Costs News

14 October 2021
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News in brief - 14.10.2021

New Costs Lawyer magazine ready to read

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

 

Bacon on top

Nick Bacon QC, a familiar name and face to members of the ACL, has been elected head of chambers at 4 New Square. He will serve a term of three years, starting on 1 November. He also holds a judicial appointment, sitting as a recorder, and various other roles including co-chair of the Bar Council’s remuneration committee.

 

Credit hire company order to pay defendant’s costs

Credit hire companies cannot use fraudulent claims as a convenient “camel”, a judge has ruled.

According to a briefing by DWF on Parvez v Calpe Insurance Company Ltd – XS Direct Insurance, the claimant brought claims for personal injury, recovery, storage and credit hire following a road traffic accident in February 2018.

His claim was pleaded up to a value of £17,000, with credit hire of £14,706 and storage and recovery of £1,590.

Liability, causation and quantum were all disputed by the defendant. At trial, Recorder Lambert QC dismissed the claim and found the personal injury claim to be fundamentally dishonest. The whole claim was struck out and the claimant was ordered to pay the defendant's costs. 

As the claimant was unlikely to be able to afford to pay, the defendant pursued the credit hire company for its costs and, at a hearing, it was ordered to pay 90% of them.

DWF recounted: “The judge found that this type of litigation was ‘a convenient camel for hire companies to ride across the plains until they are brought to an oasis and can drink water from defendant insurers’.

“However, as the majority of the claim was brought for the benefit of the credit hire company, the judge did not allow them to sit and hide behind the impecunious claimant, even where the dishonesty appeared to be solely attributed to the claimant.”

David Unwin, chartered legal executive at DWF who handled the case, said: "This was a useful decision as the judge found that the relationship between the credit hire company and the claimant did not have to be exceptional in order to find that the credit hire company should pay the defendant's costs pursuant to CPR 44.16.”

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