Hot on the heels of the Claimant friendly judgement of Simcoe v Jacuzzi, comes the murmurs that the Defendants are to appeal.
Also in the news, Prime Minister David Cameron has “committed the government” to reducing the RTA portal costs of £1200 payable to Claimant Solicitors along with suggesting that a minimum impact speed will be necessary to establish a claim for whiplash.
Lets think about this. The aim is to reduce costs. However, this will surely mean more Claimant Solicitors seeking to escape the portal thus satellite litigation about premature issue etc. More costs incurred. Secondly, more satellite litigation over the speed of impact – he says he was doing 30mph, she said it was more like 10 mph. More increased costs with the crash investigators being called out.
So two suggestions by David Cameron to reduce costs will in all probability increase costs. Objective failed.
When will people actually realise when they are actually better off, or have achieved the best possible result, and just need to get on with things. It reminds me of when Claims Direct first came to power with an insurance premium of circa £1215 with no success fee. The insurance industry cried foul and brought down the house of Claims Direct. This was replaced with the house of staged premiums and success fees for PI work. If the Master of the Rolls thinks £75k for costs is bad as was the case in Simcoe, just seen a case where the premium alone was £75k for damages of £20k and costs of circa £20k. Oh how the insurers wish they hadn’t killed Claims Direct Mk I (ie not the RJW incarnation).
The decision in Simcoe v Jacuzzi UK Group PLC  EWCA Civ 137 is now available.
The outcome was that interest on costs runs from the date of judgement in all cases whether they be funded under a CFA or otherwise, to include third party funding.
The issue on the appeal concerned the date from which interest should run on an award of costs in favour of a successful claimant, whose legal representatives were retained under a conditional fee agreement (a ‘CFA’), in a personal injury claim brought in the County Court. The background was that the claimant, Mr Simcoe, was employed by the defendant, Bradford Jacuzzi UK, for the purpose of assembling shower cubicles. By 2005, he was suffering pain as a result of the repetitive nature of the work involved. In that connection, he instructed Irwin Mitchell Solicitors LLP to act for him in proceedings for damages against the defendant. Irwin Mitchell agreed to act under a conditional fee (often known as ‘no win no fee’) basis, and in due course the claimant entered into a conditional fee agreement (a ‘CFA’) on 5 October 2007. Following an agreement being reached between the parties regarding costs, District Judge Hill was requested to rule whether interest should run on those costs from the date of the settlement of the damages claim or the date of settlement of the claim for costs. District Judge Hill summarily found that the case of Gray v Toner should apply, and he ruled that the interest should run from the latter date based on the Allocatur Rule.
An appeal was taken and due to its importance, was transferred to the Court of Appeal. On Appeal various points were taken and the The Master of The Rolls found in favour of the Claimant and ruled that the interest runs on costs from the date of judgement – the incipitur rule applies and issued a note of warning to all with regards to continued satellite litigation over costs “which would do the legal system no credit”.