The Practical Lawyer

Personal injury

Interim costs – requires clear application

The HC has refused an application in a clinical negligence case for interim costs of £150,000. The judge pointed out that the supporting witness statement failed to address any key issues and was just a ‘cri de coeur’ for more money. The HC accepted the need for solicitors engaged in heavy and protracted litigation to expect adequate cash flow, however, such applications must be properly argued. Helpfully the judge set out examples of the information which applicants for interim costs may wish to specify:
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Infant approval hearing – top tips

An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the settlement of claims of those under 18 who have been injured. CPR 21 provides the rules relating to cases involving children and protected parties; this article gives practitioners some helpful guidance about the actual hearings.
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Anonymity orders - rare

As the name implies, an anonymity order is an order in relation to court proceedings which withholds the name of the parties but not the fact that the proceedings took place. The principle of open justice means that the press will be permitted to attend hearings and report on them in the absence of an anonymity order.

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Fixed costs - the norm

Costs disputes often revolve around whether a case should attract fixed costs or standard basis costs - often the difference between the two can make it a contentious issue. A recent case considered this point within the context of an RTA and whether the situation was sufficiently exceptional to avoid fixed costs.

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Experts - joint statement

CPR 35.12 provides for discussions between experts. These are not obligatory unless directed by the court, but such direction may be given at any stage of the proceedings. The object of the discussion is:

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Exaggeration – or fundamentally dishonest?

A recent case considered the provisions of s57 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 which provides that, in a PI claim, if, on the balance of probabilities, the claimant has been fundamentally dishonest,
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Fatal accident – benevolence exception

Benevolence exceptions are contributions made by a third party or as part of a disaster fund which cannot be deducted from personal injury settlements. 
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ATE insurer – in liquidation

LAMP Insurance is a leading ATE insurer for personal injury and negligence claims. It has gone into liquidation. A note on its website states that the company’s insurance policies that have not expired remain in force. However, as the company is insolvent it is unable to make any claim payments. Policyholders are advised to immediately consider acquiring alternative insurance protection. Where policyholders have bought policies from the company through an insurance broker, solicitor or other intermediary, they should consult that person to seek advice as to what options are open to them.

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Fixed recoverable costs – payable if £25k limit exceeded

Fixed recoverable costs (FRC) prescribe the amount of damages that can be claimed back from a losing party in civil litigation; they are a way of controlling the legal costs by giving certainty in advance (by reference to grids of costs). FRC give both parties certainty as to the maximum amount they may have to pay if unsuccessful and can ensure that the costs of cases are proportionate to the sum in issue. FRC currently operate in most low-value personal injury cases.

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Psychiatric harm – clarified

The HC has given some welcome clarification in relation to claims involving psychiatric harm. Improvements in clinical understanding of psychiatric harm have resulted in an ever-increasing number of claims for psychiatric harm.

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LPAs – gifts by attorneys
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Trial bundles – careful preparation required
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Infant approval hearing – top tips
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
An interesting article provides some practical advice on achieving the court’s approval in infant approval hearings. This is a mechanism by which the court considers and, hopefully, approves the... Read more...
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – fully into force
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
We have reported in our March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28) editions on the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act which came into force for new tenancies and licences to occupy on 1 June 2019. The Act... Read more...
CVA – use to reduce rent
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
 If a limited company is insolvent, it can use a CVA to pay creditors over a fixed period. If creditors agree, the limited company can continue trading. The CVA has been used by companies in the... Read more...
Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The HC has considered whether or not to correct a mistake on a registered title. Under Sch 4 LRA 2002 the court can order rectification but no order may be made without the proprietor’s consent in... Read more...
Paternity – best interests
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
What’s the court’s approach to paternity cases when the issue arises years after the child’s birth, and in circumstances where both child and F always believed F was the biological father, but... Read more...
Religious beliefs – not always protected
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
The ET has heard an interesting case relating to a person’s religious beliefs. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced... Read more...


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