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Welcome to a costs round-up of the best costs-related posts published this week.
Andrew Hogan Costs Barrister presents Costs, Unreasonableness and the RTA Protocol an article on when cases fall out of the RTA Protocol and what will constitute a reasonable choice on the part of Claimant’s solicitors to remove the case from the Portal.
Neil Rose comments on the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Report which claims that the Cost of PI Claims is falling fast saying legal fees for personal injury cases worth up to £100,000 fell by 65% in 2013, with an overall reduction of 14% in the cost of third-party injury claims. The institute has also reported an increase of 11% in the cost of personal injury claims worth over £100,000 in 2013, “driven by” a 14% increase in the average cost of claims, and reduced “slightly” by a fall in the number of these claims.
This week also saw commentary on the proposed hike in Civil Court fees. Gordon Exall Barrister presents his own round up of current thinking at proposals for increased court fees monitoring the proposals and debates. Professor Dominic Regan comments “the intended hike is obscene . The greatest increase is 622%. The lesson is issue as fast as you can.” There is more commentary and debate on this topic with Neil Rose at litigation futures and John Hyde at the Law Society Gazette. In his introduction to the consultation, Justice Minister Shailesh Vara writes “Increasing court fees will never be popular or welcome. But I am sure that those who choose to litigate in our courts will continue to recognise the outstanding qualities our legal services offer and the excellent value for money they provide.” Thoughts on a postcard please….
Simon Gibbs presents Problems with Provisional Assessment referring to the consultation between the ACL and The Forum of Insurance Lawyers and concludes that provisional assessment should be reserved to costs judges or costs officers. The Senior Courts Costs Office should deal with assessments for the South of the country and a second dedicated court appointed to deal with the North. He writes a follow up article provisional assessment and another thing challenging the timing of certain steps within the provisional assessment procedure and again Bloody Provisional Assessments with some particular choice comments on handwriting and Court photocopying skills!
The High Court has more than halved a successful party’s costs on summary assessment on the basis of proportionality, with the fees charged by the partner running the case hit particularly hard. Rachel Rothwell presents comment and opinion on Savoye and Savoye Ltd v Spicers Ltd claiming that we are still in the dark on proportionality
Missed last week but an interesting addition from Legal Orange to the world of crystal ball gazing on costs, predictions for 2015. From Coventry to Alan Blacker (“you know, the Harry Potter chap with badges”) well worth a read!
The Solicitors Journal reports on Chris Grayling arguing that non-lawyers make better Lord Chancellors. He says that he is not ‘cup-tied’ by links to the profession. Is that a suggestion that for 440 years his predecessors have not been suitable for the job? We would say that current evidence points to non-lawyers making worse Lord Chancellors, but maybe it is unfair to base this conclusion on a recent sample size of one!
Finally, our own Lee Coulthard looks at Broni v Ministry of Defence, a significant decision with regard to success fees and their applicability to Armed Forces, potentially with further reaching consequences.
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