Jackson in Action: case law
In our regular monthly round up of cases we look at the effects of the changes to the Civil Procedure Rules under the Jackson Reforms:
Fixed recoverable costs regime: In Bird v Acorn (2016) and Qader v Esure (2016) the Court of Appeal considered the application and the extent of the fixed recoverable costs (FRC) regime. In Bird, the Court concluded that where a court listed a case for disposal without allocating to track and that case then settled, that a claimant was entitled to recover the same level of FRCs as if the case had been listed for a trial and the third column on the right of the tables at CPR 45.29E was engaged. In Qader, the Court concluded that FRCs do not apply to cases that start in the Portal but which are then allocated to the multi-track. The fact that the rules said that FRCs did apply in such cases was as a result of a drafting error the Court concluded. Read more about both cases in our legal update: The application and limit of the fixed recoverable costs regime
Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting/Fundamental Dishonesty: In Meadows v La Tasca Restaurants Ltd (2016) HHJ Hodge QC, sitting in Manchester County Court, overturned the decision of the District Judge to remove QOCS protection following a personal injury trial, on the basis that the claimant had been fundamentally dishonest, for the purpose of CPR r.44.16. The claimant had failed to prove her case on the balance of probabilities. In a case where fraud had not been pleaded or put to the claimant in cross examination, the District Judge’s conclusion that the claim was fundamentally dishonest fell well outside the ambit of reasonable judicial decision making. 16/6/16
Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting/Fundamental Dishonesty: In Thompson v Go North East & Bott & Co Solcitors (2016) District Judge Charnock-Neal, allowed an application to set aside a notice of discontinuance and made an order to suspend QOCS on the basis that the claimant’s decision to commence proceedings after service of CCTV evidence which put into question his version of events and his making of a Part 36 offer interfered with the just disposal of proceedings under CPR r.44.15. The court also concluded that the claim was fundamentally dishonest for the purpose of CPR r.44.16 as the claimant had deliberately or carelessly sought to mislead the court. The court went on to make an order for costs against the claimant’s solicitors under s.51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, that they pay the defendant’s costs from 10/2/16 to 30/8/16. The claimant’s solicitors acted improperly by failing to forward on the CCTV to the claimant’s medical expert and by drafting a witness statement that described a different mechanism for the claimant’s injuries, which was in contradiction to that seen in the CCTV footage, which the solicitors were in possession of at the time the statement was drafted. 30/8/16
Relief from sanctions/security for costs: In Pittville Ltd (As Assignee of the Rights of Mastercigars Direct Ltd) v Hunters and Frankau Ltd & Anor (2016) a claimant’s inability to meet an order requiring them to give security for costs was not a good reason for the claimant’s failure to comply with the order. The substantive application requiring security for costs was made because there was concern that the claimant could meet the defendant’s costs in the event that there were unsuccessful in pursuing their action against them. Snowden J, sitting in the Chancery Division overturned the Master’s grant of relief. 27/10/16
For further information please contact Marcus Davies, Professional Support Executive on 0161 603 5146
This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.