News in brief 29.11.2018

Last chance to take ACL survey

Members will know that we carry out a survey of views at the Annual Conference. We had a great response, but you can still take it online here. You can take it even if you were not in attendance at the conference and it only takes five minutes to complete.


Withdrawn part 36 offer still taken into account

A High Court judge has made no order for costs after a defendant withdrew a part 36 offer after trial but before judgment. Mr Justice Marcus Smith said withdrawal meant the offer would not “automatically” involve the costs consequences laid down in part 36, but it was a “relevant factor” to be taken into account.

In BritNed Development v ABB AB and another [2018] EWHC 3142 (Ch), he found that the claimant was the winner in terms of who wrote the cheque, but in terms of expectation was “substantially the loser”, as it had recovered just under 10% of its own part 36 offer of €135m.

He said ABB had made a part 36 offer which remained open throughout the trial, and which BritNed failed to beat.

Marcus Smith J concluded that the existence of ABB’s part 36 offer was not enough to reverse the incidence of costs. “So I do not consider that ABB should have a costs order in its favour. But I do consider that the making of a commercial offer early on that was not beaten by BritNed does mean that it would be unjust for ABB to pay any of BritNed’s costs.

“Looking, then, at the overall justice of this case, as I must, the order that I make is that there be no order as to costs.”


Gauke offers criminal barristers more cash

Lord Chancellor David Gauke has headed off possible action by criminal law barristers by adding a further £8m to the £15m he was already intending to inject into the Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme.

Speaking at Saturday’s Bar conference, he said: “I want to say to you that I do understand and recognise your concerns about the sustainability of criminal advocacy. I also recognise the work which goes into conducting complex cases.”

He said the extra £23m “will be mostly targeted at cases conducted by junior advocates to support continued investment in the profession”.

Mr Gauke added: “We will also bring a proposed 1% increase to all fees forward so that the rise comes into effect alongside the planned introduction of the new scheme, rather than from April next year.”

Bar Council chair Andrew Walker welcomed the announcement: “The bringing forward of the 1% increase to all fees to coincide with when the other increases take effect, rather than from April next year, is also an important gesture of goodwill on the part of the Ministry of Justice, which recognises that the process has taken longer than originally understood.”

Exclusive Access

Members only article

This article is exclusively for ACL members. Please log in to proceed, or click the button below to fill out an application from and become a part of our professional community.

Post details

Post type
Costs News
Published date
29 Nov 2018

Fill this form out to be notified when booking goes live.

Your Full Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.