REUTERS | Eric Gaillard

Proportionality is a cornerstone of the Jackson reforms and was implemented on 1 April 2013 through changes to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) effective from that date. The problem is that the legal profession remains in ignorance for the most part about how proportionality is to be applied in practice. One thing is clear: costs which are to be recovered from and paid by a losing party must bear a reasonable relationship to the sums in issue in the proceedings (see CPR 44.3(5)). Thus it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that where damages are £1,000 and costs are £10,000, those costs are likely to be disproportionate, but where damages are £10,000 and costs are £1,000, they are not. Continue reading

REUTERS | Kai Pfaffenbach

Merry Christmas to mediators!

In an early Christmas present for mediators, the Civil Justice Council Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Working Group has issued an interim report and consultation on mediation in the court system. They have some ideas for encouraging more widespread mediation uptake. They are inviting responses to their questions from interested parties by 15 December 2017. Continue reading


In these Commercial Court proceedings in PCP Capital Partners LLP and others v Barclays Bank Plc, PCP claims a large sum in damages from Barclays Bank PLC (the bank) in connection with PCP’s alleged role in the bank’s 2008 capital raisings. The trial of this matter was scheduled to commence on 15 January 2018 and was listed for eight weeks. Continue reading

REUTERS | Eloy Alonso

Legal privilege is a fundamental base of our English legal system upon which the administration of justice is built. In Ventouris v Mountain, The Italia Express (1991) 1WLR 607, Lord Justice Bingham explained the public interest in a client being:

“…free to unburden themselves without reserve to their legal advisors” and their legal advisors being “free to give honest and candid advice on a sound factual basis, without fear that these communications may be relied on by an opposing party if the dispute comes before the court for decision.”

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REUTERS | Toby Melville

Am I being overcharged? That is the question that many business and private clients are now asking. There is an increasing demand for advice from costs lawyers, solicitors and barristers specialising in costs law, with the aim, in this time of austerity, to challenge solicitors’ claims for costs and hopefully secure a saving. All solicitors should be aware of the obligations imposed on them under the SRA Code of Conduct with regard to costs advice. Continue reading