The recent case of Cartwright v Venduct Engineering Limited  EWCA Civ 1654 represents a very interesting development in the interpretation of rule 44.14. The question before the Court of Appeal was this: where, in a matter to which QOCS applies, a claimant has brought an action against multiple defendants, is a successful defendant entitled to enforce a costs award in its favour against damages recovered by the claimant from an unsuccessful defendant?
Way back in May this year, when the grass was still green and some people in London could be spotted wearing two layers of clothing, Sir Rupert Jackson popped over to Mauritius and delivered the keynote speech at the 11th International Conference on Construction Law and ADR. The closing section of his speech brought him back to familiar territory and noted that 67% of respondents to a Queen Mary University review this year identified the high level of costs as the worst feature of international arbitration. So, what’s to be gained by encouraging the introduction of pre-emptive budgeting to arbitral proceedings?
With the Civil Liability Bill generating further turbulence in the legal market, Allianz Legal Protection hosted a local roundtable with solicitors in the Bristol area to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the personal injury and clinical negligence market. Over the course of two hours, the conversation focused on both customers and the profession, beginning with talk of a hidden agenda questioning whether honest customers should receive compensation for minor injuries.
As a lawyer specialising in debt recovery, I believe it was perfectly acceptable and reasonable for a pre-action protocol (PAP) to be introduced to the debt collection process prior to court action. The vulnerable should certainly be protected, and the PAP goes some way towards addressing this. But I don’t believe that it was within the original brief of the PAP that a large segment of the commercial ledgers in the UK would be included.
With the key judgement in the BNM v MGN case not expected until the end of the year, and decisions in the fixed recoverable costs arena not due until 2019, the after-the-event (ATE) insurance sector – already burdened by ever-changing regulation – is playing something of a waiting game. But this could be a golden opportunity for the ATE sector – the chance to take advantage of what might otherwise be a relative lull in activity period to set in motion a time of self-analysis and transformation, to develop plans for what the future of ATE insurance will look like.