Solicitors have been criticised by a costs judge for refusing to deal with a former client’s costs lawyer in a dispute over their fees. Master Leonard said the firm had failed to show “the same professional courtesy as a solicitor would expect” in such circumstances”
Judges do not have power to order a solicitor to give a former client copies of documents which are the property of the solicitor, the High Court has ruled. However, Mr Justice Soole cautioned that solicitors should not always “press their legal rights to the limit”.
Leading figures in the costs world yesterday called for an overhaul of the billing and assessment provisions in the Solicitors Act 1974, with one saying it was “not fit for purpose”. The views echo those of the Senior Costs Judge, Andrew Gordon-Saker, who made similar comments earlier in the summer.
The number of medical reporting organisations on the MedCo system has shrunk by a third in only eight months, it emerged last week. By the end of August 2018 there were 78 MROs in the system, compared with 120 at 31 December 2017.
A senior defendant lawyer has hit out at solicitors who claimed £730,000 in costs for a “straightforward” holiday sickness claim in a case with damages of only £13,000. But he also praised claimant firms which had “got their house in order” and become more vigilant.
Law firms should abandon business models for low-value personal injury claims based on blanket 100% success fees, a leading costs specialist has argued. She said law firms should re-engineer their procedures to avoid becoming “easy targets” for legal action by firms specialising in claims against solicitors.
The Supreme Court has refused permission for a third appeal by a Leeds law firm against a ruling that it submitted ‘dishonest’ costs claims. It decided the application did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance given there had already been an appeal.
An unsuccessful defendant in a road traffic claim for financial losses who made an unsuccessful counterclaim for personal injury was entitled to the protection of qualified one-way costs shifting for the whole case, a circuit judge has ruled.