The defendant costs specialists

Posts made in August, 2012

Inadequate hourly rates?

By on Aug 31, 2012 | 9 comments

A firm of solicitors is prepared to accept instructions to act in an RTA claim where the claimant has the benefit of BTE insurance and where the BTE policy will pay the solicitors an hourly rate of £130 across the board, including work done by Grade A fee earners. The limit of the BTE indemnity comes to an end and the solicitors at this stage enter into a CFA. At the same time the solicitors more than double the hourly rates being charged. If the solicitors were initially prepared to act in the matter for £130, on what basis does that rate cease to be adequate simply because the terms of the retainer change?...

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Recoverability of funding costs

By on Aug 28, 2012 | 11 comments

When the Court of Appeal handed down judgment, on 12 October 2011, in Motto & Others v Trafigura [2011] EWCA Civ 1150, ruling that funding costs are not recoverable, I raised the question as to how long we would have to wait before bills of costs stopped claiming for such work? I’m afraid I can’t give you a final answer to this question but the provisional one is: in excess of 10 months. I’ll keep you...

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Myth busters

By on Aug 24, 2012 | 5 comments

Another recent tweet from APIL (on 8 August 2012): “Prof Löfstedt wrote in his recent report that no evidence has been presented of a compensation culture – it’s a myth, not reality.” Again, sadly APIL provided no link to this report and it is therefore not entirely clear which one they are referring to. However, from a quick internet search it appears that the report they had in mind is Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety legislation, Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt, November 2011. If that is correct, a reference to a November 2011 report is hardly the kind of breaking news one normally expects to see on Twitter. But, does the report actually reach this conclusion? From a quick glance at the same, the closest the Professor seems to come is the following: “The ‘compensation culture’ (or the perception of it) in the UK has been the subject of several reviews over the last few years, but no evidence has been presented for its existence. … The evidence does seem to suggest the belief in a compensation culture is still having a significant impact on the behaviour and outlook of business, with the Better Regulation Task Force concluding that, although it is a myth, the perception of its existence, driven by media coverage, has a significant impact on the behaviour of both public and private employers” What there appears to be is a total failure to undertake any kind of statistical analysis on claims numbers or even to properly define “compensation culture”. Of course, one person’s “compensation culture” is another person’s “access to justice”. The fact that the report refers back to the conclusions of the Better Regulation Task Force is revealing. As I have commented before, the Better Regulation Task Force’s conclusion that the compensation culture was a myth was based on the fact the total number of claims between 2000 and 2003 were broadly flat and then went down in 2003/2004. A reasonable conclusion based on the evidence. Now let’s examine the evidence since then. The CRU figures for registered RTA claims: 2006/07 – 518,821 2007/08 – 551,905 2008/09 – 625,072 2009/10 – 674,997 2010/11 – 790,999 2011/12 – 828,489...

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The truth behind the tweets

By on Aug 20, 2012 | 1 comment

I haven’t been using Twitter much recently, but popped back the other day to see if anything interesting had been posted. Although conventional tweets only allow for a limited number of characters per post (tweet), it is possible to insert short links to other parts of the internet to point readers in the direction of the full source of a story. APIL recently posted a tweet saying: “Whiplash is still too often the subject of negative headlines about insurance premiums, despite claims falling by almost 24k in past year.” Sadly, they provided no link to the source of this information. Given the Faculty of Actuaries has recently reported that despite the number of road traffic accidents being down by 11% in 2011 the number of personal injury claims during this period increased by 18%, the figures from APIL are surprising. The figures produced by the Compensation Recovery Unit show the following: Number of cases registered to Compensation Recovery Unit (Motor) 2011/12 828,489 2010/11 790,999 Settlements recorded by Compensation Recovery Unit (Motor) 2011/12 754,159 2010/11 659,671 Perhaps the answer is that APIL were referring specifically to the number of whiplash claims, and these have strangely fallen at exactly the same time that (presumably more serious) other RTA injury claims have increased. Perhaps not. APIL’s figures must have come from somewhere. Hopefully, next time they will provide a link to the...

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