Jennifer Rhind Archive

When will qualified one-way costs shifting apply?

Qualified one-way costs shifting, otherwise known as QOCS, was introduced for personal injury claims on 1 April 2013 following the Jackson Reforms. The aim of QOCS was to assist in establishing a balance for claimants who, following implementation of the Jackson Reforms, were no longer able to recover Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”) success fees or After the Event (“ATE”) insurance premiums from their opponent.

Will discontinuance of a claim reverse previous costs orders?

Following the issue of proceedings, a claimant may decide to discontinue their claim if they no longer feel the claim is worth pursuing. The Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) provide rules as to who will be liable for the legal costs when a claim is discontinued in all cases other than case in the small claims track, i.e. cases which are below £10,000. CPR Part 38.6 provides:

Consequences of withdrawing a Part 36 offer

A Part 36 offer is a formal offer which can be used to settle all or part of an action but it is not an admission of liability. The rules surrounding Part 36 offers are contained within the Civil Procedure Rules and the aim is to encourage parties to try and settle their disputes. A party must consider any offers carefully as failure to accept a realistic offer may mean that you are at risk of being penalised in costs and interest.

Can I sue my solicitor for failing to advise me on the various funding options available to me?

A solicitor should always advise a client on the different types of funding options available to them, even if they are not an option for funding litigation that is offered by that firm. This obligation arises from the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct 2007.

Failure to file a revised costs budget

The recent High Court decision in Simpson v MGN Limited and another [2015] EWHC 126 (QB), has highlighted that a failure to submit a revised costs budget to cover the costs of a trial of a preliminary issue and a failure to serve a costs statement upon the opponent will not necessary mean that costs are assessed at nil.

Solicitors’ costs assessed at nil for failure to advise on alternative forms of funding

The recent High Court decision in McDaniel & Co (a Firm) -v- Clarke [2014] EWHC 3826 (QB) has highlighted the need for a solicitor to advise a client on all types of funding that may be available to them to progress a claim. The consequences of not providing full advice to a client are that solicitors’ costs may be assessed at nil.

New costs budgeting regime may speed up the process of recovering costs

The normal rule in litigation is that the loser pays the winner’s legal costs. The successful party will most likely have paid legal costs throughout the proceedings and will want to recover as much of these as quickly as possible. The process of recovering costs can be a separate piece of litigation itself, however, a recent Court decision has highlighted that the new costs budgeting regime may speed up the process of recovering costs at the conclusion of a matter and reduce the need to engage in further proceedings.
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