Court of Appeal rejects NHS challenge to taking out clinical negligence ATE at start of case


Clinical negligence claimants can continue to take out after-the-event insurance for expert reports when they enter into conditional fee agreements, and premiums will be recoverable even if the case settles before the reports are commissioned, the Court of Appeal has decided in a major ruling today.

November 28th, 2017

Court of Appeal: ATE that can be voided is not adequate replacement for security for costs

A blank file in a filing cabinet

After-the-event insurance which can be voided does not constitute adequate security for costs, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Overturning the decision of Mr Justice Snowden, it said the case raised “important questions of principle” because there may be a tendency for judges at first instance to accept that an ATE policy can stand as security for costs.

November 23rd, 2017

High Court: proportionality is about more than ‘damages v costs’

cutting costs

Proportionality involves more than simply comparing costs budgets with the size of the damages claimed, a High Court judge has made clear. Mr Justice Nugee was ruling in a £350m claim, where the defendants’ costs budgets amounted to only about 7% of the claim.

November 14th, 2017

Court of Appeal overturns Senior Costs Judge’s ruling on proportionality test

Sir Terence Etherton

The Senior Costs Judge was wrong to apply the new proportionality test to additional liabilities in a case that began before LASPO took effect on 1 April 2013, the Court of Appeal has ruled. However, it did not offer any hoped-for guidance on the new test, although it is understood that three conjoined cases raising the issue are due to be heard soon.

November 7th, 2017

Half of insolvency practitioners say litigation has decreased since LASPO change

Ferguson Financial pix at Flag Fen Business Exchange

Almost half of insolvency practitioners believe that litigation work has declined since removal of the exemption from LASPO in April 2016, a survey has found. The remaining half of the 225 insolvency practitioners who took part in the survey said there had been “no noticeable difference”.

September 5th, 2017

Elite confident of solvent run-off after surprise decision to stop writing new business

Jason Smart 118

Leading legal expenses insurance operator Elite Insurance Company is expecting a solvent run-off in the wake of its surprise announcement last month to cease writing new business, it has told its Gibraltar regulator. It holds surplus capital over its minimum capital requirement of £22.2m.

August 29th, 2017

Master rejects defendant’s attacks on £10,000 ATE premium for £200,000 med neg case

stethoscope on keyboard - medical report

A costs judge has rejected attacks by the defendant on a £10,000 after-the-event insurance premium obtained by a claimant in a medical negligence case which eventually settled for £200,000. The ATE insurance was block-rated under an agreement between Irwin Mitchell and Allianz.

August 24th, 2017

Appeal judges reject law firm’s claim for fees under insolvency CFA

rcj 3

The Court of Appeal has rejected a law firm’s claim to its legal fees in a battle with a liquidator over an conditional fee agreement. Lord Justice Hamblen said there was a “shared common understanding” that its fees would be paid from recoveries and the liquidator would not be personally liable for any shortfall.

August 8th, 2017

Court of Appeal: claimants cannot “blow hot and cold” with QOCS

RCJ portrait

Claimants cannot “blow hot and cold” with Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting by terminating one conditional fee agreement and signing a new one just to get the benefit of costs protection, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

August 3rd, 2017

Court of Appeal rejects bid to invalidate CFAs signed at “chaotic” meeting of class action members


The Court of Appeal has dismissed a technical challenge to conditional fee agreements (CFAs) signed by members of a class action during a meeting organised for that purpose. It was one of the steady trickle of cases challenging CFAs under the Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008.

July 25th, 2017


All I want for Christmas is…

Stack of documents and papers

This is my valedictory blog for 2017. I am grateful to my loyal reader for enduring the polluted flushings of my diseased mind over the past six months. It has been fun to write and I hope that I have given the reader an insight into the world of a litigation flaneur. Before I bid you happy holidays, I would like to share with you my two wishes for Christmas. For the avoidance of doubt, these relate to litigation finance and not my personal desires, which include a solid gold house, rocket shoes and the power to become invisible at will.

December 12th, 2017

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