This week Litigation Futures reported on two cases involving a move from public funding to conditional fee agreements prior to implementation of LASPO 1 April 2013. In Surrey v Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC B16 (Costs) Master Rowley concluded that the Client did not give informed consent to move from legal aid to CFA, as he had not been told of the 10% Simmons uplift to damages that would be introduced post-LASPO and the significant impact this would have upon the monies he would ultimately receive in settlement.
“Where a party has exhausted the costs that can be claimed under a certificate so that it is ‘spent’, they can in principle establish a discharge by conduct in the same manner as certificates in which all of the work up to a limitation of scope has been carried out. The effect of that discharge is to end the services funded by the LSC and enable a private retainer to fund the remainder of the proceedings.
“The notification of the new funding arrangement in form N251 satisfies the need for formality in notifying the opponent of the ending of costs protection. Mr Mallalieu [for the claimant] sought to persuade me that notification was not necessary in any event but I take the view that it was required to deal with the costs protection aspect.”