News in brief 9 March 2017

New Council members

Paul Bracewell has been elected and David Cooper re-elected to the ACL Council following the recent four-way vote.

 

Pre-LASPO CFAs under scrutiny

Solicitors who signed up clients before LASPO came into force on 1 April but did not provide any litigation services until after that date fall foul of the Act and facing losing their entitlement to recover their entire claim for costs, a defendant solicitor has warned following a district judge ruling.

According to a briefing by defendant firm DWF about Choudhury (suing by his Litigation Friend) v Markerstudy Limited, the bill of costs recorded just one undated routine telephone call to the claimant prior to 1 April 2013 and a routine letter about what would be involved in the claim. District Judge Wildsmith, sitting in York, found that no litigation services were provided to the litigation friend or the claimant prior to 1 April. The telephone call was linked to the letter that outlined the nature of the funding arrangement, he said.

Will Mackenzie, senior managing costs advisor at DWF, who represented the defendant, said: “Pre 1 April 2013, solicitors and counsel were all in a rush to enter into CFAs and CCFAs to ensure that a success fee was recoverable.

“According to the judgment of District Judge Wildsmith, unless substantive work was done to progress the claim, claimants and counsel are likely to be found to have fallen foul of the relevant regulations and lose entitlement to recover their entire claim for costs.”

 

Legal aid group seminar

A reminder that the ACL’s Legal Aid Group is holding a full-day seminar on 20 March in Manchester. Speakers will include Matthew Gold of Matthew Gold & Co Solicitors and Carol Storer, director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group. There will also be a presentation of the ACL new format bill and a member of the working group will be present to answer queries. The event, which costs £120 + VAT, attracts five hours of CPD. Click here to book.

This post was posted in ACL e-Bulletin

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31 Mar 2017

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