REUTERS | Blair Gable

Even though we have had 300 years of case law, there is still great uncertainty about the extent of solicitors’ liens, a subject which has become of much greater importance since the legalisation of conditional fee agreements and the virtual abolition of civil legal aid, as solicitors are now often acting on credit for clients throughout the whole case, rather than billing monthly, or having the security of legal aid. Continue reading


This post considers the decision of Murray v Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust an appeal to Stewart J from a decision of Master Campbell. It is a case concerned with the mis-certification of a bill of costs in detailed assessment proceedings and is one of only two reported cases post the landmark Court of Appeal case of Gempride v Bamrah (the other being a decision of Deputy Master Friston in the Senior Courts Costs Office (SCCO)). Continue reading


In November 2016, the then Jackson LJ was commissioned by the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls to explore the possibility of extending the fixed recoverable costs regime with the aim of promoting transparency in civil litigation and access to justice for litigants. This was not a task undertaken lightly, with Jackson LJ having the benefit of other professionals from legal and other backgrounds helping him as assessors. Continue reading

REUTERS | Ricardo Moraes

Litigation funding has typically focused on claimant side investment. Defence funding feels less valuable because it does not so obviously unlock an asset. In addition, the cash benefit of having a funder pay defence legal costs will often be dwarfed by the potential cash payout by the defendant on a loss. And finally, a defendant worth suing is usually not cash constrained in the same way as many claimants who seek funding. But as the funding market has matured, some funders, defence lawyers and their clients have begun to express interest in defence funding. Continue reading

REUTERS | Tobias Schwarz

Can amendment amount to discontinuance?

In Galazi and another v Christoforou and others, the Chancery Master considered whether the very substantial amendments made to the particulars of claim amounted to a discontinuance of the whole or part of the claim, triggering the default position under CPR 38.6(1) that the discontinuing party is liable to pay the costs of the other party. Continue reading

REUTERS | Eric Miller

In Asturion Foundation v Alibrahim the court saved a claimant that allegedly warehoused its claim for over nine months from having its claim struck out. This post considers that decision as well as when delay may amount to an abuse of process; why there wasn’t a delay amounting to abuse in Asturion; and what a party should do if it wants to “pause” proceedings and avoid the risk of strike out on the grounds of abuse.

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