Supreme Court rejects narrow approach to LASPO transitional provisions on success fees and ATE

Lord Sumption

The Supreme Court has allowed the recovery of a pre-LASPO success fee and after-the-event premium where the conditional fee agreement and insurance had to be extended after 1 April 2013 to cover appeals, in a significant ruling on the Act’s transitional provisions

March 29th, 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

ATE insurer escapes £320,000 costs liability because of policy breaches

insurance policy - claim rejected

An after-the-event insurer has escaped liability to pay out £320,000 after the High Court found that its insured had breached four conditions precedent in the policy relating to claims co-operation, information provision and associated clauses.

March 7th, 2017

CFA of claimant signed up in pre-LASPO rush ruled unenforceable

2013 year calendar. April. Isolated 3D image

A law firm which was instructed in the run-up to LASPO coming into force failed to take any substantive steps in the case before 1 April 2013 and as a result their conditional fee agreement fell foul of the Act’s transitional provisions and was unenforceable, a district judge has ruled.

March 3rd, 2017

CJC launches BTE working group as top insurer warns that premiums may rise

Picture by Clint Randall

The role which before-the-event legal expenses insurance might play in improving access to justice is to be examined by a working group set up by the Civil Justice Council. BTE is to become more prominent in the wake of the government’s personal injury reforms, with one leading insurer predicting an increase in both demand and premiums as a result.

March 1st, 2017

Costs judge issues strong proportionality warning over need to plan cases

cutting costs

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.

February 22nd, 2017

Whole of split bill, less additional liabilities, subject to proportionality test, rules regional costs judge

Judicial Roundtable

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.

February 20th, 2017

Essar funder builds on ruling with products to cope with unreasonable arbitral parties

Steven Friel

The third-party funder that was at the centre of the landmark High Court ruling that saw a claimant recover the cost of his funding, has now launched two products to aid parties involved in international arbitration against an opponent who is behaving unreasonably.

February 9th, 2017

Costs judge says no: paparazzi lose bid to recover additional liabilities from TV star Walliams

David Walliams

A picture agency which sent photographers to David Walliams’ house when news of his divorce broke is not a news publisher and so cannot recover additional liabilities following the settlement of an action brought by the entertainer, the Senior Costs Judge has ruled.

February 3rd, 2017

Government brushes off peer’s call for statutory regulation of third-party funders

Lord Keen

There is currently no need to introduce statutory regulation of third-party litigation funders, the government said yesterday. Justice spokesman Lord Keen said there was no reason to move away from the voluntary scheme.

January 25th, 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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