Entries by Toby Moreton

Division vs Apportionment

Under the terms of a Tomlin order which provided that one of three Defendants was only to pay the Claimant’s costs which related exclusively to the action against it, and not those incurred by the Dlaimant in respect of the dispute with the other two Defendants, that Defendant was liable for any common costs which could be attributed to it by division, rather than apportionment.

Section 11

A Master had been correct to dismiss an application for an assessment of costs brought under Paragraphs 10(2) and 10(3)(c) of the Community Legal Service (Costs Protection) Regulations 2000 as it was out of time.

The Reasonableness of Instructing London Solicitors

The master had been entitled to take into account the claimant’s age and the urgency of his case when deciding that it had been reasonable for him to instruct solicitors in central London in respect of his personal injury claim against the Ministry of Defence.

Costs of determining a preliminary issue

A master had erred in assessing costs awarded on a preliminary issue at nil on the ground that the receiving party had ultimately failed very badly in its case. The costs order had been intended to deal with the costs of the preliminary issue as a discrete set of costs, irrespective of the overall fate of the action.

Third Party Costs Order

Where family had funded a claimant’s litigation, there was a reasonable prospect of success in obtaining a third party costs order where the family were directly concerned with the facts of the claim, had taken an active role and gained a benefit from the litigation, and had sought to control its course.

Costs protection under s17 The Legal Aid Act 1988

During any time when a litigant acted in person they were not a legally assisted party within the meaning of the Legal Aid Act 1988 s.17. That extended to any period after their solicitors had ceased to act for them and had communicated that to the opponent’s solicitors, even if a period of time then elapsed before they took any active steps as a litigant in person.

N252: Commencement of detailed assessment where more than one firm instructed

Where a party was entitled to its costs, it had to include all of its costs on the bill for detailed assessment. If that party was entitled to recover the cost of instructing more than one solicitor, it had to include the costs of each solicitor separately in the bill and, if it failed so to do, could not claim a separate assessment in respect of the costs of the solicitor omitted.

Costs Apportionment

On the facts, the Judge had been entitled to apportion costs in line with the Claimant’s liability in a road traffic accident as he had had proper regard not only to the Claimant’s claim, but also the Defendant’s notional cross-claim; the exercise of his discretion could not therefore be criticised.

Recoverability of inquest costs in a civil claim

This is an important decision concerning the recoverability of costs incurred during an inquest in later civil proceedings. It affects clinical negligence, personal injury and HRA practitioners alike. TMC were instructed by Hodge Jones & Allen in the case of Roach and attended before Master Hurst on the assessment of costs. Andrew Post of Hailsham Chambers represented them on the Claimants’ successful appeal to the High Court.