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.

Costs for superfluous QC slashed

July 26, 2019

The Court of Appeal reduced counsel fees by £31,250 after a party arrived with his entire legal team for a one-day costs hearing. The QC’s presence was considered unreasonable and the brief fee was removed additionally, the costs of the junior counsel were halved.
To read more please click here

“Vitally important” precedent for law firm cashflow set by interim costs award

July 26, 2019

The Court of of appeal accepted that an interim payment of £150,000 to the Claimant lawyers was required to ensure that the 12 year-old claim could continue. The payment had been refused in the County Court but that decision was appealed in the High Court before the Defendant made an unsuccessful application in the Appeal Court.
To read more please click here

Tip of the month

June 27, 2019

Disbursements: is prior authority required to incur expenditure? Beware instructing interpreters and translators, it is the Courts responsibility to arrange interpreters at Court, not all documents need to be translated. Ensure that letters of instruction to experts make clear the LAA codified rates for experts and that the invoice includes a breakdown of work undertaken and is, when necessary, apportioned in accordance with the order instructing the expert.

Appellant’s sum slashed by two-thirds after being found to be “excessive”

June 27, 2019

A recent ruling in the High Court will be regarded as a new authority on proportionality rules after the judge found that the extent of consultation with Counsel and the number of hours spent by the appellant’s solicitor were “entirely disproportionate”. To read more please click here

“Unreasonable” switch of funding method results in £1m of missed costs

June 27, 2019

A London firm lost its appeal against the decision to disallow its success fees and ATE premium after the firm changed to conditional fee agreement from legal aid funding. The judge argued that the firm was “bound by” its Legal Aid contract and that its application for more funding was “improperly constituted and inadequately formulated”. To read more please click here

Tip of the month

May 29, 2019

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