High Court: Only solicitors can “determine terms and content” of their demands for payment

RCJ portrait

Solicitors are the only ones who can determine the terms and content of their demands for payment, the High Court has ruled. Mr Justice Soole rejected the argument that a claimant could treat a bill as having been delivered, and subject to assessment, when it had not been sent to her.

January 23rd, 2018

Provisional assessment cap not displaced by part 36 offer, Court of Appeal rules

cutting costs

An award of indemnity costs after a successful part 36 offer in a provisional assessment does not remove the £1,500 costs cap, the Court of Appeal has ruled in overturning the High Court. The Association of Costs Lawyers has called the outcome “harsh” for its members and called on the rule committee to review the decision.

December 20th, 2017

Regional costs judge applies fixed costs to RTA claim that settled for £350k

Stephen Hines

A road traffic claim that settled pre-issue for £350,000 was subject to fixed recoverable costs because it began in the portal, even though it was later removed because of its value, a regional costs judge has ruled. It has been described as a consequence of the rule change that followed the Qader decision.

December 14th, 2017

High Court: 10% part 36 uplift applies to damages plus basic interest

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The High Court has made it clear that the additional 10% uplift on damages the courts can award for beating a part 36 offer means an uplift on damages plus basic interest. It also said the court’s focus under part 36 must be “upon the conduct of the litigation”, and not on “whether the claimant had led a blameless life up until the moment when a tort was committed against him”.

November 30th, 2017

Judge accepts “material change” argument in increasing security for costs

Pound coins 2

The High Court has agreed to order a claimant to pay additional security for costs, even though the ‘material change’ in circumstances behind the defendant’s application were known to the judge who made the original order.

May 15th, 2017

Struck-off solicitor loses costs claim against client who thought he was still in practice


A struck-off solicitor has seen his £4,500 costs claim against a client he represented in an employment tribunal disallowed because he failed to correct her belief that he was acting as a practising solicitor.

May 5th, 2017

When winning isn’t enough: Court of Appeal orders successful party to pay 75% of other side’s costs

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A High Court judge was entitled to penalise a firm of Russian stockbrokers for conduct that “fell below acceptable standards of conducting litigation” by ordering it to pay 75% of the other side’s costs, even though it had successfully resisted a bid to strike out its claim, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

April 20th, 2017

CA offers pointers on when costs should be awarded in small claims court

mortgage application

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.

April 18th, 2017

Better the devil you know – solicitors dislike budgeting, but it’s better than fixed costs

Phil Bradbury

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.

April 12th, 2017

Part 36 penalties aimed at conduct, not just compensation, says appeal court

Sir Geoffrey Vos

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.

April 3rd, 2017


Here today, gone tomorrow

Andy Talbot Arag

In 2016, it was AU Insurance Services. Last summer, it was Elite Insurance Company. Already in 2018, New Zealand’s CBL Insurance Limited has collapsed, leaving Alpha Insurance A/S in solvent liquidation and run-off. Often, it seems, these failures impacting the legal expenses sector get associated with the after-the-event insurance market, somehow remote from the majority of brokers. But most legal expenses underwriters, wherever they are based, will have feet in both after- and before-the-event camps. The precise causes and circumstances of these failures (and the several others that have occurred in between them) may be very different, but they have all left brokers, other intermediaries and their clients in the lurch.

March 15th, 2018

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John M Hayes

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