News in brief 27 October 2016

ACL survey – please take part

The ACL is carrying out a survey to gauge members’ views about costs budgeting and the new bill of costs. We would be grateful for a couple of minutes of your time to give your views on an anonymous basis. Click here to take part.

Burcher Jennings beats the Brum

Costs firm Burcher Jennings has expanded its network still further with the opening of an office in Birmingham. It is led costs consultant Renatas Girdziusas, who joins from Civil and Commercial Costs Lawyers. It is the fourth office Burcher Jennings has opened this year, following Cambridge, Truro and Manchester.

Bird v Acorn hits Court of Appeal

Last week, the Court of Appeal heard the leapfrogged appeal on the contentious issue of which fixed costs apply in portal ‘drop-out’ cases when they settle before trial.

This question has led to several conflicting first instance decisions. The central issue arises from the practice of some county courts to list ‘drop-out’ cases for a disposal hearing in the first directions order, arguably skipping a stage in the fixed costs tables in CPR 45.29, and the case subsequently settles before that disposal hearing.

The question then is which stage has been reached – and particularly whether the stages are sequential, meaning you have to go through one to reach the higher fee in the next stage – and whether a disposal hearing is a trial.

The case before the court, Bird v Acorn Group, was a public liability claim where the claimant argued for the third column – meaning £3,790 plus 27.5% of the damages – while the defendant contended that the first column still applied, meaning £2,450 plus 17.5% of the damages. District Judge Campbell ruled in favour of the claimant, saying that once the matter was listed for disposal, “the case, in my view, moved into column 3”.

The Court of Appeal reserved judgment.

Picture credit: Cristian Bortes

This post was posted in ACL e-Bulletin

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Costs News
Published date
31 Oct 2016

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