One month on from Jackson implementation day, and what has changed?
Relief from sanctions were supposed to have been beefed up, but reports from court say nothings changed.
Budgeting is now in force, but is this any different to what good practices already did? Good practice stipulates providing the client with an estimate and regular updates being issued before they are exceeded. Costs lawyers and draftsmen have been helping do this for years.
My favourite change is part 36 offers in costs proceedings, capable of resulting in an increase of 10% should the Judge side with the receiving party on an assessment of costs.
As for Qualified One-way Costs Shifting, the Court of Appeal made sure that these survived the first challenge with their decision in Flatman v Germany, whereby they ruled that a solicitor would have to do more than fund disbursements in order that the successful defendant could not argue for a third party funding order and seek costs from the Claimant Solicitor. It was made clear that the Court of Appeal’s decision was made for policy reasons to enable QOCS to have a chance to survive.
The big changes are to come for personal injury lawyers, with the reduction in portal fees coming in and the expansion of portal fees to Employers Liability claims in July along with fixed fees for those cases escaping the portal.
That said, here at Carlisle Legal Costing, we’re one step ahead of the rest with news and views from both working at the coal face and seeing a wide range of practices to help share best practices.