Tip of the month

April 30, 2019

Advocacy: Try and keep advocacy within house: it is the most cost effective area of LA family. You may as well capitalise as much as you can within the value of the certificate and can regard this as ‘added value’. Get bolt-ons authorised. Does the final hearing qualify as a final hearing? If Counsel is instructed part way through inform them of bundle payments already claimed.

Court rules that fixed fees can apply to claim settled for £42,000

April 30, 2019

Two recent judgments show examples of judges considering fixed recoverable costs where the P.I. claims had exited the pre-action protocol. Section IIIA of the Civil Procedure Rules 45 provides that claims which grow in value and leave the expected upper limit of £25,000 are still subject to fixed costs.
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New guidance on expert costs

April 30, 2019

Following changes under GDPR anyone can make requests from organisations for access to personal data being held about them for free and on that basis the guidance has changed. From 25 May 2018 charges for Subject Access Requests e.g. medical records and police disclosure are likely to be declined, there are exceptions however.
Further changes have been made in relation to interpreters – from 1 April 2019, attendance and waiting at court can be claimed at the codified rate.
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Tip of the month

March 29, 2019

Keep on eye on the costs limitation: Remember when monitoring costs to take account of Counsel’s fees, FAS, expert’s fees, disbursements, enhancement and costs drafting fees. Is all work within scope? Are all aspects and applications covered? Is the final hearing covered?

Client’s successful County Court challenge in relation to deductions upheld on appeal

March 29, 2019

The Claimant in a personal injury claim was found not to have given her informed consent to her solicitor’s deductions. The firm has now gone to the Court of Appeal warning that the ruling could lead to thousands of potential cases seeking refunds.

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Griffith v Gourgey [2019] 1 Costs LO 43

March 29, 2019

Deficiencies and minor procedural oversights and errors, whilst not amounting to misconduct, may still give rise to indemnity costs.

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£1bn court modernisation programme delayed by 12 months

March 29, 2019

The government has announced that the completion date for the court reform will now be 2023.

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Tip of the month

February 26, 2019

Following the new Court Policy that came into effect November 2018 that Court orders must be drafted on the day of the order by the Family Lawyers, agreed by all parties and emailed to the clerk ‘while parties remain at court’. We advise that this is time properly spent at Court under FAS. So ensure that the timed FAS form is only signed off by the judge after the drafting procedure is completed.

LAA announces new powers to backdate funding

February 26, 2019

Following a challenge in October 2018, the LAA has announced that it will get new powers to backdate funding under legal aid certificates in urgent cases.
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Mixed response to LASPO review

February 26, 2019

The long-awaited government review of the cuts to legal aid created by the 2013 reforms has been greeted with a mixed response.

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