The Senior Costs Judge has called on the Law Society to remind personal injury solicitors of their obligation to undertake individual risk assessments in low-value cases and not just apply a blanket 100% success fee. He also called for a broad extension of qualified one-way costs shifting.
A conditional fee agreement that named the wrong defendant was still valid when read in the wider context of the claim, the Court of Appeal has ruled. It found this was actually supported by the slopping drafting of the agreement.
Irwin Mitchell has lauded the value of conditional fee agreements after winning in the Supreme Court last week for an NHS worker whose bosses attempted to make her redundant whilst she was on holiday. The landmark ruling could trigger changes to all employment contracts in the UK.
Boxing promoter Frank Warren has failed in his effort to avoid paying his solicitors under conditional fee agreements (CFAs) where he did not receive any damages or costs despite winning his case. The case also saw a Senior Courts Costs Office judge apply the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling in Budana, allowing the assignment of CFAs.
The High Court has thrown the industry-standard model for handling low-value personal injury claims into doubt after ruling that solicitors still need to undertake individual risk assessments before setting the success fee – rather than just applying 100% across the board.
The Court of Appeal has found for NHS Resolution in three test cases over the reasonableness of solicitors switching clients from legal aid to conditional fee agreements ahead of the introduction of LASPO. NHSR said the ruling saved it £270,000 in these three cases – all run by Irwin Mitchell – and potentially millions more in other cases.
Burford Capital has announced that it is to launch its own insurance company to provide adverse costs cover in high-value commercial litigation and arbitration claims where it is also providing third-party funding. It is designed to meet a need for “significant levels of adverse costs cover for major cases in costs-shifting jurisdictions around the world”.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that a leading media law firm could not recover hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs because its conditional fee agreement did not cover much of the work it undertook. Lord Justice McCombe said he rejected the appeal “not without regret”.