Jackson reforms

Rowley enters debate over what constitutes “good reason” to depart from budget

Jason Rowley

Master Rowley has become the latest judge to rule that a reduction in hourly rates for incurred costs is not a good reason to do the same to budgeted costs. The fact the case settled for significantly less than had been claimed was also not a good reason, he found, as the claim was reasonable and not exaggerated.

May 1st, 2018

Prepare for problems with new electronic bill, say costs lawyers – but don’t panic

Iain Stark - Weightmans shot

The Association of Costs Lawyers has sought to calm fears about the electronic bill of costs – which became compulsory in the county court and Senior Courts Costs Office from last Friday – even though it said significant teething problems “are likely”.

April 10th, 2018

High Court throws 100% success fee model for low-value PI claims into doubt

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The High Court has thrown the industry-standard model for handling low-value personal injury claims into doubt after ruling that solicitors still need to undertake individual risk assessments before setting the success fee – rather than just applying 100% across the board.

March 26th, 2018

Judge disapplies QOCS for part of solicitor’s failed claim over quality of Oxford teaching

Mr Justice Foskett

A High Court judge has disapplied qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) for part of a failed claim by a solicitor that Oxford University was to blame for a worse-than-expected degree that he said has affected his career to date. While much of the claim was for personal injury, there was also a claim for pure economic loss not covered by QOCS.

March 20th, 2018

Jackson’s farewell: My reforms were worth the abuse but costs are still too high

Lord Justice Jackson

Many of the causes of excessive costs have been eliminated but litigation is still too expensive, Sir Rupert Jackson has claimed on the eve of his retirement from the Court of Appeal. In a speech that signalled the judge’s hurt and exasperation at the criticism that has come his way over the past decade, he nonetheless argued that it was “all worth it”.

March 6th, 2018

It’s a hard life for under pressure costs judges after proportionality ruling bites the dust

Jason Rowley

A circuit judge has more than doubled the amount that Queen guitarist Brian May can recover after he settled a private nuisance dispute, ruling that the costs judge at first instance had misapplied the new proportionality test.

January 8th, 2018

High Court approves £1.5m increase in defendants’ budget during Lloyds/HBOS trial

Tony Singla

A High Court master has approved a £1.5m increase in the defendants’ budget during the trial in the Lloyds/HBOS litigation. Chief Master Marsh also concluded that he could revise the budget even though by the time the application was made, the defendants had already spent a large proportion of the money.

January 4th, 2018

Costs lawyers urge government to limit fixed costs to fast-track only

Iain Stark - Weightmans shot

The government should curb Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendation to expand the use of fixed recoverable costs, limiting them only to the fast-track, according to a survey of costs lawyers. It also found that solicitors are at risk of significant financial losses by not updating their budgets.

December 12th, 2017

Pre-LASPO CFA was validly transferred to new firm, Court of Appeal rules

Neil Hudgell 2017

The transfer of a conditional fee agreement from one law firm to another around the time of the Jackson reforms was valid and the success fee can still be recovered from the defendant, the Court of Appeal has ruled. However, in a split decision, the court ruled that it was a novation, rather than an assignment. The decision has been hailed “a tremendous victory for the solicitors’ profession”

December 5th, 2017

New hot-tubbing and ‘costs of costs management’ rules come into force

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Variations that judges can adopt in orders for concurrent expert evidence – known as ‘hot-tubbing’ – came into force last week, along with a new provision that clarifies how the costs of costs management should be calculated.

December 1st, 2017


Three’s a crowd – who pays?

Matthew Pascall 2

In September 2014 a UKIP MEP, Jane Collins, gave a speech at UKIP’s annual conference slandering three Labour MPs. The following month, a letter of claim on their behalf was sent to Ms Collins. It contained an offer of settlement under which Ms Collins would pay each £10,000 in damages, which they would then pay to charity. UKIP’s National Executive Committee discussed the letter of claim that month and referred Ms Collins to solicitors, RMPI, with whom UKIP had close ties. No settlement having been agreed, in November 2014 the three MPs issued claims against Ms Collins. Temple Legal Protection insured the MPs’ claims.

May 16th, 2018

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