Horizon Scanning

Court of Appeal

2017

Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The Court held that the transfer of a conditional fee agreement between two firms of solicitors in respect of a personal injury claim had resulted in a novated contract rather than an assignment. However, for the purposes of the transitional provisions of s.44(6) LASPO, the success fee payable to the new firm of solicitors was payable under the conditional fee agreement.

Nov 2017

BNM v MGN Limited [2016] EWHC B13 (Costs)

Court of Appeal holds that the old proportionality test applies to pre-commencement and recoverable additional liabilities.

The Court concluded that the decision of the judge had been wrong in principle and should be set aside, together with the Final Costs Certificate. In allowing the appeal, the Court held that the old CPR 44.4(2) proportionality rule (under which costs which were both necessary and reasonable were deemed to be proportionate) applies to success fees and after the event (ATE) insurance premiums (where these are still recoverable in principle, as in this case) on an assessment of costs on the standard basis.

If it had been intended that the new proportionality test was to apply to funding arrangements to which the statutory saving and transitional provisions applied, that would have been made clear in the statutory provisions or the new costs rules (or both) and it was not.

It is noteworthy that the court declined to give further guidance on the application of the proportionality test in practice.

TBC

Brenda White v Nottinghamshire CC

The defendant highway authority was not liable for the claimant's fall caused by ice on a footway which had not been treated. The council defended the claim on the basis that it had complied with its Winter Service Operational Plan. The Claimant is appealing the decision to the Court of Appeal.

Dec 2017

Lowin v Portsmouth & Co [2017] EWCA Civ 2172

The defendant appealed against a decision that the claimant was entitled to have her costs of a provisional assessment assessed on an indemnity basis without reference to the costs cap in CPR 47.15(5).

The Court held that costs cap was neither disapplied nor modified in respect of an award of indemnity costs under CPR 36.17(4). Where a party was awarded the costs of a provisional assessment on an indemnity basis under r.36.17(4), those costs would be subject to the cap.

June 2018

Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd

The Court will consider the issue of vicarious liability after it was held that an employer was not vicariously liable for an assault committed by its director after a work Christmas party.

Supreme Court

Oct 2017

Natasha Armes v Nottinghamshire CC

The claimant has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. This follows the Court of Appeal decision which rejected the Claimant's arguments that the Local Authority was vicariously liable for foster parents and that it owed a non-delegable duty of care to children in foster placements.

Judgment has been handed down. Read our article: https://www.forbessolicitors.co.uk/news/display/39749/4/supreme-courts-holds-local-authority-liable-for-abuse-in-foster-care .

Nov 2017

Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2016] EWCA Civ 177

The Supreme Court will be asked to consider whether a claimant's application under CPR 6.15(2) should have been granted where the claimant had failed to follow the rules on service by email.

Legislation

TBC

Civil Liability Bill

The Civil Liability Bill was introduced by the government following the 2017 general election. According to the governement the Bill will crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims and is expected to reduce motor insurance premiums by about £35 per year. The Bill will ban offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introduce a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to 2 years.

2017 +

Courts Bill

The Bill will reform the courts system in England and Wales to ensure it is more efficient and accessible, and in doing so utilise more modern technology. The Bill will:

  • end direct cross examination of domestic violence victims by their alleged perpetrators in the family courts and allow more victims to participate in trials without having to meet their alleged assailant face-to-face
  • introduce digital services which will allow businesses to pursue their cases quickly, enabling them to recover debts more easily
  • provide a better working environment for judges, allowing more leadership positions in the judiciary to be offered on a fixed term basis, and enabling judges to be deployed more flexibly

2017 +

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill

The Bill will combine three financial advice bodies into one, ensuring that people across the UK are able to seek the help and advice they need to manage their finances. The Bill will:

  • establish a new statutory body, accountable to Parliament, with responsibility for coordinating the provision of debt advice, money guidance, and pension guidance
  • transfer the regulation of claims management services to the Financial Conduct Authority, and transfer complaints-handling responsibility to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

2017-2018

Data Protection Bill

In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill to reflect the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation).

The draft Data Protection Bill was published in September 2017 and is currently working its way through Parliament.

Other Matters

2017

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims (NIHL)

The working party published its final report this autumn. See our article https://www.forbessolicitors.co.uk/news/display/39744/4/fixed-costs-recommendations-for-hearing-loss-claims-published

2017

Shorter and Flexible trials pilot

A pilot of two schemes in the High Court until September 2017.

2017

Jackson LJ to review fixed recoverable costs

Lord Justice Jackson published his review of fixed recoverable costs. Read our article here: https://www.forbessolicitors.co.uk/news/display/38722/fixed-recoverable-costs-a-review-of-lord-justice-jacksons-proposed-reforms

April 2018

New Bill of Costs to be Compulsory

A new mandatory bill of costs has been delayed again until April 2018.

2017 +

25 May 2018

GDPR

General Data Protection Regulations come into force.

March 2019

Brexit

Britain withdraws from the EU.

2020

Online Court

A possible move towards an online court.

Please contact us for more information relating to any of the matters listed above.

06 Feb 2018

Insurance

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