The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in May, 2012

A modest proposal

By on May 15, 2012 | 10 comments

I have a modest proposal. When serving fee notes and invoices for disbursements in support of a bill of costs, order these in the same order as they appear in the bill. Secondly, given all items in a bill should be numbered, write the number of the item on the top corner of the invoice or by the corresponding entry in the fee note (if counsel’s fee note includes various items). This is a simple matter of courtesy to your opponent and will avoid the costs judge going ballistic at you when he loses patience trying to locate the correct invoice/fee note in a disordered...

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Association of Costs Lawyers Annual Costs Conference

By on May 14, 2012 | 8 comments

Another absolutely cracking Association of Costs Lawyers Annual Costs Conference last week. Speakers included (and this is a non-exhaustive list): His Honour Simon Brown QC, Jeremy Morgan QC, Andrew Post QC, Simon Browne QC, Nicholas Bacon QC and Professor Dominic Regan. Those on the panel session on Saturday: Master Campbell, Master Gordon-Saker, Master Haworth, Regional Costs Judge Besford, Region Costs Judge Lethem and District Judge McIlwaine. And to top it all, the keynote speaker was Lord Neuberger, Master of the Rolls. His speech was important enough to be reported in both The Telegraph and the Law Society Gazette (and for the Association of Costs Lawyers to get a mention in both). Nice though all this was, the most important development for the ACL was the clear view expressed by Lord Neuberger, in response to a question from the floor, that he could see no reason why a representative from the ACL should not sit as a member of the new Costs Council. A copy of the speech can be viewed here (well worth reading): Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Master of the Rolls speech: Association of Costs Lawyers’ Annual Conference...

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Teddy bears' picnic

By on May 9, 2012 | 4 comments

Excellent, and scathing, article from Dominic Regan in the New Law Journal on the botching of the implementation of the Jackson Reforms. In addition to criticism of the fact that fixed costs for the fast-track will not happen next year (although see yesterday’s post), he expresses concerns as to the new proportionality test. Although it appears that a new proportionality test in line with Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals will be introduced, the rules committee will not be providing a Practice Direction giving guidance as to how the new test will be applied. As Regan notes: “Absent guidelines, there will be a free for all and satellite litigation will roar away. Remember that the test will apply to every case… Well, now we will have utter uncertainty in potentially any and every dispute. This will make the costs wars look like the teddy bears’...

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Small claims limit to be raised?

By on May 8, 2012 | 2 comments

We are finally starting to see a bit of stability and certainty returning to the personal injury and legal costs world. Obviously, I am joking. Those responsible for running the RTA portal recently told the Ministry of Justice that it would take 11 months to amend the portal to encompass RTA claims worth up to £25,000 and a further two years and seven months to build and test a new system for EL and PL claims. Some breathing space then? Don’t count on it. The government is apparently determined to introduce the expanded RTA claims portal in April 2013, as previously planned. If that looks like a seismic shift, Legal Futures is reporting that the government is planning to revisit the possibility of raising the small claims track limit for personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 and plans to consult over this issue in the summer. That really would have a profound impact on the PI...

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Jackson's Preliminary Report – really that long ago?

By on May 4, 2012 | 0 comments

Article from June 2009 Solicitors Journal discussing Lord Justice Jackson’s Preliminary Report (what care free and happy times), whether a case that proceeds to summary assessment is to be treated as having settled at “trial” for the purposes of the fixed success fee regime and the issue of disclosure of CFAs (an issue that never seems to go away) now available via Costs Law Articles...

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