Costs

MoJ “keen” on Jackson fixed costs reforms but they will generate “cottage industry”, says leading QC

Nick Bacon

The Ministry of Justice is keen on taking forward Lord Justice Jackson’s plans to extend the use of fixed costs, according to a leading QC. However, Nick Bacon QC also told today’s Association of Costs Lawyers annual conference that the reforms were likely to lead to a “cottage industry” for costs specialists as the way they operate is worked out.

October 20th, 2017

Government accepts Jackson’s call for CJC to seek industry agreement on low-value clin neg claims

Richard Heaton

The government has accepted Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendation that the Civil Justice Council be tasked with negotiating a new bespoke process and fixed costs regime for low-value clinical negligence claims, it emerged yesterday.

October 17th, 2017

Regan: £250,000 threshold for High Court cases on the way

Dominic Regan

The senior judiciary is making progress towards introducing a £250,000 threshold for cases that are eligible to be heard in the High Court, Professor Dominic Regan has claimed. However, there are contradictory views on the enthusiasm of the Ministry of Justice for Lord Justice Jackson’s proposed extension of fixed recoverable costs.

October 11th, 2017

Regional costs judge reverses position on part 36 offers in fixed-costs cases

Judicial Roundtable

A regional costs judge has concluded that he was wrong to rule in a previous case that late acceptance of a part 36 offer automatically entitled the claimant to an award of indemnity costs, and thus provided an escape route out of fixed costs.

October 9th, 2017

Six-month warning – lawyers told they cannot ignore electronic bill of costs

Alex Hutton QC

Practitioners have been warned that they can no longer ignore the electronic bill of costs, which now seems certain to become mandatory in the Senior Courts Costs Office and county courts on 6 April 2018. Though it was initially due to become compulsory this week, a leading figure from the project said there would be no further delay.

October 5th, 2017

Gone but not forgotten – Asons ordered to pay costs after running case without claimant’s knowledge

Asons office 4

The now-defunct law firm Asons, together with the director of a one-time claims management company, have been ordered to pay £40,000 in costs to insurer LV= over a bogus whiplash claim. They judge described the former Bolton firm’s conduct as “improper, unreasonable and negligent” in taking on the claim without verifying that the claimant was genuinely providing instructions.

October 4th, 2017

Warby: New defamation regime risks “front-loading of costs”

Mr Justice Warby

The new regime created by the Defamation Act 2013, and the prevalence of early judicial decisions, could lead to “front-loading of costs”, the judge in charge of the media and communications list has warned.

September 28th, 2017

Jackson: Most of the problems behind excessive costs are “sorted” or improving

Jackson LJ

Lord Justice Jackson said yesterday that 10 of the 16 causes of excessive costs in civil litigation he identified eight years ago have been eliminated or are on the way to elimination. He said that despite “grumbling” from lawyers and “harsh words directed mainly at me”, ignorance of the costs rules in the legal profession was “sorted”.

September 22nd, 2017

High Court to hear appeal over decision to cut hourly rates in budget after doing same to incurred costs

Sam Hayman

The High Court is set to provide guidance on whether a costs judge who reduces the hourly rates for incurred costs should then do the same to budgeted costs. It follows conflicting lower court decisions, one of which – RNB v London Borough of Newham – is now being appealed.

September 19th, 2017

High Court orders government to amend environmental costs cap rules

Rowan Smith

Three pressure groups have claimed victory in their High Court battle against the new costs regime for cases involving the environment. Mr Justice Dove ruled that the rule which allowed for default caps on legal costs to be varied at any point during the case, rather than remaining fixed throughout, must be amended.

September 15th, 2017

Blog

Hands up who knows what litigation financiers sell?

A#1000

If your answer was ‘money’, you would be correct but sadly out of step with the prevailing thinking. If, however, you asked some other litigation financiers the same question, you would very likely receive answers like ‘project management skills’, or ‘an experienced litigation partner’. Whilst none of these answers are wrong per se, they do rather miss the point of why lawyers and clients engage with funders. Experienced and successful litigators do not want the views of litigation financiers on how to project manage their litigation – they want access to their cash pure and simple.

October 19th, 2017

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John M Hayes

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