The ‘unreasonable conduct’ test for ordering costs in the small claims court is similar to that for wasted costs, the Court of Appeal has ruled, but said it would not want litigants to be “too easily deterred” by the risk of an adverse costs award.
The costs management process has had a negative impact on litigation but it is still better than the prospect of fixed costs, research among both personal injury and commercial solicitor has shown. However, commercial litigators thought that their clients would like greater use of fixed costs.
Awards of enhanced interest after beating a part 36 offer are not intended only to compensate the successful party, but can also include a non-compensatory element as part of the “carrot and stick” approach to litigation post-Jackson, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
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 ordered international law firm Dechert to cease acting for the principal creditor of a Russian businessman because it is also acting for his trustees in bankruptcy and has access to thousands of documents that are covered by legal professional privilege.
Courts must consider “all the circumstances” before deciding whether it would be unjust to impose costs penalties on claimants who fail to beat offers made under part 36, appeal judges have ruled. Lady Justice Arden said a “subsidiary purpose” of part 36 was to prevent injustice.
The government has decided against doubling the maximum court fee cap to £20,000, but is to press ahead with its planned 10% increase in court fees across the range of civil proceedings.
Privatised systems of justice, such as arbitration, can result in situations where the “law can ossify” and democracy is undermined, the Lord Chief Justice has warned. Lord Thomas said that “many have felt” that the restrictions on the right to appeal decisions of commercial arbitrators were “too tight”.
The courts should embrace IT and the internet in ways that improve access to justice and make scarce resources go further, if the values embodied in Magna Carta are to be realised, according to a senior judge.
A litigant in person’s bid to sue HSBC and their solicitors Shoosmiths on behalf of two dogs has led the High Court to describe her as “one of those very rare litigants” against whom a two-year general civil restraint order had to be made.
Major trauma victims need access to holistic rehabilitation. As the NHS will be under extreme pressure for some time, lawyers must use all the tools available to them to help their clients.