REUTERS | Jon Nazca

With the imminent passing of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 January 2020 at 11.00 pm GMT under the terms of the revised withdrawal agreement of 19 October 2019 negotiated by Boris Johnson. That agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, with the potential to extend the period for up to two years by agreement before 1 July 2020, but such an extension is effectively ruled out in the UK legislation. That could be changed by further legislation, but unless and until that happens the default position is that there will be no extension beyond 31 December 2020. Continue reading

REUTERS | Vasily Fedosenko

In the 14 June 2019 blog entitled Part 36 offers in Part 47 Assessments: all clear now or still confused, the case of Horne v Prescot was considered in the context of the validity of Part 36 offers in detailed assessment proceedings. In Horne, Nicol J had decided that an offer to accept the sum of £82,000 “in full and final settlement of her [the claimant’s] claim for costs exclusive of interest and exclusive of the costs of assessment“(emphasis added) was a valid offer under Part 36. It followed that when the offer was rejected and the costs were assessed at £91,807, the claimant became entitled to the benefits available under CPR 36.17(4)(a)-(d). These included an additional amount of 10% of the assessed costs, enhanced interest at up to 10% over base rate on both the assessed costs and the costs of assessment, with the latter to be paid on the indemnity basis. Continue reading

REUTERS | Yves Herman

In Agents’ Mutual Ltd v Gascoigne Halman Ltd and another, Marcus Smith J dismissed the claimant’s application for extended or additional disclosure but not without making comments about the mandatory Disclosure Pilot Scheme (DPS) pursuant to PD 51U operating in the Business and Property Courts until 31 December 2020. Continue reading

REUTERS | David Mercado

On 28 October 2019, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) handed down judgment in the Trucks Cartel claims (UK Trucks Claim Limited v Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and others and DAF Trucks N.V. and others and Road Haulage Association v MAN SE and others and Daimler AG) on a preliminary issue taken by several objectors who were contesting the compliance of funding arrangements with the CAT Rules. Continue reading

REUTERS | Fabrizio Bensch

Lawyers toasting one more victory;
Judges nipping at their robes;
Yuletide bundles and their tabs, one, two, three;
Defendants flinch as counsel probes.

Everybody knows the court is the last place to go;
Helps to make everything right.
Each party with their eyes all aglow,
Will not go down without a fight.

They know that justice is on its way.
And hopefully that they are not the ones to pay.
And your solicitor is gonna try,
For after all, they are your closest ally.

And so, we’re offering this simple phrase,
To all writers and readers too.
Although it’s been said many times, many ways,
Thank you so much, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to you.

The Practical Law Dispute Resolution Blog will resume in early January 2020. Until then, from the Practical Law Dispute Resolution team, thank you to our contributors for their stellar pieces, to you for reading, and best wishes for a joyful festive period.

REUTERS | Ilya Naymushin

Under the Civil Procedure Rules, where the defendant is an individual, the claim form is served personally by “leaving it with that individual”. But what does that mean, particularly in circumstances where the individual refuses to accept the claim form? The recent case of Gorbachev v Guriev provides a useful case study, in which it was held by the High Court that personal service was effective where the documents were placed beside the defendant’s car before it was driven off. The case addresses a number of important practical considerations when preparing to serve an individual in person. Continue reading

REUTERS | Russell Cheyne

Approval of budgets

With its introduction as part of the Jackson reforms in April 2013, costs budgeting was intended to be used as a tool to streamline the costs procedure in litigation by active court management of parties’ costs from an early stage. In theory, if a receiving party litigates within an approved costs budget, only those costs which have been categorised as “incurred” will fall to be assessed at the conclusion of the matter, thus either limiting the scope of, or negating the requirement for detailed assessment. Continue reading

REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

Fixed costs under CPR 45. The upside: the winning lawyer recovers costs in a fixed amount depending upon the stage at which the case has been completed, whether or not work to that value has been done. The downside: the lawyer does not recover any extra costs for doing work which the fixed costs do not cover, so that case will have been run at a loss (note that there is a “safety valve” under CPR 45.29J which allows sums in excess of fixed costs to be recovered in “exceptional circumstances”, but it is an uphill struggle to persuade the court to do so). However, where the fixed costs regime does not apply because the case is proceeding in the multi-track, the party who wins with costs is entitled to have them assessed by the court if they cannot be agreed: see CPR 47. In those circumstances, the sky is the limit, provided those costs are reasonable, necessary and if payable on the standard basis, also proportionate. Continue reading