Costs News

26 September 2019
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News in brief - 26.09.2019

Wasted costs order made following relief opposition

The High Court has made a wasted costs order against solicitors who acted unreasonably in failing to amend the claimant’s claim as directed and in opposing an application for relief from sanctions following a 44-minute delay in the defendant serving witness evidence.

The case of McClelland v The Chief Constable of Sussex Police, decided by His Honour Judge Simpkiss, sitting as a High Court judge, was reported by Ian Clarke of 1 Chancery Lane, who represented the chief constable. The solicitors, Sophie Khan and Co, were represented by PJ Kirby QC of Hardwicke.

 

Clinical negligence fixed costs “on way”

The Senior Costs Judge, Andrew Gordon-Saker (pictured), revealed that proposals to fix costs in clinical negligence claims worth up to £25,000 “have finally emerged and [are] going up to government imminently”, according to a tweet from ACL special adviser Professor Dominic Regan at this week’s Costs Law Report conference.

 

Newberry spearheads costs and funding push

Well-known Costs Lawyer Glenn Newberry is spearheading a new offering, ‘Total Dispute Finance’ (TDF), for Eversheds, where he is head of costs and litigation funding.

TDF opens up the full range of funding options for clients, including damages-based agreements. Working with Eversheds’ Manchester senior partner Michael Clavell-Bate, Mr Newberry said he spent a year meeting clients, funders, brokers and insurers to develop the offer, and has established panels of litigation funders and after-the-event insurers to support cases.

He said: “We’re getting to the stage where all big commercial claims will have an element of risk-sharing with the lawyers.”

Mr Newberry, who has been running training for partners in every office, said the traditional response to client concerns about the cost of litigation was simply to offer a discount on hourly rates.

The new approach meant that Eversheds could actually offer a larger discount, combined with a full conditional fee agreement with success fee, and then take out insurance for some of its contingent work in progress – ending up with more than had it simply offered a smaller discount.

 

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