Law Society Wasted Costs

“The Court of Appeal upheld an unsuccessful decision on costs against a Buckinghamshire company and ruled that it was `complicit` in its client`s `manipulation` of the legal proceedings by failing to provide reasons for refusing to hear say in criminal proceedings.” While no absolute hurdles have been created, lawyers facing requests for wasted costs can find at least some (modest) comfort that this decision is unlikely to require them to appear in court to face cross-examination. “In R (at SN`s request) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Suppression – Principles) IJR [2015] UKUT 227 (IAC), the President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the High Court not only quashes the applicant`s application for judicial review, but also makes an unsuccessful decision on costs against the lawyers and lawyers involved in the case.” “Anecdotal evidence suggests that defendants in stranded personal injury claims are increasingly using the court`s wasted powers to recover costs from plaintiffs` legal representatives. This often happens in cases where the defense is explicitly or implicitly fraud. In such cases, the terms of ATE insurance (if actually owned by the applicant) are often such that the policy does not pay. Thus, defendants are sometimes able to make a decision on costs against a “straw man”. To get around this, some defendants appear to file claims for costs directly against legal representatives, taking advantage of the competence of wasted fees. The recent case of Kagalovsky v. Balmore Invest Ltd [2015] EWHC 1337 (QB)[1] is a salutary reminder of the difficulties a party faces when trying to persuade a court to make a decision on frivolous costs. In the recent case of Hunt v Annolight Limited and Others [2021] EWCA Civ 1663, the Court of Appeal considered the extent to which the court could order a defendant to cross-examine a claim for wasted costs. “Unsuccessful costs orders can only be made against a representative, while non-partisan costs orders can be made against anyone, including a representative.” “Employment tribunals should generally give the benefit of the doubt to a legal representative faced with a claim for waste of costs if his client refuses to waive the privilege,” the chairman of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled. “In HB, PB and OB -v- London Borough of Croydon [2013] EWHC 1956 (Fam), Cobb J.

had to consider whether a local authority which had been ordered to file a report under section 37 and whose failure to do so properly had resulted in wasted costs should bear those costs wasted on interrupted hearing days. The power to make such a decision on costs is left to the discretion of the court (Senior Courts Act 1981 s51 (1)) and, by reference to FPR 2010 28.1, the court may make such an order as it considers justified. The local authority was sufficiently closed in the dispute and its shortcomings were so serious that they justified issuing what the court should consider an exceptional decision. While the reasons for the S&D`s decision warrant a full review of the publication, it was initially criticized as it is an example of a default cost situation that arguably over-protects the SRA and the threshold that the SRA must meet to avoid a cost decision is too low. It`s a reminder that lawyers brought before the court can succeed, but for now, this victory may be somewhat Pyrrhic in circumstances where they may still be responsible for a potentially important bill. The SDT acquitted Ms Ellen of wrongdoing, but concluded that there should be no decision on costs, so Ms Ellen had to pay her own legal bill, estimated at £534,000. The full list of reasons has not yet been published, but the Law Society Gazette reports that this was done on the grounds that the proceedings had been “properly and reasonably commenced” and that there was “no good reason to depart from the usual position that no decision on costs should be made.” “The High Court held that if a long-standing hearing before the Employment Court collapsed due to the judge`s refusal on the ground of manifest bias, the plaintiffs in the complaint would not be able to recover damages for unnecessary costs under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) (in particular section 6, the right to a fair trial) or the EU Charter. The SRA will often rely on the CMA`s decision against Flynn Pharma Ltd, Flynn Pharma Holdings Ltd, Pfizer Inc. and Pfizer Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 617 to decide when a regulator should bear the costs. The Court of Appeal held in that case that the starting point for proceedings initiated or defended by a regulatory body exercising its statutory functions should not be a decision on costs, which should be waived only where there is a valid reason. Examples of “good reasons” in this case include, but are not limited to, where a regulator has behaved inappropriately and/or where the winning party is likely to face significant hardship if no cost decision is made.

“James E. Petts outlines some important considerations for local authorities seeking to recover their costs.” The Court of Appeal rejected this absolute prohibition, which it said was not supported by the authorities: section 32.7 of the CPP gave the court the power to order cross-examination if evidence was presented in writing at a hearing other than a hearing. However, the Court of Appeal noted that cross-examination in the area of wasted costs “must be the exception rather than the rule” because the procedure must be as simple and expeditious as fairness allows. Among the factors to be considered by the Court were whether the privilege had been waived, the extent to which the lawyer concerned was aware of the case in which he was to intervene, and whether any cross-examination should be expressly limited in scope (e.g. by reference to the content of a witness statement). On the facts of the case, the decision was not justified and the appeal was allowed. “The Court of Appeal took the very unusual step of deciding that, given the comments it made about it in its main judgment, a judge should have refrained from hearing an award of costs against counsel for a party.” In a consultation paper on its draft business plan for next year, LSB says the tightening market is causing “growing concern about the ability of legal providers to purchase low-cost insurance. This growing financial pressure could lead to higher costs for consumers. It could also reduce the number of legal practitioners operating in the market, which could affect consumers` ability to access justice.

Court of Appeal Issues Guidelines on Respondents` Cross-Examination of Wasted Cost Claims “The trial court refused to issue HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) a wasted costs order, even though its opponents directed their QC to the wrong issue.” The Lawyer`s Disciplinary Tribunal (“SDT”) ruled that although a female lawyer has been acquitted of wrongdoing, she must always pay her own legal costs for the defence of the prosecution. Mr Hunt`s lawyers faced unsuccessful requests from a number of defendants after his case was dropped at the district court hearing.