APIL and MASS launch judicial review over portal fee cut

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) have this afternoon issued a judicial review of the government’s proposal to cut the basic RTA portal fee from £1,200 to £500. Read the full Litigation Futures article here.

BS EN ISO 9001 : 2000

We are proud to announce that following an assessment by an independent organisation T M Costings Ltd has been successful in achieving ISO 9001 Certification. This Internationally recognised prestigious award for quality is an International Standard in use worldwide as the benchmark for Quality. The award recognises our commitment to an exceptional quality of service. With only around 3% of UK businesses holding this Certificate T M Costings Ltd  are now at the forefront of quality service and customer care.

Litigation Trends Survey – The Jackson Effect

The New Law Journal in partnership with LSLA has published their Litigation Trends Survey into the effects of the Jackson Reforms seven months in.


The survey paints a gloomy picture of the impact of many of the key tenets of Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms. Some notable outakes….

On budgeting

  • A significant 69% of respondents thought that budgeting would increase costs with just a fifth (21%) believing costs would go down.

“Budgeting is likely to result in a massive amount of satellite litigation. In litigation other than commodity and factory litigation, ie litigation with any degree of complexity or unpredictability, the likelihood is that budgets will be so hedged around with assumptions that they become worthless.”

On proportionality

  • There are … serious misgivings about the implication that small and medium sized cases are generally less complex than higher value disputes.

“The difficulty is that it is naive to the point of being facile to suggest that because a case is small it is therefore easy. In fact, the reverse may well be the case because transactions involving large sums of money or valuable property are that much more likely to have been considered at the time of the transaction by lawyers on both sides. Smaller transactions are [not] as likely to have involved lawyers.”

On disclosure

  • Serious question marks still exist as to whether all parties to a dispute will share a sufficiently close common desire to limit the scope of disclosure.

“We do not think the new disclosure regime will decrease costs. If anything it will increase them” 

Overall

  • It is abundantly clear … that litigation lawyers, while acknowledging the need for a shake-up of the civil justice system, have deep-rooted concerns regarding how the central themes of the Jackson reforms will play out in practice.

“Both Woolf and Jackson have increased (and accelerated) the overall cost of litigation and that overall cost will have the effect of reducing, not increasing, access to justice.”

Read the full survey.

The Civil Legal Aid (Costs) Regulations 2013

A draft of The Civil Legal Aid (Costs) Regulations 2013, which make provision about costs orders in civil proceedings in favour of or against a legally aided party and, in certain circumstances, against the Lord Chancellor has been published. These come into force on 1st April 2013. 

Guideline Hourly Rates 2011

The Master of the Rolls has received a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Civil Costs on an increase to the Guideline Hourly Rates for 2011.

The Committee has recommended an earnings related increase for 2011, but the Master of the Rolls has asked the Committee to seek additional information and provide further evidence to allow him to make a more considered decision.

In the meantime, and until further notice, the Guideline Hourly Rates for 2010 will continue to be applied.

Guideline Hourly Rates Survey…

The Civil Justice Council’s Costs Committee have launched their survey into guideline hourly rates.


The participation of “every law firm in England and Wales” is encouraged to ensure that the evidence base is as comprehensive as possible. The survey is available for completion until 29 November. Chair of the Committee, Mr Justice Foskett, has urged firms not to ignore the survey, speaking on Litigation Futures….

“The objective is to create as accurate a picture as possible of salaries and hours charged (and amounts recovered) for all fee-earners, from trainees to senior partners nationwide….

“In a busy world it is always tempting to ignore a survey or questionnaire. However, we have tried very hard to keep the survey short and clear, with questions that can be answered by reference to a firm’s most recent annual report and accounts together with its costs management system.

“My message to all firms engaged in litigation is that this is a real opportunity to contribute to an exercise designed to provide a reliable evidence base upon which to make our recommendations. Criticising the outcome will be somewhat hollow if the critic has not completed the survey.

“My final plea, therefore, to all litigation solicitors is this: don’t ignore it.”

Find the survey here.

The Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2013

The Ministry of Justice has published the draft Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2013, which come into force on 1st April 2013.

The draft Regulations make it clear that, save in respect of employment matters, the payment from a client’s damages shall be the sum agreed to be paid (capped at 25% in personal injury cases and 50% in any other claim or proceedings to which the Regulations apply) net of any costs (including fixed costs) payable to the representative by another party in the proceedings. Counsel’s fees are within the cap in all cases, save for employment matters.

New Member of Team

We are pleased to announce a further new member of our rapidly expanding team, Tracy Simmonds who joins us from the in house costing department of a leading personal injury firm.

Window of opportunity to influence the hourly rates review

The committee reviewing the guideline hourly rates – which were last increased in 2010 – is set to issue a short call for evidence next month and it is vital that practitioners participate in the process, the Association of Costs Lawyers has warned.

The Civil Justice Council hopes to issue a call for evidence at the beginning of November, with a deadline of the end of the month for responses. 

See the full Litigation Futures article.

The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013

The Ministry of Justice has published the draft Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013, which comes into force on 1st April 2013. Transitional provisions have been included to make clear that the 25% cap on the success fee that lawyers can take from personal injury clients’ damages, excluding those for future care and loss, does not apply to CFAs entered into before 1st April, but only if:

(a) the agreement was entered into specifically for the purposes of the provision to a person (“P”) of advocacy or litigation services in connection with the matter which is the subject of the proceedings; or

(b) advocacy or litigation services were provided to P under the agreement in connection with those proceedings before that date.