Case Study 1 – Paying Party costs reduced by £132,000
Costs were claimed in respect of a claim under the Equality Act where three members of the travelling community (along with an accompanying journalist) had been refused service in a public house. The claims were settled before allocation for a total of £4,200.00 (£1,200.00 each to the First, Second and Third Claimants and £600.00 to the Fifth Claimant). A claim by a Fourth Claimant (who had not even been present in the public house at the time and had met the other Claimants in the car park), had been discontinued. Costs were claimed at (approximately) £161,000.00 inclusive of a 100% success fee and predicated on rates significantly in excess of the relevant guideline rates. We successfully argued that the costs were disproportionate, the rates were excessive, the success fee was excessive, the Insurance Premium was unrecoverable and that costs had not been properly apportioned per Beaumont v Senior & Bull to allow for the discontinuance by the Fourth Claimant. Significant reductions were also made to the document times, which consisted of large amounts of time where two Grade A fee earners had worked in parallel on matters. Costs were ultimately assessed at (approximately) £29,000.00 (just 18% of those claimed). We comfortably beat our own offer and were awarded costs of the assessment.
Case Study 2 – Paying Party costs reduced by 80%
Representing a Litigant in Person whose daughter had brought a claim for damages in respect of injuries sustained as a result of an attack by a dog. The Defendant brought our client in as a Part 20 Defendant for having placed his daughter on the floor in the same room as the dog and costs of the Part 20 claim were awarded against our client. Costs were claimed at approximately £20,000.00. We identified that the apportionment of costs did not correctly follow the guidance in Medway Oil & Storage v Continental Contractors. At the detailed assessment hearing, following our submissions, the costs were reduced to c. £4,000.00. As we had beaten our own offer, we were awarded detailed assessment costs. After set-off, our client was ordered to pay a net £1,118.39 to the Defendant.
Case Study 3 – Costs paid after 3 years
Our client requested assistance to resolve a problematic High Costs Case Plan, which had been outstanding for three years. Final Claim 1s had been prepared, but not accepted by the High Costs Case Unit, who had raised a number of difficult queries on them. We went in-house, reviewed the files to assess the position and drafted revised Claim 1s and a detailed two page response to the Case Unit, following which the Claim 1s were successfully paid without further query. The matter was thereby concluded and a significant headache removed from our client’s workload.
Case Study 4- LAA allow 90% of disallowed costs on appeal
Our Client requested our expertise in assisting them with an appeal to the LAA on an exceptional care matter after the LAA reduced the profit costs claimed by the solicitor by £2162. After carefully going through the file and claim it was identified that the LAA had wrongly disallowed the costs and a comprehensive appeal was prepared by the costs draftsman which detailed the errors of reductions and provided evidence in support. On appeal the LAA allowed £1962 of the costs which represented 15% of the original claim and only disallowed £200 in the end. Great result for the solicitor.
Case Study 5 – Swift receipt of budgeted costs for the Public Purse
We were instructed by the Defendant local authority in a complex dispute over a piece of land whereby the Claimant had issued injunction proceedings stating that the land was not a public highway. An Injunction was initially granted. There was a Costs Management Order made during the Proceedings. The Defendant’s Budget was allowed by Court at just over £15,000. Following a 2 day Trial it was found that the land was a public highway, was and an Order was made in the Defendant’s favour.
We drafted a Bill and negotiated costs at just under figure allowed by Court for the Budget within three weeks.
Case Study 6 – Even modest claims see significant savings
The Claimant issued a housing disrepair action. There was some dispute about works required and the conduct of Claimant regarding allowing access. The matter was resolved with works completed and a small payment to Claimant. A Costs Schedule was received by the Defendant for almost £7,500, claiming Grade C rates for a Trainee Solicitor, who had conduct of matter throughout.
Initial advice was given regarding costs and following negotiations costs were agreed at £3,900, a reduction of almost 48% on the costs as claimed.
Case Study 7 – Persistence pays off
The Claimant issues proceedings for damages for personal injuries following an accident whilst he was at work. The Defendant was not his employer, but the company at whose premises he was working at the time of the accident. Settlement as to damages was agreed without the need for Proceedings.
A Bill was received from the Claimant. We prepared points of dispute, advised our client on a top-line and made an appropriate offer. The Claimant continually contacted us regarding increasing the offer telling us the offer was not protective and that they would win on Assessment. We advised our client that there was no good reason to increase the offer. We threatened an application unless an assessment hearing was requested by a certain date. Shortly afterwards, the Claimant accepted our offer.
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John M Hayes Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen work with Law Firms, Local Authorities and Legal Advice Charities to help settle the legal costs of a Court case. We also assist legal aid organisations in working efficiently with the Legal Aid Agency and Ministry of Justice. We regularly provide training to law firms across England and Wales, including firms listed within the UK top-100 London based law firm list on how to run case files efficiently, how to maximise profitability and how to update working practices in order to operate in the most cost effective way.
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