REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

The indemnity principle is the kernel of costs recovery. A party ordered to pay costs is required to reimburse no more than the sum that the receiving party is liable to pay their own solicitors. If the contract of retainer between the receiving party and their own solicitor is unenforceable for any reason, then by operation of the indemnity principle, there are no costs for the paying party to indemnify, so their liability under the costs order is nil (see Harold v Smith (1860) and Gundry v Sainsbury (1910)). Continue reading

REUTERS | Dominic Ebenbichler

It is now more than eight years since Sir Rupert Jackson published the final report in his Civil Litigation Review, which recommended sweeping reforms to how litigation is funded. It is more than five years since those reforms were implemented, in large part, via Part 2 of the inaptly named (for these purposes) Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). The government’s recently launched post-implementation review of the legislation gives those affected by the reforms an opportunity to say what is, and isn’t, working via an online survey. Continue reading

REUTERS | Thomas Mukoya

The introduction of damages-based agreements (DBAs) as part of the Jackson reforms did not have the immediate impact on law firm retainers that some may have expected. Whilst most lawyers would have been attracted by the potential for huge returns in successful cases, the early years saw few firms willing to step into what they considered to be a minefield. Their reticence was due, in part, to concerns about the drafting of the DBA Regulations and, in particular, the inability to offer “hybrid” or partial no win, no fee arrangements. Continue reading