The reforms contained in part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 are generally working well, the Ministry of Justice said today in a preliminary assessment that marks the start of the post-implementation review of the provisions.
Sir Rupert Jackson, only weeks into his new role as an arbitrator, has called for costs budgeting to tackle the “high level of costs” in arbitration, at least for lower-value claims, in the wake of survey findings that two-thirds of respondents described the high level of costs as “the worst feature of international arbitration”.
A circuit judge wrongly exercised his discretion in refusing to order a hearing on whether a claim was fundamentally dishonest, the High Court has ruled. Mrs Justice Yip, exercising the discretion afresh, ruled that it was “reasonable” to give the defendant insurer, Alpha, the chance to put its case.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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”.