REUTERS | Ali Jarekji

CPRC Snippets: December 2016

The approved minutes of the December 2016 Civil Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC) meeting became publicly available on 17 February 2017. Quite a number of the matters have moved on significantly in the meantime – not least, as several of the procedural changes discussed are being implemented as part of the 88th CPR Update. Continue reading

REUTERS | Miguel Vidal

To start, let me introduce some familiar characters. First, an impecunious claimant who has the benefit of after the event (ATE) insurance, but the disadvantage of an incompetent solicitor. Second, a successful defendant with the benefit of a costs order and a final costs certificate, but the disadvantage of a slippery ATE insurer who has avoided the claimant’s ATE policy because of failures by the aforesaid incompetent solicitor. Different ways around this problem have been tried, and generally failed. Applications for non-party costs orders against the insurer tend to founder on the requirement to establish that the insurer was the “real party” to the litigation (Heron v TNT (UK) Ltd), and reliance on the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Acts is only available where the costs have been quantified and the unsuccessful claimant bankrupted first. Even then, the successful party is in no better position than the insured claimant, and therefore bound by the very negligence of which they complain (IHC v Amtrust Europe Ltd). The purpose of this article is to examine whether the wasted costs jurisdiction can come to the aid of the receiving party, allowing them to enforce the otherwise irrecoverable costs against the claimant’s negligent solicitor. Continue reading

REUTERS | Michaela Rehle

By the end of 2015, the majority of litigation practitioners had become accustomed to the intricacies of costs management. Whilst the occasional surprise continued to occur before some district judges, after almost three years the majority of kinks in the system had been resolved. However, the status quo was upset in January 2016 by the Court of Appeal in the now well-known case of Sarpd Oil International Limited v Addax Energy SA and another. Continue reading

REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

A recent Court of Appeal decision, Armchair Answercall Limited v People in Mind Limited, confirms that there is a high hurdle for establishing that a contract has been frustrated. The court’s consideration of the doctrine of frustration is welcome, because it is rarely dealt with in case authorities. Continue reading

REUTERS | Navesh Chitrakar

The underlying facts of this case (alleged negligence by the defendant in conducting due diligence of a transaction code-named “Project Pigeon”) are less significant than the potentially wide-ranging consequences of the decision for the time within which documents must be served in order to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). Continue reading