Costs News

07 October 2021
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News in brief - 07.10.2021

New Costs Lawyer magazine ready to read

The new issue of Costs Lawyer magazine went live yesterday. Members can read it here. Topics include the right approach to budgeting, the status of estimates, contentious business agreements, fixed costs, advocacy and more.

 

Costs Lawyers failing on complaints procedures

A Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB) audit of 20 Costs Lawyers’ complaints procedures found that none met all the requirements set out in the regulator’s guidance note.

It said common mistakes included out-of-date contact details for the CLSB or the Legal Ombudsman; missing information; confusing the role of the CLSB and Association of Costs Lawyers; and using out-of-date guidance.

The CLSB has published a new page on its website detailing the issues. “Fair and transparent complaints procedures give your clients justified confidence that any complaints will be handled appropriately,” it said.

 

MPs probe case for reform of NHS litigation

Parliament’s health and social care committee has launched an inquiry to examine the case for the reform of NHS litigation “against a background of a significant increase in costs, and concerns that the clinical negligence process fails to do enough to encourage lessons being learnt which promote future patient safety”.

It said: “Figures show that, in 2020/21, £2.26bn was spent from the NHS budget to settle claims and pay legal costs arising from clinical negligence claims. A further £7.9bn was spent on compensation from claims settled in previous years, meaning that over £10bn of money was spent on clinical negligence claims which could have been spent on patient care.

“The total potential liabilities arising from all negligence claims made up to the end of 2020/21 was £82.8bn, increasing by about £5.7bn every year.”

In a parliamentary debate last month to mark baby loss awareness week, the committee’s chair, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, said “we need a system where people are entitled to compensation as soon as it is accepted that a mistake was made without the necessity to prove clinical negligence”.

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