CPR 14.1A sets out a clear procedure for making a formal admission. It would be undesirable if uncertainty were created by giving equal effect to other communications that do not satisfy that description. If the defendant chooses to make a communication which is not a admission within the meaning of the CPR, that document will be one factor in the case, but the availability of a route to making a formal admission that puts liability beyond argument will mean that the court is entitled to place less weight on it in the overall conclusion.
This was the first appeal in which the recoverability of inquest costs in civil claims has fallen to be considered since introduction of the Jackson reforms. It followed an assessment of costs by Deputy Master Keens in the SCCO when he allowed the sum of £88,356.22 as a against an original claim of £122,000 excl VAT. The claim was for damages for breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, negligence and misfeasance in public office following the death of Ms Jones who became ill at a police station.
Master Leonard considers the extent to which a receiving party can recover the costs of attending an inquest in circumstances where an admission of liability is made prior to it taking place.
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.