Forthcoming plans for courts to start earlier and finish later will disadvantage barristers with children and do not take account of the cab-rank rule, the Bar Council has warned. The barristers’ body was making a pre-emptive strike on HM Courts and Tribunals Service proposals, expected next week
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.
The NHS Litigation Authority is to be renamed NHS Resolution as part of a “radical change” of approach to handling claims, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced. It comes in the wake of government plans for a new administrative compensation scheme for birth injury cases that aims to significantly reduce the amount of litigation that currently takes place.
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”.
The High Court has settled what is claimed to be the first case following yesterday’s change to the discount rate, awarding a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsey an increase of over £5.5m on her capitalised settlement, which had been calculated before the new rate at nearly £3.8m.
Leading counsel has suggested that Lord Chancellor Liz Truss erred legally in both the process and substance of her decision to change the discount rate, a leading medical defence union revealed last week as it hinted it may yet challenge her over the move.
The Lord Chief Justice has issued a plea to large law firms to allow their partners to seek judicial appointment, saying it was in the interests of both the nation and the firms themselves to do so. He told City firms that he appreciated “how difficult it is for partners within a firm to release the most able of their number”.
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.
The Association of British Insurers has urged its members to “keep up the pressure” on the government over the discount rate, suggesting that changing it could fill the £2bn hole left in the nation’s finances by yesterday’s u-turn over raising National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.
The Litigant in Person Network – an online platform which aims to connect a wide range of people with a common goal of improving access to justice – has gone live this week. Co-ordinated by the Litigant in Person Support Strategy, the pilot project is supported by the Legal Education Foundation.
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.
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.
The specialist civil courts are to be known as the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales from this June as part of the push to maintain the jurisdiction’s international reputation post-Brexit. The move, which has the “strong support” of Lord Chancellor Liz Truss, will also enable “more flexible cross-deployment of judges”.
High Court overturns costs judge ruling that holiday claimants should have used ABTA mediation scheme
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.
Discount rate change will not reduce future profitability, says Admiral – as Hammond reveals £6bn NHS price tag
The change to the discount rate should not have a “significant impact” on future business and profitability because premiums will rise across the market, insurer Admiral said today – although it calculated the immediate cost at £150m. The news came ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond revealing in the Budget that he is putting £5.9bn aside to cover the NHS’s extra costs.
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.”