30.03.2010Higgins v Ministry of Defence  EWHC 654 (QB)
Key issues: High Court, non-local solicitors
The Claimant in this case was an elderly man dying of cancer and asbestosis and issued a claim for damages for Industrial Disease against his former employers. Even though he didn’t live in London, he instructed a firm of London-based solicitors, who had been recommended by his consultant.
This case was concerned with whether it was reasonable in these circumstances for the Claimant to instruct the firm in question.
The Judge on first instance ruled that in the circumstances it was reasonable to instruct a London firm, as per Truscott v Truscott. This was upheld on appeal.
29.03.2010Silvera v Bray Walker Solicitors (A Firm) & Ors  EWCA Civ 332
Key issues: “Old-Style” CFA, CFA, CFA Regs 2000, Court of Appeal, success fee
This case was concerned with whether a pre-November 2005 CFA could be enforced where no reasons were given regarding the level of success fee.
It was held that the significant amount of oral advice given to the client prior to him signing the CFA – including in a meeting with the solicitors – ensured that there was no breach of the then-CFA Regulations.
12.03.2010Kris Motor Spares Ltd. v Fox Williams LLP  EWHC 1008 (QB)
Key issues: ATE, High Court, Solicitor/Own client
This was a Solicitor/Own Client dispute arising out of a claim against a firm of stockbrokers.
On the first day of a hearing over a preliminary issue, the Solicitors served a Notice of Funding for an ATE premium.
The client was ordered to pay the costs of the assessment, including the ATE premium. However, the client appealed the ruling over the ATE premium because it was taken out late on and because of the amount claimed.
The appeal was dismissed because it was held to be reasonable to take it out due to the client instructing Leading Counsel and, in any event, the client did not provide evidence as to why it was unreasonable.
03.03.2010Parker v Seixo  EWHC 90102 (Costs)
Key issues: ATE, SCCO
The main action was a RTA in which the Defendant admitted liability with the Protocol period.
The Claimant subsequently took out an ATE with a staged premium. On Assessment, the Defendant disputed the premium as being unreasonable.
It was held that because the premium had been individually rated the Court was not in a better position to assess it than the underwriter and so it was allowed in full.
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