Costs News

20 December 2017
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News in brief

ACL general meeting

A general meeting of the Association will be held on 21 February in London to decide the future direction of the ACL. On the same day, the ACL will be delivering a seminar on the new format bill of costs. The full details will be announced in the New Year.

 

Renewal deadline

ACL members are reminded that fees for membership renewals are due by 29 December.

 

Brought to book

If you need a last-minute idea for a Christmas gift, then look no further than Harder Yet! – a first novel published by Costs Lawyer Andrew Brasher, together with George Smith. Both are former police officers.

It tells the tale of two teenagers going through police training in the early 1970s, with one reviewer on Amazon describing it as “a very enjoyable glimpse into a bygone era”.

It is published by Pegasus – click here for details.

 

Falling into the Rogers trap

The High Court has overturned the decision of a regional costs judge who slashed an after-the-event insurance premium by 85%, saying that District Judge Moss fell “plainly and directly into the trap identified by the Court of Appeal in Rogers and set himself up as better placed than the underwriter to identify the financial risk which the insurer faced”.

In Percy v Anderson-Young [2017] EWHC 2712 (QB), the premium was £533,017 but DJ Moss reduced it to £82,513.

Mr Justice Martin Spencer said there was “an important distinction” between a case where a cost judge decided whether the level of cover was too high – which was not the situation here – and one where the suggestion was that the underwriting decision was flawed and the judge was essentially second-guessing the underwriter. He made multiple criticisms of the district judge’s approach, including not seeking oral evidence from LAMP.

He also found “considerable force” in the claimant’s submission that the district judge’s ruling would leave claimants’ solicitors in an impossible position. The claimant faced a binary choice of taking out the additional cover or run the risk of losing a 10-day trial and facing a costs order in excess of £500,000.

As a result, Spencer J allowed the appeal and assessed the ATE premium at £533,017.

 

Christmas break

We are taking a break over the next fortnight. The next eBulletin will hit your inbox on 11 January. We wish all members a happy and relaxing Christmas, and a costs-tastic New Year.

 

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