News

Hot-tubbing of experts should not be “forced on unwilling parties”

Courthouse

The giving of concurrent evidence by expert witnesses or ‘hot-tubbing’ should not be “forced on unwilling parties,” a sub-committee of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has advised. The rule committee agreed with this and has asked it to draft rule changes that would nonetheless promote the practice.

May 18th, 2017

Third-party funding “fuelling increase in litigation against top companies”

Bank

The number of major claims against the UK’s biggest companies continues to rise, with the growth of third-party litigation funders one of the reasons, it has been claimed. It comes amidst a flurry of activity around the world that is seeing litigation funding becoming more accepted.

May 18th, 2017

MDU calls on GPs to lobby election candidates over discount rate

CMT

The Medical Defence Union has launched a campaign called ‘Save General Practice’ to push for changes to the personal injury discount rate. The MDU called on doctors to raise the issue with election candidates. It was one of several responses to the government consultation that has recently closed.

May 17th, 2017

Court of Appeal backs claimant solicitors in “£400 club” case

Lord Justice Briggs

Solicitors who received the £400 stage 1 fixed-costs payment due under the original version of the RTA protocol do not have to repay the money even though no action was then taken on their cases, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

May 16th, 2017

Sumption: Supreme Court pulling back from broad construction of contracts

Lord Sumption

Lord Sumption has called for a return to a more straightforward approach to how judges construct contracts that focuses on the words rather than trying to work out what the parties intended by looking at the surrounding circumstances.

May 16th, 2017

“This is not a game” – High Court warns party that countered claimant’s budget with very low figures

A#1000

A defendant who offered very low sums in their budget discussion report in the hope that the court may compromise in the middle of the polarised figures put forward by the two sides is guilty of “an abuse of the cost budgeting process”, a High Court judge has ruled.

May 15th, 2017

Judge accepts “material change” argument in increasing security for costs

Pound coins 2

The High Court has agreed to order a claimant to pay additional security for costs, even though the ‘material change’ in circumstances behind the defendant’s application were known to the judge who made the original order.

May 15th, 2017

Fixed-cost plans for clinical negligence “will prevent many cases being brought”, CJC warns

surgeons

Government plans to impose fixed costs on clinical negligence cases worth up to £25,000 “will prevent many cases being brought”, the Civil Justice Council has warned. The CJC said it was particularly concerned that the new regime for experts “may indeed prove to be a barrier to access to justice”.

May 11th, 2017

High Court rejects litigation privilege claim in test case

rcj 3

The High Court has rejected a mining company’s claim for litigation privilege in a test case which for the first time involves potential criminal, rather than civil, litigation. Accepting that the claimant believed an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office was imminent, Mrs Justice Andrews said such an investigation was not “adversarial litigation”.

May 10th, 2017

High Court upholds decision to disapply QOCS in ‘mixed’ claim

handcuffs

The High Court has upheld a ruling that disapplied qualified one-way costs-shifting (QOCS) under the little-used exception relating to ‘mixed’ claims, and in what is said to be the first case of its type, where the personal injury element was found to be a relatively minor part of the wider claim.

May 9th, 2017

Insurer loses bid to appeal indemnity costs issue in unusual case where expert agreed to cover its costs

coins

An insurer has failed to convince a judge that a medical expert who agreed to cover its costs in a whiplash case should be ordered to pay on the indemnity basis. Ageas Insurance appealed against the ruling at Liverpool County Court, but the appeal was rejected by the High Court.

May 9th, 2017

Struck-off solicitor loses costs claim against client who thought he was still in practice

contract

A struck-off solicitor has seen his £4,500 costs claim against a client he represented in an employment tribunal disallowed because he failed to correct her belief that he was acting as a practising solicitor.

May 5th, 2017

FTSE-250 merchant bank enters legal loans market as options for firms multiply

Lesley Graves photo

Specialist legal loans business Novitas has been bought by FTSE-250 merchant banking group Close Brothers in the latest development in the increasingly active legal lending market that has also seen the launch of products that provide off-balance sheet lending to firms for claims, and cash flow for firms that self-fund high-value and high-cost PI cases.

May 4th, 2017

MedCo issued hundreds of warnings to users over poor behaviour in past year

stethoscope on keyboard - medical report

MedCo issued 337 warning letters to users – and went on to suspend two-thirds of them – over the past year for behaviours such as circumventing the random search selection process and influencing medical experts’ opinions on diagnosis/prognosis, it has emerged.

May 3rd, 2017

APIL pushes for “predictable claim process” for fixed cost clinical negligence cases

NHS Building

The Association of Personal Injury has called for a “predictable claim process” for clinical negligence actions if the government goes ahead with its plan to impose fixed costs for cases worth up to £25,000. However, a survey has shown strong public support for fixed fees and for lawyers not receiving more in fees that patients did in compensation.

May 2nd, 2017

Blog

Fixed recoverable costs: unfair and wrong in principle?

Alex Bagnall

Are fixed recoverable costs inevitable? On 11 November 2016 it was announced that Jackson LJ was to consult on the extension of fixed recoverable costs. That announcement was clear: those involved were to “look at options to extend fixed recoverable costs much more widely”; and to “develop proposals for extending the present fixed recoverable costs regime”. It was said that “the momentum is heavily for reform” and that the purpose of the review was to provide “opportunity for comments and submissions on the form and scope that reform should take”.

April 18th, 2017

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