The defendant costs specialists

Posts Tagged "Gibbs Wyatt Stone"

My intellectual property rights have been infringed

By on Nov 4, 2009 | 0 comments

I assume readers are familiar with search engines such as Google and Yahoo. In addition to the ordinary search results they produce, they also also show sponsored links.  This works by allowing advertisers to purchase the right to have their advert displayed when certain keywords are typed into the search engine.  For example, a business selling designer goods might choose the keywords “designer goods” and “fashion”. Louis Vuitton brought a case against Google complaining that adverts for counterfeit items popped up when internet users searched for the company and that this infringed their trademark rights.  They wanted to prevent others from being able to use their registered trademarks as a keywords.  The case ended up being referred to the European Court of Justice.  The preliminary ruling was that there was no breach. All very interesting, but what has this got to do with legal costs, I hear you ask? I recently discovered that a Google search for Gibbs Wyatt Stone produces a sponsored link for an entirely different firm of law costs draftsmen (although I wouldn’t quite describe our services as being those of traditional costs draftsmen).  I suppose I should be flattered that our reputation is such that others hope to raise their own profile by association with our name.  However, I’m left feeling vaguely used and...

Read More

Challenging success fees

By on Oct 28, 2009 | 2 comments

The, now revoked, Collective Conditional Fee Agreement Regulations 2000 state: “5. (1) Where a collective conditional fee agreement provides for a success fee the agreement must provide that, when accepting instructions in relation to any specific proceedings the legal representative must prepare and retain a written statement containing – (a) his assessment of the probability of the circumstances arising in which the percentage increase will become payable in relation to those proceedings (“the risk assessment”); (b) his assessment of the amount of the percentage increase in relation to those proceedings, having regard to the risk assessment; and (c) the reasons, by reference to the risk assessment, for setting the percentage increase at that level.” In Various Claimants v Gower Chemicals (Cardiff County Court, 28/2/07) the paying party sought to argue that a failure to prepare a statement of reasons in accordance with Regulation 5(1) rendered the retainer invalid and all costs should therefore be disallowed.  That argument was rejected on the basis that “the natural and ordinary meaning of the regulation is that there must be a provision in a CCFA that complies with the specification set out in the regulation. Regulation 5(1) does not additionally require that the prescribed provision must be performed”. Is that an end to the story?  Not quite.  The ever ingenious Gibbs Wyatt Stone recently acted for the Defendant in an EL claim (Middleton v Mainland Market Deliveries Ltd (Southampton CC, 20/10/09)).  The Claimant’s Bill claimed a 100% success fee on the basis that the fixed EL success fees had been applied to the case when the claim was accepted under the CCFA and the matter had settled at trial.  In fact, the date of the accident was such that it did not fall within the fixed success fee regime.  The judge accepted that fixed success fees did not apply as a matter of law and that the Court could not simply adopt the fixed success fee figures when assessing the success fee in this case (see Atack v Lee [2004] EWCA Civ 1712). Costs Practice Direction 32.5(1)(b) requires a receiving party to serve with his Bill: “a statement of the reasons for the percentage increase given in accordance with Regulation 3(1)(a) of the...

Read More

The Legal Costs Blog – Who reads this rubbish?

By on Oct 9, 2009 | 2 comments

Contrary to all logic and common sense, the Legal Costs Blog appears to have acquired a not insignificant readership. The Solicitors Journal, aimed not just at solicitors but lawyers generally, claims that its website attracts over 34,000 users a month. Insurance Times, aimed at the whole insurance industry, claims over 45,000 users per month. Both websites have excellent and comprehensive content. The Gibbs Wyatt Stone website attracts over 12,000 users per month. The majority of this traffic is attracted to the Legal Costs Blog pages. Gibbs Wyatt Stone are a niche firm operating in a niche area of the law. These figures suggest one of two things. First, it may be that the figures quoted by the Solicitors Journal and Insurance Times are not as impressive as they first appear. Alternatively, the Legal Costs Blog is attracting a surprisingly high readership given the nature of its content. I’ll leave readers to make up their own minds as to which of these it is. It can safely be assumed that a large proportion of the readership are those who work within the English legal costs world. However, it appears that this blog has a wider reach. We have one subscriber from the High Court in Anguilla in the Caribbean. The other week I was contacted by a charming chap from the Czech Republic asking for book recommendations on the subject of legal costs as this was his “hobby” (and I thought I was the only one). A comment recently added to one of my previous posts concerning the Jackson Costs Review complained that this was “a most biased defendant based blog”. Well, yes. That’s the point. Unfortunately, the comment was posted anonymously and so we will never know who expressed that view (although I’m sure there are plenty who share it). Strangely, a specialist costs barrister who had recently seen the blog suggested I should consider “making it more overtly for defendants”. Goodness knows how some people would react if I did make it more defendant leaning. On a related topic, it has recently been reported that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (whose publications include The Sun and The Times) is set to start charging online customers for news content across...

Read More

Welcome to The Legal Costs Blog

By on Feb 9, 2009 | 0 comments

Welcome to the new Legal Costs Blog. Although the blog is officially launching today, we have added some content already and some archive material to give you an idea of the kind of thing to expect. Please browse around and leave a comment as to what you think and let us know if you have any suggestions for future topics. Part way down the page, on the right hand side, you will find a box to enter your email address so you can subscribe and receive any future posts straight to your email...

Read More

Claims Handling Law and Practice – Book Launch

By on Jan 29, 2009 | 0 comments

GWS partner Simon Gibbs has contributed two chapters on legal costs to the recently published Claims Handling Law and Practice – A Practitioner’s Guide. Produced, and otherwise written, by leading defendant solicitors Kennedys, this practitioner’s desktop handbook is an invaluable tool for claims handlers. It covers all areas of general liability including motor claims, clinical negligence, health & safety, disease, abuse and housing disrepair. The previous edition of this book proved extremely popular (see link: Amazon review) and this new fully updated edition is sure to be similarly successful. For ordering details use this link:...

Read More