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The Trinity Term finished yesterday, ending the Legal Year. Today, the Long Vacation commences and normal business in the High Court will not begin again until the Michaelmas Term starts on 1 October 2018. Does that mean that the Judiciary will spend the next two months on the beach with their children or (grandchildren) with buckets and spades? Far from it. Little-known outside legal circles is that the Vacation is also a time when judges complete outstanding judgments and catch up on developments in the Law.

For many, vacation it is not, and no doubt over this period the three Lords Justices who heard Sony Mobile Communications International AB (company incorporated under the laws of Sweden) v SSH Communications Security Corporation (a company incorporated under the laws of Finland) on 24 July 2018 will be pondering the extent to which a costs budget can be varied after trial (on appeal from the decision of Mr Roger Wyand QC – [2016] 6 Costs LR 1141).

A differently constituted bench will also be preparing for the next big costs appeal in West v Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. This is due to be to be heard on October 9 and 10 about the extent to which After-the-Event insurance premiums are permitted to be deconstructed on detailed assessment. It is to be hoped too, that a Justice of Appeal will be considering a renewed application in May v Wavell Group for permission to appeal the judgment of Judge Dight on proportionality, permission having been refused on July 9 on the papers.

At High Court level, Mr Justice Soole will be working on his reserved judgment in Green v SGL Legal LLP and Hanley v JCA Solicitors, about the extent to which solicitors can be compelled to disclose documents not belonging to a former client, where the latter’s intention is to obtain advice about whether the correct funding information was given at the outset of the retainer. If not, the client will expect the return of any success fee or insurance premium overpaid, by order of the costs judge on any subsequent assessment under s 70 of the Solicitors Act 1974. Given that the Senior Courts Costs Office has been inundated with such claims, this is a most important judgment.

Back at Costs Law Reports, we are also taking a summer break but before we do so, we need to give a further briefing about our Conference on Thursday 27 September 2018. This may be our final brief as the Conference Centre has capacity for 120 delegates and our bookings are about to hit three figures, so there is not much room left!

Those thinking of taking the last few places will be interested to learn that we shall be welcoming The Hon. Mr Justice Francis as our keynote speaker. Appointed to the High Court Bench in October 2016, Sir Nicholas was the judge who first heard the sad case of Charlie Gard, the little boy afflicted with mitochondrial syndrome, the condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. In that capacity, he was responsible for making the distressing decision whether to grant the application made by Great Ormond Street Hospitals for the withdrawal of Charlie’s life support.

We could not have hoped for a more appropriate speaker than Sir Nicholas, an enthusiastic supporter of Alternative Dispute Resolution, given the emphasis that the Conference will be placing on mediating the costs of assessment (please see our programme below). We are confident that his views about legal aid (or lack of it) in Family law and where we go (or do not go) from here in terms of public funding will be of enormous interest to delegates.

We are delighted to announce, therefore, how the final programme will unfold:

Thursday 27 September 2018

At the offices of Eversheds Sutherland at 1 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7WS

9.15 – 9.45 Registration and Refreshments

9.45–9.55 Welcome and Introduction. Colin Campbell, Joint Editor, Costs Law Reports.

9.55 –10.25 Key Note Speech. The Honourable Mr Justice Francis.

10.25 – 10.55 Conditional Fee Agreements. Alexander Hutton QC of Hailsham Chambers who was instructed in Radford v Frade, which is reported at [2018] 1 Costs LR 59 and appeared in the Court of Appeal in Surrey v Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust on appeal from [2016] 4 Costs LO 571.

10.55 – 11.25 Solicitors Act 1974, estimates, statute/final bills. Roger Mallalieu of 4 New Square who was instructed in Vlamaki v Sookias and Sookias [2015] 6 Costs LO 827 and Bloomsbury Law Solicitors v Macpherson [2017] 6 Costs LR 1049.

11.25 – 11.50 Refreshments

11.50 – 12.20 Proportionality and case law update. Nicholas Bacon QC of 4 New Square who was instructed in Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2017] 6 Costs LR 1135.

12.20 – 12.45 Costs Budgeting and best practice at CCMC. HHJ Richard Roberts of the Central London County Court.

12.45 – 1.15 Mediation in Costs: the alternative to Detailed Assessment. Simon Browne QC (Mediator), Richard Wilkinson (for the claimant) and James Laughland (for the defendant) – all of Temple Garden Chambers – conduct a mock costs mediation.

1.15 – 2.15pm Lunch

2.15 – 2.45 The Electronic Bill of Costs: implementation and how it works. Master Colum Leonard, Costs Judge and member of the Hutton committee.

2.45 –3.20 The Electronic Bill of Costs in practice, a mock Detailed Assessment. Master Jennifer James, Costs Judge, presiding, advocacy by Shaman Kapoor and Matt Waszak of Temple Garden Chambers.

3.20– 3.50 Sanctions in costs and relief from sanctions. Professor Dominic Regan.

3.50–4.00 Panel Session and Chairman’s closing remarks

4.00 Drinks and canapés kindly sponsored by Temple Garden Chambers.

The Conference is expected to be a sell-out once again, so for those subscribers who wish to book, please click on the link which will take you to the Conference website. We look forward to seeing you in September.

Teresa Aitken

Colin Campbell

Joint Editors of Costs Law Reports

Booking rates:

  • Full Delegate Rate: £275 plus VAT
  • Discount Group Bookings (for two or more delegates): £225 plus VAT


The headnotes and full texts of the cases below are available to online subscribers at Follow Costs Law Reports on Twitter to be notified of new cases as soon as they are published.

New cases this month

Crown Bidco Ltd v Vertu Holdings Oy and Another [2018] 3 Costs LR 455: Order for costs on application to adjourn the trial in order to amend defence to plead fraud: principles to apply.

Woodland v Swimming Teachers Association and Others [2018] 3 Costs LR 469: Bullock orders: appropriate costs order to make where a claimant has succeeded against some defendants and discontinued against others under CPR 38: apportionment of costs as between those defendants ordered to pay costs. FREE THIS MONTH

Al Baho v BGP Global Services Ltd [2018] 3 Costs LR 503: Factors applying on applications to stay detailed assessment of costs pending appeal and payment of costs ordered to be paid on account at the end of trial.

Hincks v Sense Network Ltd [2018] 3 Costs LR 511: Factors applying on applications to stay the costs order pending appeal under CPR 52.16 and the level of any payment on account pending that appeal.

LKH v TQA AL Z (Interim Maintenance and Costs Funding) [2018] 3 Costs LR 519: Legal funding provision by way of maintenance in matrimonial proceedings: whether provision should provide for incurred costs for work undertaken on credit advanced by the applicant’s solicitors.

Various Claimants v Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc [2018] 3 Costs LR 531: Appropriate costs order in group litigation where the claimants had been successful overall but had pursued claims that had been tenuous and had overstated the extent of the issues common to both the direct and the vicarious claims.

Alpha Insurance A/S v Roche and Another [2018] 3 Costs LR 545: Notice of discontinuance under CPR 38; whether order refusing application to plead fundamental dishonesty in order to disapply the QOCS regime should be set aside.

Atlasjet Havacilik Anonim Sirketi v Kupeli and Others [2018] 3 Costs LR 555: Costs order in a group claim where the claims were modest and found to be out of all proportion to the practicalities and honours as between the parties were even.

Shalaby v London North West Healthcare NHS Trust [2018] 3 Costs LR 585: Basis of award of costs under CPR 36.17(4)(b) where judgment entered against the claimant: defendant’s costs payable on the standard not indemnity basis under the rule.

Griffith v Gourgey and Others [2018] 3 Costs LR 605: Breach of warranty of authority; liability of solicitors for costs in a s 994 petition where successive firms had wrongly believed that they had the authority of the directors to go on the court record on behalf of a defendant company. FREE THIS MONTH

Malone v Birmingham Community NHS Trust [2018] 3 Costs LR 627: Conditional fee agreements: omission of name of defendant from the CFA: whether the wording of the CFA limited its scope to the claim only against the named defendant.

Gempride Ltd v Bamrah and Another [2018] 3 Costs LR 637: Agency between solicitors and costs draftsmen: whether costs charged by a solicitor could be reduced for unreasonable or improper conduct under CPR 44.11 where a bill containing errors had been prepared by a firm of costs draftsmen.

Other recent cases

Bott & Co Solicitors Ltd v Ryanair DAC [2018] 3 Costs LO 275: Solicitor’s equitable liens: circumstances in which the lien can attach to funds recovered on behalf of claimants using conditional fee agreements where the compensation has been paid direct to them.

Broom and Another v Archer and Others [2018] 3 Costs LO 317: Costs budgeting: principles applying on applications under CPR PD 3E.7.6 to vary the budget following arithmetical errors and on a “significant development” arising after amendments to the pleadings.

Wright v Satellite Information Services Ltd [2018] 3 Costs LO 323: Personal injury claim in which judgment given in claimant’s favour, for 75% of the costs: defendant contending unsuccessfully that the claim should have been dismissed on the basis that the claimant had been fundamentally dishonest.

Wall v Munday [2018] 3 Costs LO 335: Correct award of costs in matrimonial proceedings: identification of the successful party: costs to follow the event with a discount of 40% to represent those issues on which the winner failed.

Harrap v Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust [2018] 3 Costs LO 343: Appropriate order for costs following notice of discontinuance under CPR 38.6: whether a change of circumstances, namely the emergence of new evidence during cross-examination at trial, justified departure from default rule that discontinuing party pays the costs.

ZN (Afghanistan) and Another v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] 3 Costs LO 357: Withdrawal of certification of human rights claims: the extent to which, on making costs orders, it would be relevant to take into consideration that a party was in receipt of public funds.

Ashany and Another v Eco-Bat Technologies Ltd [2018] 3 Costs LO 387: Costs orders following discontinuance under CPR 38.6: principles to apply where a paying party seeks a variation of the default rule that the party discontinuing pays the costs.

Travelers Insurance Company Ltd v XYZ [2018] 3 Costs LO 401: Non-party costs orders: principles applying where a costs order had been made under s 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 against insurers in group litigation.

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