Tip of the month!

December 9, 2020

Listing time for FAS purposes: only claim time from when the matter is listed, FAS times must agree with the listed start time. The Advocate’s attendance note should support the FAS claim.

Solicitor struck off for settling costs claim without obtaining client’s instructions

December 9, 2020

The client, who had asked to be involved in every decision relating to costs, was not consulted prior to the solicitor settling a £2.3m costs claim. The solicitor argued that a clause in the CFA entitled him to act unilaterally, the  however in its’ ruling “The tribunal found the respondent’s interpretation to be incredible……”For more information click here

Insurers facing significant costs bill in Swift v Carpenter fight

December 9, 2020

Insurers made an unsuccessful attempt in the Court of Appeal to stop a seriously injured woman from claiming extra compensation for accommodation. For more information click here

Solicitor struck off after being called dishonest by judge

December 9, 2020

A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard that the solicitor had been found to falsely represented hourly rates in bills of cost and falsely claimed for costs on the basis that a senior fee earner had carried out the work. There were several other allegations of misconduct and the tribunal said this was a “client’s worst nightmare”. For more information click here

Tip of the Month!

October 27, 2020

Advocacy: try to keep advocacy in-house. It is the most cost effective area of LA family work and should be exercised as much as possible to create added value within the cost limitation of the certificate. Get bolt-ons authorised, does the final hearing qualify as a final hearing? If Counsel are instructed part way through inform them of the bundle payments already claimed.

Landmark decision opens way for uplift on CoP guideline hourly rates

October 27, 2020

A costs master has made the decision to uplift four costs bills claimed for Court of Protection work in what has been hailed as a landmark decision.

In PLK & Ors, Master Whelan stressed that he was unable to alter the rates, but could establish the courts’ approach to guideline rates accepting that rates should be subject to “some form of periodic, upwards review”. The master produced a table for future guidance applying a 20% uplift on 2010 figures. For more information click here

“Informed consent” required from PI clients for deduction of unrecovered costs

October 27, 2020

The High Court has ruled that PI law firms need to obtain “informed consent” to deductions for outstanding costs being made from their clients’ damages. Mr Justice Lavenders’ ruling in Belsner v Cam Legal Services Ltd [2020] EWHC 2755 (QB), in what he recognised was a test case, could yet end up in the Court of Appeal. To read more click here

Tip of the month!

September 30, 2020

Is all work within scope? Are all aspects and applications covered? Is the final hearing covered? Remember to amend the certificate for appeals.

Legal action launched against the LAA by solicitors’ leaders

September 30, 2020

A judicial review against the Legal Aid Agency has been lodged by solicitors’ leaders after they failed to properly consult in relation to their decision to move legal aid costs assessments in-house. To read more click here

SRA criticised for excessive charges in “straightforward” disciplinary tribunal

September 30, 2020

The tribunal was critical of the SRA in an unusually strong assessment for charging too much, providing a lack of details as to the work done and the rates being charged by different levels of fee earners. To read more click here