The Practical Lawyer


Solicitors costs reduced - duplicating counsel's work

The CA has recently massively reduced the amount of costs claimed by a solicitor's firm in a matter where counsel was instructed. To put it in perspective - this was an appeal against a costs order for £23,000 for which counsel's ('reasonable and proportionate') fees were £6,662 - those of the law firm were £71,072! These costs were put forward as 'slightly higher than anticipated' - the court's view was that this was a 'mastery of understatement'.

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Pleadings - third party enquiries

The CA has recently considered the scope of CPR r16.5 which prescribes that:

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MIB – liable for injury on private land

The CA has held that the MIB was liable to pay compensation to someone injured in a car accident on private land. 
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Transfer to CFA – beware!

The HC has considered an interesting case relating to a change in funding arrangements part way though a litigation matter. A firm commenced litigation proceedings relating to delay in a meningitis diagnosis under the legal aid scheme.
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Discontinuance – who pays the costs?

When a claimant discontinues a claim, this may result in relief that the matter is over; however the court must decide who should pay the costs of the litigation. A useful article considers some of the issues arising.
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Service – no duty to point out error

The CA has held that there is no obligation on a firm which is incorrectly served with proceedings to notify the claimant’s lawyers of such an error.
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Group action – stays in Liverpool

It is interesting to note that the High Court has refused to transfer a multibillion-pound class action from Liverpool to London. The action involves some 200,000 claimants who are suing a mining company following the collapse of a dam in Brazil which caused loss of life and homes.

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DPS scheme – White Book incorrect

We reported in our March 2019 edition (p30) on the introduction of the Disclosure Pilot Scheme (DPS) for the Business and Property Courts in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

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RTA claims – no lawyers

The Gazette reports that the MoJ has issued a consultation as to how to create an IT platform to enable unrepresented litigants to progress their own claim.

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LiP – keep informed?

We do not usually report on changes which are not yet in force. However, litigators have been warned to expect changes to the processes relating to litigants in person which might come into effect on 6 April 2019 through an SI (subject to parliamentary approval). 
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