News in brief 13th October 2016

Barristers put costs mediation centre stage

Kings Chambers has become the latest set to launch a specialist costs mediation service. Its six specialist costs barristers have also joined the panel of mediators at Costs ADR.

Harry Young, Costs Clerk at Kings Chambers, said: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of costs litigation with the launch of ADR in Costs. The recent shift towards supporting and encouraging parties to engage in ADR has seen an increase in the demand for specialism in this niche area.

“Penalties for failing to engage in ADR are becoming increasingly commonplace and we’re certain there is a growing demand in the marketplace for this. We’re creating an environment in which parties can seek to resolve their differences in a cost effective and creative manner rather than having the matter resolved publicly in the courts.”

Costs ADR recently won the award for innovation at the Halsbury Legal Awards.

Bar Council warns over risks of not recording work properly

The Bar Council has issued revised guidance to barristers on how best to record their work done for fees purposes. The ethics committee warns: “Clients in cases where you fail to keep proper records to support claimed fees may find the fees reduced. You may then find that a complaint of inadequate professional service may be upheld, in which circumstance you can be ordered to reduce or waive fees and/or to pay compensation.”

It says, among other things, that when a brief fee has not been agreed and is claimed in a sum greater than the product of an hourly rate and the number of hours actually worked in preparation of the brief, “this should be recorded in a note to be submitted with the fee note”.

For the full guidance, click here.

PI reforms shelved

The government has unexpectedly shelved its reform of personal injury claims – at least for now, it has emerged today. An email to members of the Association of British Insurers from James Dalton, its director of general insurance policy said “the Secretary of State has decided she does not want to proceed with the reforms at the moment”. The proposals, first announced in the Autumn Statement last November, would see the small claims limit for personal injury rise from £1,000 to £5,000, and the right to claim damages for low-value soft-tissue injuries removed.

But a subsequent statement from the Ministry of Justice indicated that the issue was not off the agenda. “The number and cost of whiplash claims remains too high, increasing premiums for ordinary motorists,” a spokesman said. “We remain committed to tackling this issue, and will set out our plans in due course.” It is understood that the government feels that despite the reforms introduced to date to tackle the high number and cost of whiplash claims, the number of claims remains too high and it still intends to act.


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Costs News
Published date
14 Oct 2016

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