Legal Cost Specialists

Successful National Accident Helpline CFA challenge

Readers with a very good memory may recall me writing about a successful challenge I ran as to the unenforceability of a CFA under the, now revoked, Conditional Fee Agreement Regulations 2000, in that the solicitors had failed to advise the client of the interest they had in recommending a particular ATE insurance policy.

The claim concerned the National Accident Helpline scheme.

The Claimant appealed and at the time I wrote that if the appeal was dismissed I would let you know and if it succeeded I would keep quiet about it.

You may therefore have concluded that the silence at my end indicated failure at the appeal. Fear not. It just took a very long time to get around to obtaining the transcript with further delays having it approved by the court.

My opponent on the appeal was Simon Butler of 9 Gough Square. It was the first time I have been against him and although I managed to win on the day it was not due to any shortcomings on his part. He is fantastic advocate. Dominic Regan regularly tips him as a rising star on his blog and I can see why.

What was interesting about this particular case (although, naturally, all costs litigation is fascinating) is how long this case dragged on for. This was a routine RTA claim resulting from an accident on 12 December 2003 which settled for £8,000. The claim settled on 21 February 2008. Detailed assessment proceedings were commenced on 3 March 2009. The initial costs judgment was handed down on 14 April 2011. The appeal was heard on 15 December 2011. The matter then went back to the Senior Courts Costs Office on 3 August 2012 to tie up the loose ends.

So even if new work dries up post-Jackson I am hoping for a few cases like this to see me through to retirement.

Here is the judgment for the appeal: King v Thames Water Utilities and Transport for London.

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