Costs News

13 February 2020
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News in brief - 13.02.2020

Part 36 and QOCS changes in CPR update

The 113th update to the CPR – taking effect in April – includes two changes to costs provisions.

First, CPR 52.22(1) on appeals is being amended to make it clear that the court may have a hearing of both substantive issues and costs issues and that, in such circumstances, the usual restrictions on informing the court of a part 36 offer is removed.

The other change follows the Court of Appeal ruling in Brown v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis last October, regarding qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) in ‘mixed’ claims. The court considered the wording of paragraph 12.6 of practice direction 44 to be wrong and require urgent amendment. The amendment changes the reference to proceedings being ones “to which rule 44.16 applies” with a narrower and more accurate reference to proceedings to which one of two specific provisions in issue apply.

 

Supreme Court refuses permission for VAT appeal

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling in British Airways PLC v Prosser [2019] EWCA Civ 547, in which it was held that a solicitor does not have to investigate whether a medical reporting organisation (MRO) is right to charge VAT on the whole of its bill.

The Court of Appeal, which said the case affected “thousands” of others, issued guidance that said an MRO should usually be able to charge VAT on the whole bill and not just its administration fee, and solicitors could do the same.

In deciding not to grant permission, the Supreme Court said: “Permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise a point of law which ought to be considered at this time for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the appeal arises out of an extended obiter dictum. This is not the right case in which to argue the VAT point.”

 

CCMS training survey

The Legal Aid Agency is considering options to expand, update and review the existing CCMS Training website and has published a short online survey to ascertain views and opinions on the current offering. Click here.

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