News in brief 6th October 2016

Court questions use of City solicitors
A recorder has reduced the payment on account of costs sought by a successful defendant, as she used a City solicitor unnecessarily. In Ames v Jones & Ors [2016] EW Misc B67 (CC), an inheritance dispute, the deceased’s daughter, Danielle Ames, brought an action against his wife, Elaine. There was a dispute over the payment on account of costs to which the claimant accepted Elaine was entitled. Elaine lives in north London.

Mr Recorder Halpern QC said, “Elaine’s schedule of costs states that her costs amount to some £85,000, as against Danielle’s figure of about £47,000. Ms Julian [for Elaine] asks for £42,500, being 50%, as an interim payment. Ms Julian states that the main difference between the two figures is caused by the fact that her solicitor is in the City of London, while Danielle’s is in Taunton.

“Mr Wooding [for Danielle] submits that the payment should be in the sum of £34,000, which amounts to 40%. It is understandable that Elaine would want to use a local solicitor, but I have been given no reason why she needed to go to a solicitor in the City of London, rather than in outer London. In the circumstances I order an interim payment of £34,000 to be paid within 14 days.”

New recruits for Bidwell Henderson
Bidwell Henderson – the costs firm that works with self-employed consultants – hired four new consultants, including Costs Lawyer Charlotte Foulston and Trainee Costs Lawyer Nishma Shah. 

Though its core specialism is civil legal aid work, the firm has an inter partes team and director Rebecca Bidwell – a Trainee Costs Lawyer herself – said it has also expanded into direct access, insolvency and criminal costs to meet demand.

All the consultants are self-employed and work either full-time or part-time. There are no targets and the consultants are paid a monthly fee share of the work they produce.

Jackson: Costs management boosts ADR
Costs management has helped to promote alternative dispute resolution (ADR), Lord Justice Jackson has claimed.

In a speech last month to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which explored the relationship between civil justice reform and ADR, Jackson LJ said that, “because of costs management, parties now come to mediations knowing (a) what adverse costs they will pay out if they lose; (b) what costs they will recover if they win; (c) what irrecoverable costs they will have to bear in any event if the case goes to trial. Many mediators say that this is helpful”.

He added that during his review, there was “strong evidence that the regime of recoverable success fees and recoverable ATE premiums was hindering the work of mediators. There were reports of mediations which failed because the huge recoverable success fees and/or recoverable ATE premiums proved a stumbling block. The abolition of recoverable success fees and recoverable ATE premiums removed this stumbling block”.

This post was posted in ACL e-Bulletin


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Costs News
Published date
14 Oct 2016

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