You would hope that, these days, situations where a solicitor has provided his client no guidance as to costs would be rare. One came before Master Leonard in a Solicitors Act 1974 assessment of a bill for work representing the client’s son, who had been arrested and charged with murder following a fight in Crete. … Continue reading What happens when a solicitor provides the client with no guidance as to costs?
Paragraph 7.6 of Practice Direction 3E provides that a party “shall revise its budget in respect of future costs upwards or downwards, if significant developments in the litigation warrant such revisions… The court may approve, vary or disapprove the revisions, having regard to any significant developments which have occurred since the date when the previous … Continue reading Costs budgeting: when is a development a “significant” one for the purpose of revising a costs budget?
I am a barrister, specialising mainly in personal injury and clinical negligence work. This is split between claimants and defendants, in roughly equal proportions. This piece is about my perception of a changing culture in the approach to agreement or assessment of the receiving parties’ costs in such cases, normally now only in relation to … Continue reading Avoiding detailed assessment: a cultural shift in approach to counsel’s fees?
All lawyers know that a thing is not necessarily true because a client or a witness says it. To advise a client, involved in a dispute where there is a conflict of evidence on important issues, we need to know how judges will resolve this conflict. How do they decide which witness is honest and … Continue reading It ain’t necessarily so: identifying reliable evidence in the light of Burgess v Lejonvarn
In 2012, the Supreme Court gave judgment in Fairclough Homes Limited v Summers about the wide-ranging power of the court to strike out fraudulent claims, even after a trial. Summers was a personal injury case but its tentacles reach into almost all areas of civil law. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Terry v … Continue reading Fraudulent claims: Terry v BCS Corporate Acceptances Limited
The recoverability of costs of an inquest as costs of and incidental to subsequent civil litigation (section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981) continues to be an area of uncertainty for those representing claimants and defendants.
The Court of Appeal’s decision in Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC v WPMC Ltd and another highlights the importance of warning a non-party at the earliest opportunity of the possibility that a costs application may be made against it. The sound of silence was fatal to such an application in Sony.
The decision in Gardiner & Theobald LLP v Jackson is useful for anyone considering retaining an expert on a “no win, no fee basis” in civil litigation, as it sheds further light on the concerns the courts will have when asked to allow such an arrangement.
The Court of Appeal in Cartwright v Venduct Engineering Ltd has ruled that, where sums have been paid to a claimant under the schedule to a Tomlin order, CPR 44.14(1) could not apply, as the schedule was not part of the court’s order but merely reflected the parties’ agreement.
In an application made pursuant to CPR 3.1(7) to vary or revoke an order in Praxis Capital Ltd v Burgess, the claimant sought an order for delivery up of confidential material that it alleged was in the defendant’s possession. The defendant had been employed by the claimant company, and these materials had been obtained in … Continue reading Praxis Capital Ltd v Burgess: be practical
The Court of Appeal delivered judgment in the case of Gempride v Bamrah recently, a case on misconduct in detailed assessment proceedings. The case is the first time the Court of Appeal has considered CPR 44.11 and is essential reading for any solicitor who sub-contracts out costs work to a cost specialist.
In Phonographic Performance v Abimbola Balogun t/a Mama Africa, Miss Penelope Reed QC (sitting in the High Court) determined the defendant’s appeal of Master Price’s refusal to set aside a summary judgment against him. The claim was brought by Phonographic Performance for infringement of copyright – Mr Balogun having allowed DJs to play music at private parties … Continue reading Allowing music to be played on your premises and the risk of copyright infringement
In Moylett v Geldof and another, Carr J has given a very short judgment on the first defendant’s application to strike out parts of the claimant’s expert report.
The Court of Appeal has looked again the interaction of Part 36 offers and interim payments in Gamal v Synergy Lifestyle Ltd, in which Arden LJ agreed with the judgment of Flaux LJ. The decision is important.
In Aquila WSA Aviation v Onur Air, Cockerill J gave summary judgment for the claimant on its claim for unpaid sums and damages arising from a lease of an aircraft engine. The lease was comprised of standard IATA Master Short Term Engine Lease Agreement terms (the Master Agreement) and various additional bespoke terms (the Lease … Continue reading Aircraft leasing and contractual estoppel: signing an acceptance certificate will likely preclude future disputes as to delivery condition
CPR 36.2(3) provides that a Part 36 offer may be made in respect of the whole, or part of, or any issue that arises in, a claim. This is reflected in CPR 36.5(1)(d) which, in relation to the form and content of a Part 36 offer, requires the offeror to state whether it relates to … Continue reading Interest and Part 36 offers: is Potter right?
The latest judgment handed down in a swaps misselling case (London Executive Aviation v RBS) represents another victory for the banks. In part, this is an inevitable reflection of the fact that the most egregious examples of misselling will have been settled or, in the case of smaller customers, dealt with under the Financial Conduct … Continue reading Pie in the sky? Another claim for swaps misselling is rejected
Case law on qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) is beginning to appear. However, it is safe to say that we do not have the final word on some of its more difficult provisions.
The debate as to when and in what circumstances a party can depart from a costs budget rumbles on. As readers will know, the test is whether there is a “good reason” for such a departure.
The test for showing that a respondent to an application for a freezing injunction has assets caught by the order has been “somewhat less than certain”. It has now been clarified by the Court of Appeal, in Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority v Bestfort Development LLP. I want to look at three practical tips on … Continue reading Practical tips for applicants for freezing injunctions from Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority and others v Bestfort Development LLP and others
In a common law jurisdiction, the law proceeds by principle intertwined with precedent. When judges give talks about the law, they often focus exclusively on precedent. Lord Sumption has taken a different approach. His talks focus on points of principle: witness his speech to the Chancery Bar Association on Reflexions on the Law of Illegality … Continue reading An attack on the past and a guide to the future? Lord Sumption’s latest lecture
In Harrison v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust practitioners finally have some guidance from the Court of Appeal about costs budgeting and detailed assessment. What practical lessons can we distil from it?
Costs disputes frequently involve having to look at a solicitor’s retainer and deciding what it means so as to determine whether or not a costs claim offends the much maligned but still alive indemnity principle. Many practitioners and judges thought that Arnold v Britton was the last word and that it reflected a move away … Continue reading Guidance, is it always useful?
2016/17 will be forever associated with elections across the globe and all that has come with them: “fake news”; hacks; leaks; U-turns; polarisation; and polls that have been, time after time, proven to be incorrect. But for those who are not yet suffering from election apathy, The Value of Justice: The Bar Council’s Manifesto for … Continue reading We are not enemies of the people
In February this year, the High Court overturned the decision of Master James in Briggs v First Choice Holidays and Flights. The case had been seen by many as a high point for paying parties in achieving significant costs reductions as a result of a failure to engage in alternative dispute resolution.
In Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited v Dechert LLP, the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO) stressed the need for solicitors to engage in careful prospective consideration of costs, and to provide regular and realistic costs estimates to clients. It is the latest round of Dechert’s long-running fee dispute with its former client, concerning work carried out by … Continue reading Estimating the special circumstances of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation v Dechert
Background The courts have long expressed concerns about costs of disclosure as amongst the most significant costs of substantial commercial litigation. It was against this background that the old test of discovery (any document that was broadly relevant) was redefined by the Woolf reforms of 1999 to standard disclosure, limited, if it could be said, … Continue reading À la carte or set menu? Disclosure options
The Chancery Division in Leeds is running a pilot for the next six months to enable parties to limit the extent of costs budgeting in any particular case.
The judgment in Deutsche Bank AG v CIMB Bank Berhad is admirably short. In my view, it is worth reading for the three main practical points it conveys in relation to forum non conveniens:
In the current economic climate, the unfortunate facts of Adams v Atlas International Property Services will no doubt sound all too familiar. The claimants were all purchasers of properties in Spain. Despite paying the full purchase price, they did not receive the title to their properties. The seller, Desarrollo, had already become insolvent. The claimants … Continue reading Negligence, deliberate concealment and unlawful means conspiracy: three lessons from Adams v Atlas International Property Services
Part 36 never ceases to throw up disputes. Recently, “issue of the month” has been what happens when a defendant accepts a Part 36 offer late.
The Court of Appeal in Re Maximus Securities Ltd has given guidance on the test for bias, in a case concerning a challenge to the appointment of a joint expert. In this blog post, I draw out some practical tips for assessing the potential for bias.
At the Costs Law Report Conference 2016 in London last week, Stuart-Smith J gave the key note speech, in which he revealed that when listing a case management and costs management hearing, he allows 10 minutes to accommodate the costs budgeting part of a costs and case management conference (CCMC).
You may think that the law of costs will sail on majestically, despite the political turmoil of the last few weeks. Who could have predicted, however, that instead of Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, we would have Liz Truss? Her appointment has brought forth trenchant criticism from, amongst others, … Continue reading Brexit and costs
Jackson LJ’s proposals to introduce fixed costs in multi-track cases worth up to £250,000 make me think back to the days of County Court scale fees, and a quick dig around some dusty books turned up the County Court Practice for 1995. There I was reminded that, until 30 June 1991, there were four scales … Continue reading Fixed costs: a trip down memory lane
Costs budgeting has just had its third birthday. That birthday has been celebrated not with candles, but with the 83rd CPR update.
The Court of Appeal in Sugar Hut v A J Insurance Service has overturned the trial judge’s decision to impose costs consequences akin to the automatic CPR 36 costs consequences on a party who only narrowly beats a CPR 36 offer.
The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Deutsche Bank v Sebastian Holdings gives pause for thought for individuals embarking on litigation under the cover of a company.
Albeit a decision on its own facts, Mr Justice Coulson’s decision in Van Oord UK Ltd (OSR) v Allseas UK Ltd (AUK) offers food for thought for a defendant with a counterclaim or potential counterclaim.
The decision in Surrey v Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust throws into sharp focus the need to give thorough advice as to funding options, tailored to the particular context of the case and the client. For that reason, it has repercussions beyond its clinical negligence sphere and beyond the switch to the new … Continue reading Context is everything when advising your client on funding
In May 2015, the Upper Tribunal heard the case of Bakhtiyer v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Judgment was handed down earlier this month. The Upper Tribunal confirmed the principle in Re Eastwood that the costs of the Government Legal Service would be assessed on the same basis as that of a solicitor … Continue reading The principle in Re Eastwood lives to fight another day
Court fees in personal injury and clinical negligence litigation have increased dramatically in recent times. Section 180 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 empowered the Lord Chancellor to set “enhanced” court fees. It states that “A fee prescribed…must be used to finance an efficient and effective system of courts and tribunals”. However, … Continue reading Flight from the courts due to fee increases
When returns on investment in traditional markets are at an all time low, capital (especially private capital) seeks better returns elsewhere. Pensioners cash in their pensions and dive into the buy-to-let market (their children need to worry about their inheritances if/when that bubble bursts), while more adventurous investors see litigation as a money spinner.
In the first of our guest posts by members of 39 Essex Chambers, Simon Edwards discusses Lord Justice Jackson’s Harbour Lecture entitled “Confronting Costs Management”, which was delivered on 13 May 2015.