15 April, 2013
A crucial part of the Jackson reforms is the introduction of qualified one way costs shifting (QOCS). QOCS represents a significant departure from the current regime and is designed to prevent the disproportionate costs of litigation. From 1st April 2013, Claimants will no longer need to take out After the Event insurance premiums to fund personal injury claims.
If a Claimant loses at trial, discontinues a claim or appeals s/he will not be required to pay the Defendant's costs. QOCS only applies to personal injury claims so for instance would not apply in relation to Part 20 proceedings, e.g. a claim brought against a contractor for an indemnity.
There are however limited circumstances when the Claimant will lose the protection of QOCS:
A court can still make costs orders against Claimants, they are however not enforceable unless there are damages to offset it against. Defendants can not enforce any award obtained against the Claimant until the proceedings have been concluded and costs have been assessed or agreed.
Should you require further information, please contact Siobhan Hardy on 01133 862686