell’ companies from the MedCo system, taking the total purged since the revised qualifying criteria were put in place last October to 155. The definition of a medical reporting organisation was changed last year to stop the use of shells to gather instructions and forward them on.

June 6th, 2017

MedCo suspends 37 users for failing to upload medical case data

stethoscope on keyboard - medical report

MedCo has continued its enforcement activity by suspending 23 medical reporting organisations and 14 direct medical experts for failing to upload medical case data to its system. Both are required to upload medical case data as part of their user agreements.

June 1st, 2017

Claimant lawyers cast significant doubt over government’s plan to reform injured baby cases

Newborn baby boy

Claimant lawyers have strongly criticised government plans for a new administrative compensation scheme for birth injury claims, saying that families would “be held hostage” under it. Various respondents to the consultation were especially critical that it did not guarantee access to independent legal advice throughout.

May 30th, 2017

Electronic bill of costs to become compulsory from 1 October

Francis Kendall

The new electronic bill of costs is set to become compulsory from 1 October 2017 despite virtually no take-up in two years of piloting at the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO). The Civil Procedure Rule Committee decided that it will initially be used in the SCCO ahead of implementation in other courts.

May 25th, 2017

Blog

Formal regulation – a price worth paying for third-party funders

Christopher Deadman 2

The comments by Lord Faulks QC last week that third-party litigation funding is “in danger of undermining the integrity of our much-admired legal system”, has been met with predictable howls of derision by those involved in the industry. The issue of statutory regulation or licensing has been on the agenda for a while but the creation of the Association of Litigation Funders, with its voluntary code of conduct has gone some way to persuading the Ministry of Justice (before the election, at least) that this is not necessary for the time being.

June 13th, 2017

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