The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in August, 2006

Gaynor v Central West London Buses

By on Aug 15, 2006 | 0 comments

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal, Gaynor v Central West London Buses Ltd [2006] EWCA Civ 1120, has potentially massive significance in terms of costs recoverability in CFA cases. The decision, followed through to its logical conclusion, appears to be that a claimant cannot enter into a CFA, and thereby recover a success fee, unless and until a defendant disputes the claim. To understand this startling conclusion requires a close analysis of the judgment. The case concerned an otherwise routine personal injury claim. The issue at the heart of the appeal concerned the retainer letter sent to the client at the outset of the case. The wording of the letter was fairly typical except for the final paragraphs which read: “Although it is the usual practice of all Solicitors to obtain a payment on account of costs and disbursements in your particular matter we shall not be doing so. If your opponent admits liability his/her insurers will pay your legal costs. However and where liability is not admitted and you decide to pursue your case further then you may be liable to pay for the cost of medical reports, police reports and other expert reports as are required. If you succeed and recover compensation from your opponent you will be reimbursed your outlay. If your claim is disputed by your opponent and you wish to pursue your claim through litigation then we will require a payment on account of costs and disbursements. Before requesting any payment we will discuss the alternative methods of funding your case with you. You may have the funds to pay for the cost of litigation. You may wish to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement with us and apply for after sthe event legal expenses insurance to cover your opponent’s cost in litigation. If you and your partner already have legal expenses insurance, through possibly your household contents policy of insurance, motor car policy of insurance or stand alone before the event legal expenses policy of insurance, tell us and we will assist you in applying to them for cover. In any event and when we next meet please bring along your policies of insurance for us to check through on your...

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