Costs Round-Up #38

Hello and welcome to a round-up of legal costs related news.

Conditional Fee Agreements

This week, cases where the Claimant’s Solicitor does not have a conditional fee agreement (CFA) identifying the correct Defendant (or even all Defendants) received a small boost from Court of Appeal (COA) decision in Linda Engeham v (1) London and Quadrant Housing Ltd (2) Academy of Plumbing Ltd (in voluntary Liquidation).  The COA found that the Claimant had won her case for the purposes of the CFA even though the Defendant which paid her damages was not named on the CFA.  Read up on the case here.

Civil Procedure Rules Committee on Cost Budget Time Frame amendments

This week also saw minutes published from the November meeting of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee (CPRC).  Amongst other agreements made, the Committee will amend the time frame for filing and service of costs budgets away from the current requirements (at seven days before the CMC).  Read more here.  No set time frame has yet been given for implementation of the amendment.

Precedent H

The Committee also considered Precedent H and whether assumptions should be included in the short version of the form.  The Committee concluded that they should be included but no detail need be given as to the actual assumptions accepted as this would “place an unduly heavy burden of the case management Judge.”  So, a budget where the Costs Judge doesn’t get to know what was actually budgeted for.  Perfect.

Impact of Enhanced Court Fees

Legal Orange offers comment and interpretation on a statistical analysis of the affect of the enhanced Court Fees (introduced March 2015) on current litigation levels

Domestic Abuse Courts

Finally, the Gazette reports on a new idea from the Center for Justice Innovation for domestic abuse courts; proposing a single integrated court that would hear criminal, family and civil matters under a ‘one judge, one family’ model.. i.e. back to how it was, comments one anonymous contributor directly below.

Until next week…

Kate Oliver is Chief Executive for John M Hayes.  Working from the Leeds Office, Kate is leading the Company through a period of significant change in the legal costs sector.  When not at work, Kate is a keen outdoor swimmer and mum to five (almost grown-up) children.