Holiday sickness claims and fixed costs

The minutes of the Rule Committee’s February meeting show some progress on holiday sickness claims. The core idea to extend fixed recoverable costs to these cases has been on its agenda since late last year, following the Ministerial announcement last year.

Proposed changes to fixed costs (CPR Part 45) seek to apply PL costs to these cases. A relevant pre-action protocol (PAP) is still in draft form – very probably based on the general personal injury PAP – and being worked up between the Committee and the Civil Justice Council. Some CPR points also need clarification, for example the application of Part 36 offers and the overlap with small claims (Part 27).

The recently published February minutes strongly suggest that the intention is still to bring the changes into force this April. Minutes are not yet available from the 2 March meeting and the next meeting takes place on 13 April. Given that a statutory instrument – which has to follow a defined Parliamentary timetable – is required to change rules on procedure and costs, there is some possibility that the proposed introduction of fixed costs for holiday sickness claims in April 2018 could slip. We will report any further developments soon as we can.


Co-written by Alistair Kinley, BLM’s director of policy and government affairs, and partner Sarah Hill

Fixed costs in clinical negligence claims due in October 2016

This week Health Minister Ben Gummer MP dealt with ten written questions from MPs about clinical negligence. His answers reconfirm the Government’s intention to introduce fixed recoverable costs (FRC) from 1 October 2016 for these cases. Public consultation about options and models should therefore be expected fairly soon and certainly before Easter if the October implementation date is to be met.

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