Tip of the month!

August 25, 2020

Keep an eye on the costs limitation. Remember when monitoring costs to consider Counsel’s fees, FAS, Expert’s fees, disbursements, enhancement and costs drafting fees.

Consultation on MoJ Legal Aid means test due in Spring 2021

August 25, 2020

The MoJ has confirmed that the review has re-commenced following a pause due to COVID-19 and hopes to consult on policy options in Spring 2021. To read more click here

Counsel fee not recoverable after claim settled day before trial

August 25, 2020

The High Court has ruled that a counsel’s brief fee was not recoverable in an RTA claim which settled the day before trial. For more information click here

Government immigration fee reform U-turn

August 25, 2020

The controversial fixed fee regime for immigration and asylum appeals is being revoked by the Lord Chancellor after Judicial Review proceedings were commenced by one of the country’s biggest Legal Aid firms. For more information click here

Tip of the Month!

July 27, 2020

Time recording – assessors get a feel for how fee earners record time, significant numbers of attendance notes recording activities in multiples of 30 minutes may lead the assessor to believe that excessive rounding has occurred. This could affect the credibility of the claim. Any attendance over 4 units should include details of the time spent, without supporting information claims may be reduced to 4 units. This will become even more significant after the proposed changes come into effect (17.8.2020) and the £2,500 threshold for assessment by the Courts is removed.

Full consultation on immigration fee reform promised by MoJ

July 27, 2020

Labour has urged the Lord Chancellor to rescind the temporary (£627) asylum fixed fee introduced last month. The MoJ says that it will fully consult on the new legal aid fee regime. For more information click here

MoJ still “mad keen” on extending fixed costs on civil claims up to £100,000

July 27, 2020

Costs expert, Professor Dominic Regan, said that the government continues to pursue a fixed recoverable costs regime for most civil claims. Clinical negligence and cases too complex to be suitable would be the exceptions however the changes are unlikely to take effect within the next 12 months. For more information click here

Legal Aid means test review paused

July 27, 2020

The Justice Minister, Alex Chalk, has confirmed that work on the means test review has been “temporarily paused” due to COVID-19 and that a revised timetable will be announced shortly. LA statistics showed a 23% fall in the number of domestic violence or child abuse civil applications between January and March compared to the same period in 2019. For more information click here

Calderbank offers should have time limits in substantive hearings

June 30, 2020

The question at the heart of the appeal, (MEF v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust), was whether a “Calderbank” offer to settle (without express time limit), can be accepted once the relevant substantive hearing, and in particular here, a detailed assessment hearing, has commenced or whether such an offer lapses at the commencement of the hearing.

Tip of the month

June 24, 2020

Well presented and orderly files create a good impression, poorly presented and disorganised files make the assessment process more difficult and may incur the assessor’s wrath.