News in brief 25 May 2017

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Jackson “backing off” £250,000 fixed costs threshold

There are signs that Lord Justice Jackson is moving away from extending fixed recoverable costs to cases worth up to £250,000.

Speaking at Monday’s ACL conference in Manchester, Professor Dominic Regan (pictured) said it has become clear that Jackson LJ “has abandoned fixed costs up to £250,000 or anywhere near that figure”.

This was backed up by the Law Society. In his report to last week’s Law Society council meeting, interim chief executive Paul Tennant said: “We anticipate that the final recommendations will move away from the initial suggestion of fixing costs for all claims up to £250,000, although we await clarity on the final figure.

“The report to the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of Rolls must be published by 31 July 2017, although this deadline may be altered in light of the General Election.”

 

CA backs claimant solicitors over stage 1 portal fees

Solicitors do not have to repay the £400 stage 1 fixed-costs payment they received under the original version of the RTA protocol in cases which did not go any further, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Overturning District Judge Phillips in Cardiff after the appeal was leapfrogged to the appeal court, Lord Justice Briggs said there was nothing in the protocol or the CPR that made “any express provision for a right to repayment” in such circumstances, and there was nothing to imply the right either.

Indeed, said Lord Justice Briggs, giving the decision of the court, the rules appeared to point in the opposite direction.

Both the Law Society and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers intervened in favour of the claimant solicitors’ firm in JC and A Solicitors Ltd v Andeen Iqbal and Anor [2017] EWCA Civ 355.

Briggs LJ also said there was no evidence to support the allegation that some unscrupulous solicitors commenced proceedings simply to obtain the £400, without any intention of advancing to stage 2 – what has been dubbed the ‘400 Club’.

The rules were changed in 2013 so that the stage 1 payment is now only payable upon receipt of the stage 2 settlement pack.

This post was posted in ACL e-Bulletin

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Costs News
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26 May 2017

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