Disease claims to become subject to fixed recoverable costs – summary and initial view

Earlier in the week the Ministry of Justice re-affirmed its intention to extend fixed recoverable costs (FRC) to all fast track civil clams claims and, albeit on a different basis, higher value claims below a proposed £100,000 threshold (so-called ‘intermediate value’ cases). Alongside costs budgeting in multitrack cases, a regime of fixed recoverable costs is seen bringing control and predictability to litigation expenses.

Extending FRCs in this way will mean that the majority of disease claims will be captured by FRCs for the first time. When fast track FRCs were introduced in 2013 for ‘portal’ claims, only EL disease (ELD) claims against a single defendant were caught. [It is worth recalling that the portal was conceived for straightforward single claimant vs single defendant claims and for that reason alone it is ill-suited to disease work.]

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Civil justice and the new government

By any measure the outcome of yesterday’s election was a significant point in the UK’s politics. The returning of the Conservative government with a chunky majority means, first and foremost, that the UK will leave the EU in a little over six weeks, on 31 January 2020. In advance of a new Queen’s Speech, likely to be next week, are there already indications of what policies to expect from the new administration in the area of civil justice?

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The RTA protocol has processed over six million claims – but costs points are still going to appeal

Two decisions of the Court of Appeal in recent weeks have referred to approximately six million claims having been started in the low value RTA protocol since its introduction. That number is roughly equivalent to one in ten of the population of England & Wales. Both recent decisions – Aldred v Cham and Lai Ho v Adelekun – examine detailed points of the associated fixed costs regime and are said to affect significant numbers of cases.

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