Changes to the power of tribunals to award costs are expected to be introduced in April 2012.
It is intended that the cap on tribunals to award of costs will increase from £10,000 to £20000, unless assessment is by the court where higher awards may be achieved. We recently recovered £400,000.
To make matters more ‘interesting’ the increase in cap is to be coupled with a move away from the general presumption of ‘No Order For Costs” towards the normal presumption of civil matters which is costs follow the event, and the loser pays with both parties being able to ask for their costs if offers have been beaten.
This change is in stark contrast to the Jackson reforms where costs certainty is being preached and moves are afoot to introduce more fixed costs and qualified one way costs shifting – as in the defendant cannot seek to recover costs.
It is clearly a good time to check your retainers, whether they be damages based agreements (contigency fee agreements) or Legal Expense Insurance for companies given the changes in costs consequences.
Carlisle Legal Costing are experienced in advising on client care retainers as well as recovery of costs from tribunal matters. Contact us on 01228 63 55 45 if you require any further advice or assistance.