Costs

Court of Appeal cracks down on misconduct in detailed assessment in “watershed ruling”

Matthew Hoe

The Court of Appeal has handed down what one of the lawyers involved has described as a “watershed” ruling on the conduct of detailed assessment proceedings, which saw a successful claimant lose half of her profit costs for claiming a higher hourly rate than she was entitled to.

June 22nd, 2018

SCCO refuses latest bid for solicitor’s file as appeal looms

Piles of files

The Senior Courts Costs Office has again rejected a bid by a personal injury client for access to their former law firm’s file. Master Leonard said “some definitive guidance” on delivery-up applications was on the way, with appeals in the cases of Green and Hanley set to be heard together next month.

June 18th, 2018

Costs can be proportionate even if they exceed damages, Senior Costs Judge says

Paul Gascogine

The proportionality test does not prevent the recovery of costs that are higher than the sums at issue in litigation, the Senior Costs Judge has said in allowing such a recovery by a host of celebrities awarded damages in the Mirror Group Newspapers phone hacking litigation. The value of the non-monetary relief and other factors are also important.

June 14th, 2018

Court of Appeal overturns ruling based on bad advice from counsel

Lord Justice Singh

The Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of a High Court judge who was wrongly told by counsel that indemnity costs were the default order when a claimant failed to beat a part 36 offer. It said Mr Justice Andrew Baker “did not receive the assistance” from the defendant’s counsel that he should have done “and therefore fell into error”.

June 12th, 2018

Jackson calls for costs budgeting to curb high costs of arbitration

Sir Rupert Jackson

Sir Rupert Jackson, only weeks into his new role as an arbitrator, has called for costs budgeting to tackle the “high level of costs” in arbitration, at least for lower-value claims, in the wake of survey findings that two-thirds of respondents described the high level of costs as “the worst feature of international arbitration”.

June 6th, 2018

Appeal court judge’s “dismay” over £2m costs bill for flight claims

Lord Justice Hickinbottom

An appeal court judge has expressed his “dismay” after estimating that legal costs “not far shy of £2m” had been spent in a case involving over 800 claims for flight-related compensation each worth only a few hundred pounds. He also cautioned that “who pays the cheque” is not necessarily the right guide as to who has won in litigation.

June 5th, 2018

Judge was wrong not to order fundamental dishonesty hearing, says High Court

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A circuit judge wrongly exercised his discretion in refusing to order a hearing on whether a claim was fundamentally dishonest, the High Court has ruled. Mrs Justice Yip, exercising the discretion afresh, ruled that it was “reasonable” to give the defendant insurer, Alpha, the chance to put its case.

June 4th, 2018

“No conditions” on third-party costs orders against insurers, Court of Appeal rules

Breast implant

The only limit on the court’s discretion to make third-party costs orders against insurers is that it must be exercised justly, the Court of Appeal has ruled. As a result, Travelers Insurance has to pay out on more claims than it insured.

May 31st, 2018

Master takes axe to phone-hacking claimants’ partner-heavy costs budgets

Chantelle Houghton

The High Court has criticised a law firm’s “very heavy reliance on partner time”, and the “astonishing” amount of time junior counsel was planning to spend in preparing for trial, as it slashed by more than half many of their budgeted costs for representing two claimants in the phone hacking litigation against Mirror Group Newspapers.

May 30th, 2018

Whiplash fraud on the rise, claims Aviva

Tom Gardiner Aviva

Aviva rejects around one out of eight whiplash claims because they are suspect or fraudulent, the insurer said today. It is currently investigating nearly 17,000 personal injury claims for suspected fraud – 1,000 more than last year.

May 29th, 2018

Blog

Evading enforcement by any means necessary

Peter Wood Withers

After 22 years, Mr and Mrs Akhmedov’s marriage came to an end in 2015. This was a marriage like few others, resulting in two children and building up vast wealth, including a plane, a helicopter and a 115m-long super yacht called Luna. Regrettably, the divorce was bitter. Mr Akhmedov fought hard and dirty to avoid having to share any of the family wealth with his wife. The English High Court found that he hid assets in a Bermuda trust with the intention of evading his legal obligations to his wife and even went so far as to invent stories that they had already divorced in Russia, producing forged documents to the court as ‘evidence’.

June 22nd, 2018

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