Costs Round-Up #24

Welcome to our weekly round-up of news from the world of legal costs

This week there has been an important development as the LAA issues changes to domestic and child abuse evidence requirements for legal aid funding: starting 17 July 2015 some evidence need not be re-examined before a final hearing if a certificate has already been granted earlier in the legal process. Read more here and here.  The amendments were in part attributable to Law Society lobbying.

In London, Mr Justice Collins has deemed the legal aid agency exceptional case funding scheme unlawful.  Vicky Kane, legal aid costs expert in John M Hayes Newcastle, reviews the case here.  And says “ It is clear that significant changes to the operation of the scheme will be required in the light of Mr Justice Collins’ judgment and that this case will have profound implications for access to justice”.  The Guardian also provides strong commentary here

Marc Banyard, cost lawyer John M Hayes Cardiff provides commentary on the case of Yeo v Times Newspapers Ltd [2015] EWHC 209 (QB)and asks can the court consider hourly rates in the budgeting process?

Litigation Futures reports on government plans to close 20% of our Courts in favour of access to digital justice and also reports on the comments made by  Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart in the Technology and Construction Court that  it was “time to say, in the clearest terms, that parties and their solicitors can no longer conduct litigation in a manner which does not keep the proportionality of the costs being incurred at the forefront of their minds at all times”.  It’s time to banish procedural squabbles to keep costs proportionate says senior judge read the banner headline.

Until next week