Costs News

22 July 2021
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News in brief - 22.07.2021

New costs firm launches in Manchester

Costs Lawyers Victoria Morrison-Hughes and Tom Walsh have launched Integral Legal Costs, a new firm in South Manchester.

Ms Morrison-Hughes was head of the Manchester office of Burcher Jennings – having previously run her own practice – while Mr Walsh was most recently managing director of Oracle Cost Consultants.

Ms Morrison-Hughes said the aim was to become clients’ “most trusted advisor”, offering “the same emotional and professional investment” that solicitors have with their own clients.”

 

NHS costs pay-outs fall as settlements rise

NHS Resolution paid out £448m in claimant legal costs for cases that it closed in the year to 31 March 2021, a fall of £49m on the year before.

Its own legal costs were £151m, up £8m, according to the NHS Resolution annual report, published last week.

“There has been a reduction in the volume of high-value claims in particular that have had damages and claimant legal costs payments, and the average value of those payments has reduced during 2020/21,” the report said.

“This may be in part due to the operational challenges experienced in the legal and health environments during the pandemic to progress claims.

“Also, costs are increased when a case enters formal court proceedings and therefore the decrease in claims entering formal proceedings may also have contributed to the decrease in spending in these areas.”

The increase in its own legal costs was due to NHS Resolution taking on the new indemnity schemes for general practice, including assuming management of several thousand historic claims.

The average value of costs paid in closed clinical claims between £25,000 and £100,000 has declined from a peak of £60,721 in 2016/17 and was down marginally in the last year to £48,410.

There has not been the same trend in claims valued at up to £25,000, for which 2020/21 saw average costs reach a near-record high of £21,617.

In 2020/21, 74% of claims settled without court proceedings, compared to a low of 63% five years earlier. Of 299 mediated cases, 77% of cases settled on the day or within 28 days of the mediation.

The service closed 15,397 claims in 2020/21, a 6% drop it attributed to the operational challenges of Covid.

 

Eversheds podcast highlights role of Costs Lawyers in legal project management

Eversheds Sutherland’s legal project management team has broadcast a podcast on the role of Costs Lawyers in litigation. Presented by James Barrett, a Costs Lawyer and senior legal project manager at Eversheds Sutherland, it features Louise Hoyle, a senior associate and Costs Lawyer at the firm, and ACL vice-chair Frances Kendall. It can be heard here.

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