Tip of the month

October 30, 2019

Remember to bear proportionality in mind, take a step back and review costs regularly. Always give consideration as to whether the costs being incurred will be justifiable in terms of the money at stake or the issues to be addressed at the conclusion of the matter.

No fixed cost agreement on low-value clinical negligence cases

October 30, 2019

The Civil Justice Council working group has been unable to agree fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims worth up to £25,000 after more than 18 months of trying. The group has however proposed changes to pre-issue claims handling in order to promote settlements. For more information click here

Judge calls for review after allowing hourly fee of £786

October 30, 2019

A High Court Judge allowed the successful defendant solicitors to recover up to £46,000 in costs with rates far in excess of the Senior Courts Costs Office guideline rate. Mrs Justice O’Farrell said that prescribed rates fixed in 2010 were “not helpful” in determining reasonable rates in 2019 adding that updated guideline rates would be “very welcome”. For more information click here

Tip of the month

September 25, 2019

Always try your best to not only record the time you have spent on a file, but provide an adequate explanation outlining any issues of complexity or any unusual circumstances that will help to justify the claim for costs on assessment.

The Court of Appeal has warned that Family Judges must justify delaying decisions

September 25, 2019

Lord Justice Peter Jackson warned that final decisions should not be adjourned simply to “press the pause button” and that “there is a trade-off between the need for information and the presumptive prejudice to the child of delay…” For more information please click here

HMRC will not have to pay costs after defending appeal

September 25, 2019

A wine wholesaler who successfully appealed an HMRC decision notice will not be paid their their costs of £6,245. The Judge concluded that a paying party could not be penalised purely because their opponents’ case had merits. For more information click here

Tip of the month

September 2, 2019

In privately funded cases where an award of inter partes costs is possible, always ensure that your retainer is valid, that it provides for the recovery of costs by all appropriate grades of fee earner (forget Pilbrow -v- Pearles de Rougemont & Co. at your peril!), and always remember to inform the client when an increase in the hourly rate is required.

Solicitor’s costs not restricted by pledge to honour conditional fee agreement

September 2, 2019

The High Court rejected the Claimant’s appeal seeking to cap the fees of a contested trial even though they had an email from a partner stating that the original budget would be honoured. Mr Justice Stewart, sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division, concluded that there was no binding agreement to limit costs. To read more click here

Litigant told that opponent’s costs being higher than their own is not a basis for argument

September 2, 2019

The Claimant was told in the High Court that the ‘comparison approach’ was not appropriate in deciding whether costs being sought were unreasonably high . The judge said that costs would be assessed on the basis of work done, not by comparing one side’s costs with the other. For more information click here

Tip of the month

July 26, 2019

High Costs Case Plans have deadlines for submission to the LAA. Please ensure that there is no avoidable delay in the instruction for the preparation of the HCCP. When deciding to register consider – unrecorded time, enhancement, Panel membership and fees for preparing the HCCP.