REUTERS | Kim Hong-Ji
REUTERS | Kim Hong-Ji

Skimming through the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors introduced in November last year, I am tasked with considering any costs implications thereof. This is not something that I have had to consider before, as knowing there was/is a code, and merely checking the relevant provisions when referenced, would usually have been enough for a costs lawyer (and probably only of limited use even in a Solicitors Act 1974 assessment). Continue reading


Brexit: the seemingly all permeating portmanteau that, love it or hate it, filled the national consciousness for the past four years, finally came to pass at the end of January. With much fanfare, but no earth-shattering physical changes (at least not yet) the UK left the European Union and the focus changed to what the longer sighted always saw as the real battleground: trade, and how to mitigate the impact for businesses and individuals. Continue reading


“Pin-striped enablers.” A new synonym for lawyers according to Andrew Foxall and his report, Russian Kleptocracy and the Rule of Law: How the Kremlin Undermines European Judicial Systems, recently published by The Henry Jackson Society. The report outlines a new study on how corrupt Russian oligarchs and officials have exploited different European justice systems for their own political or economic gain. In the case of the UK, Foxall asserts that “Russian oligarchs may have used English courts to launder tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of pounds through various scams,” allegedly aided by law firms failing to comply with their duties and becoming either knowingly (or unknowingly) embroiled in sham litigation. Continue reading

REUTERS | Jorge Silva

All civil litigation practitioners ought to know the difference between standard and indemnity basis costs. Whilst CPR 44.3(1) applies to both and provides that the court will not allow costs which have been unreasonably incurred or are unreasonable in amount, an important distinction is provided for in CPR 44.3(2)(a) and (b). Standard costs must be reasonable and necessary, and will be disallowed if they are not proportionate under CPR 44.3(5)(a)-(e). Indemnity costs, on the other hand, need only be reasonable. There is no proportionality requirement such as that they must bear a reasonable relationship to the sums in issue under, for example, CPR 44.3(5)(a). Continue reading


Cyber fraud is big business for criminals. It is everywhere. Readers will have been reminded by their banks to be on the lookout for such fraud frequently in the recent past. Cases where the victims of such frauds seek to recover their misappropriated money are becoming increasingly common in the English courts. But the legal remedies in relation to cyber fraud have only developed in the last year or two, and are still not widely understood. In this blog, I share my experience and tips gleaned from obtaining a number of injunctions and related orders in recent cyber fraud cases. Continue reading

REUTERS | financial information screen numbers

Solicitors’ liens

Ryanair liens case goes to Supreme Court

Bott & Co Solicitors Ltd have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court by the Supreme Court itself in relation to the issue of solicitors’ liens where a third party (Ryanair) deliberately sent damages to the client, and not the solicitor acting for the client. The Supreme Court will hear this matter on Tuesday, 27 October 2020. Very obviously, that acts as a major disincentive to solicitors to take the risk of working on a no-win, no-fee basis where there will be no fund from which to take the costs. Continue reading


The litigation funding landscape in the Cayman Islands is changing. Whilst maintenance and champerty are still both crimes and torts, draft legislation has been prepared which would abolish them and permit funding. In the meantime, the Caymanian judiciary has acknowledged that, provided adequate protections are in place, funding can facilitate better access to justice, and has blessed different funding arrangements. Continue reading

REUTERS | Kim Kyung-Hoon

Contract providing For “all reasonable costs” meant assessment on the indemnity basis

In Alafco Irish Aircraft Leasing Sixteen Ltd v Hong Kong Airlines Ltdthe Commercial Court held that a contract specifying that a party was entitled to “all reasonable costs and expenses” of litigation, in connection with preserving its contractual rights, meant that it was entitled to assessment of costs on the indemnity basis. Continue reading

REUTERS | Stefano Rellandini

In an era of ever-increasing complexity of commercial cases, in particular involving allegations of cross-border fraud, lengthy trials are on the rise. In recent years, one need only point to Berezovsky v Abramovich (16 weeks) and Libyan Investment Authority v Goldman Sacs International (seven weeks), as examples of the phenomenon for ultra-high value claims occupying the Commercial Court’s docket for weeks at a time. Continue reading