Jackson reforms

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

percent sign

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

High Court: proportionality is about more than ‘damages v costs’

cutting costs

Proportionality involves more than simply comparing costs budgets with the size of the damages claimed, a High Court judge has made clear. Mr Justice Nugee was ruling in a £350m claim, where the defendants’ costs budgets amounted to only about 7% of the claim.

November 14th, 2017

Court of Appeal overturns Senior Costs Judge’s ruling on proportionality test

Sir Terence Etherton

The Senior Costs Judge was wrong to apply the new proportionality test to additional liabilities in a case that began before LASPO took effect on 1 April 2013, the Court of Appeal has ruled. However, it did not offer any hoped-for guidance on the new test, although it is understood that three conjoined cases raising the issue are due to be heard soon.

November 7th, 2017

Government to review Jackson reforms next year

David Lidington

The Ministry of Justice is likely to complete a review of LASPO’s civil costs reforms by next summer, but has said it does not expect to find much that needs to change – except possibly removing the exception that currently applies to mesothelioma claims.

October 31st, 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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