Costs News

30 July 2015
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News in brief 30th July 2015

Yorkshire first for McAulay
Andrew McAulay, a Costs Lawyer and partner at Leeds firm Clarion, has been shortlisted in the rising star category of the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2015 – the first Costs Lawyer ever to make a shortlist at the awards. Mr McAulay, who heads Clarion’s costs and litigation funding team, is chair of the ACL’s education committee as well as being a tutor for the training course. He also regularly lectures on costs law and litigation funding to law students at Leeds City College. The awards ceremony will be held on 22 October.

Hearing loss claims probed
The Ministry of Justice has asked the Civil Justice Council to investigate the number and cost of claims for noise-induced hearing loss, the rising number of which has been highlighted repeatedly by the insurance industry. A spokesman for the ministry said: “In response to ongoing concern about the number and cost of noise-induced hearing loss claims, we have asked the Civil Justice Council to consider the issue and to make recommendations. This builds on the recent substantial civil justice reforms designed to control costs and discourage unnecessary litigation while allowing access to justice for meritorious cases.”

George’s long and winding road
George Easten, a member of the ACL’s Student Council, is cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats in aid of Mind, the mental health charity, and Together For Short Lives, a charity providing support to children with terminal illnesses and their families. Starting on 8 August 2015, the trip will take two weeks at approximately 80 miles a day. He will be cycling alone for up to 10 hours a day without a support team. To sponsor him, click here.

Judicial review funding plans revealed
Applicants for judicial review will have to complete a declaration of financial resources, verified by a statement of truth, before permission can be granted, under plans unveiled by the Ministry of Justice last week.

In a consultation issued to implement provisions contained in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, the government said that, if the claimant has the funds to cover potential liabilities, or has applied for or been granted legal aid, then they would not have to provide any further information.

If otherwise funded, the claimant would have to state the name and address of each contributor to the potential costs – subject to a threshold – and the size of their contribution. If a corporate body, it would have to provide the names, addresses and interest in the claimant of its members.

Where required, it would be for the claimant to estimate the likely cost of the JR, but the current intention is that they would not have to provide this figure or justify it.

None of this information would not be shared with the defendant, interested parties or the public.

As an alternative, the MoJ sought views on whether to require the claimant to provide some analysis of the likely cost of the claim, allowing the court to consider whether the declaration was made correctly.

The consultation said the requirement to name third-party funders would kick in if they contributed at least £1,500. This would “achieve the required balance between the court having the information it requires, without having a chilling effect on small contributions made without an expectation of control or inundating the court with unnecessary information”, the MoJ argued.

However, the MoJ emphasised that these reforms neither affected the law on when costs should be awarded against a third party, nor created any requirement to secure a particular level of funding before permission can be granted.

The consultation also sought views on the implementation of provisions to codify the protective costs order regime for the purposes of JR as costs-capping orders. Environmental cases covered by the Aarhus Convention would be exempt. It suggested that the information the court would require to make an order would have to be more extensive than for an application for permission.

The consultation can be found here. It is open until 15 September.

See you in a fortnight
As we hit the holiday period, the next newsletter will reach your inbox in a fortnight.

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