Sunday, 29 May 2011

Part 36.

The Court of Appeal has just overturned the decision in C v D.

Judges in trouble

The Mercantile Judge in Bristol has been criticised by the Court of Appeal for taking 22 months to deliver a judgment.He is a decent ,hard-working man and it is notable that his decision was upheld as correct.If it is any consolation to him the Law Lords  took a year to deliver their decision in White v Jones (1995) 2 A.C. 207, a case about solicitors delay!
 Much more seriously,James Allen QC, a Deputy |High Court |Judge,was found guilty this week of beating up his wife despite her changing her story and claiming she had attacked herself.She is a barrister and Coroner.Subject to an appeal, i assume the next step will be prosecution for perjury and /or conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Criminal injuries compensation

The Government is to announce significant cuts in the amount that claimants shall get under the scheme.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


The Court of Appeal delivered an important decision this morning in Wetton v Ahmed.It sheds light on what to do where critical documents are not produced.Essential reading and a pat on the back for His Honour Judge Simon Brown who decided the case at first instance .

Part 36 and predictable costs

On October 19th the Court of Appeal is to hear Oliver v Doughty.In a predictable costs case does the claimant get costs at large on accepting a Part 36 offer or is it still the fixed costs under Part 45?
I would suggest that fixed costs only apply.We shall see.Thanks to Robin Dunne of Keelys for the tip off.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rix LJ was robbed

The propulsion (delayed) of J Sumption straight to the  Supreme Court bench  has attracted much comment.
He is a clever man ;see his 3 volumes on the hundreds year war.However,i feel immense pity for those who have slogged their way up the pole.
Lord Justice Rix is decent,clever and produces superb decisions ( Carver was an off day).He truly deserves to be at the top .
The Supreme Court is going to wait for Mr Sumption to finish a case for a Russian plutocrat before he takes up his post.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Jackson v His Critics

I had a lovely lunch with Geraldine McCool today to celebrate her recent birthday .This sadly meant missing a lunch with Anastasia and someone who celebrated her half birthday on tuesday.Sorry.She kindly produced the response of Sir Rupert, dated may 16th, to the Oliphant report.Thompsons commissioned a group of acadaemics,lead by Prof O,to analyse and,as it proved ,to attack key Jackson proposals.Sir Rupert is having none of it and has swatted the criticisms aside.Interestingly,he describes APIL as his strongest critic.I would say his most vociferous critic but no matter.
I would not want anyone to think that Sir Rupert is just interested in law reform.At the Court of Appeal Christmas party he introduced me to the oeuvre of Aloe Blacc.Altogether now
"Clap your hands everybody,
Everybody just clap your hands,
Come on y'all......".Wondrous.'I need a dollar '.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Forthcoming appeals

After 2 false starts the vexed question of whether children should recover costs in cases that settle for no more than £1,000 is off to the Court of Appeal.Thanks to Sheldon Davidson for the tip off.The case (his ) is Dockerill v Healey.

Vickie Cargill, female costs supremo at BLM Manchester, tells me that the SCCO is going to hear an appeal on the big issue of the moment,the right to interest on costs.Look out for Bridle v Ikhlas.


Having read every word twice i fear that the decision of the Senior Costs Judge is susceptible to appeal on a number of fronts and i would be astonished if this did not go further.
As to who will succeed him i think Costs Judge Saker would be a great choice.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Who is an employee?

The Supreme Court has heard the case of Belcher on this point and reserved judgment.i would be staggered if the appeal succeeeded.The claimants will win.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


That was the amount of the bill presented by Leigh Day to the defendants in the Trafigura pollution injury claims where it was ultimately accepted that most claimants had flu like symptoms.
The SCCO decision was about preliminary issues and ,uniquely,involved 5 silks and a junior.
It was found ,applying what struck me as advanced nuclear physics,that the appropriate success fee for counsel and solicitors was 58%.I could have told them that had they asked me.The risk assessment called the case "fabulously complex".
You might be surprised to learn as was i that the Clerkenwell hourly rate does not include the cost of armed bodyguards (para.393).
Please do not mention this case to Sir Rupert Jackson;i fear the pooor man would implode.
Nerd alert-there is a typo at para .196 where the date should be october 30th(obviously).
Bring on the detailed assessment.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Injury litigation in the south west

I had a great afternoon yesterday thanks to Chris Thorne of Foot Ansty who put on a talk for the benefit of local injury solicitors who refer their clinical negligence work to his firm.
In the audience was Pete Mitchell who has set up his own disease practice .An able and astute practitioner,he has the benefit of assistance from the genius that is Cliff Poole who was incredibly kind to me as a trainee and is the best dressed male lawyer in the country.

Part 36

The appeal against the eminently sensible decision in Midland Packaging has been abandoned.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Dirty gossip in the Court of Appeal

"Atkin LJ said that he was unable to go all the way with Scrutton LJ".
Paragraph 68 of Durham Tees Valley Airport v BMI Baby Ltd (2010) 1AER (Comm)at page 754.
Someone needs a superinjunction.

Miscarriage of justice

The Supreme Court will publish on its website tomorrow the decision handed down today as to what amounts to a miscarriage of justice.Should someone later acquitted after earlier conviction always get compensation?

Forthcoming appeals

After 2 false starts the vexed question of whether children should recover costs in cases that settle for no more than £1,000 is off to the Court of Appeal.Thanks to Sheldon Davidson for the tip off.The case (his ) is Dockerill v Healey.
Vickie Cargill,another female costs supremo, tells me that the SCCO is going to hear an appeal on the big issue of the moment,the right to interest on costs.Look out for Bridle v Ikhlas.

Party time

Epiq hosted a first rate event on monday in London with Chris Dale,the great chronicler of the topic,making a guest appearance.The company also hosted a dinner where i met Judge Peck from New York who was as modest as he was delightful.
Last night was the 11 KBW party held at the Wallace Collection,a beautiful building.The hand of Lucy Barbet was evident in the spectacular detail.There were hundreds of guests and i saw a quorum from the Court of Appeal in deep session,aided by exotic cocktails.A hard act to follow.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Alternative business structures

We are on the verge of the greatest ever upheaval in litigation costs ever known.This is not the stable environment for outsiders to buy up or into legal practices.
 i would urge practitioners to avoid entering into any long-term commitments with 'consultants' or anyone else until the dust settles and we know where we are which will not be until next year.You do not want onerous commitments around your neck.At least ,consider a break clause.

Eating out

The latest Tatler magazine just out has a superb restaurant guide as a supplement and is well worth getting if you like eating out in London.My favourite places are accurately described.To describe Le Caprice as harder to get into than Eton is dead right as is calling Bibendum perfect.

Effective Part 36 offers

In Gibbon last year the Court of Appeal described Part 36 as a mechanism for claimants to offer to take less than the full value of their claim.The Chancery Division in AB V CD March 2011 has now said that an offer to take the full amount of the claim cannot count as a Part 36 offer.I am not so sure.We will see.

Fraudulent road traffic claims

Top ten dodgy venues are Birmingham,Bradford,Manchester,Liverpool,,Bolton,Blackburn,Southall,Oldham  and London (east and north).
The 'Daily Telegraph' published an interesting letter on saturday may 7th in the motor supplement suggesting that insurers were as corrupt as some claimants.High repair rates are claimed but the bodyshop is then to give the insurer a massive kickback.This is funded by inflating repair charges in liability cases.To maximise credit -hire,the vehicle is whisked away asap .Car manufacturers are getting in on the act by doing deals with credit hire companies and threatening to remove approved status from bodyshops if they fail to refer non-fault cases.If any of this is true we are looking at anti-competitive and corrupt activity.

The I Phone

I switched after someone blew up my blackberry last summer.
There are 4 very useful apps to consider.Free are Photosynth which enables you to take panoramic pictures and find i phone,to enable you to track it if lost.
 Should you travel regularly buy train times which is amazing and tells you what platform a train goes from and if it is delayed.It costs a fiver but is priceless.If you want free train times for all Europe including here then get the DB app (the German rail company).Tube exits is again marvellous for London underground planning.


New Ogden tables are coming.They are likely to recognise increased life expectancy and under consideration is a range of discount rates in increments of .25% rather than .5% as now.
The consultation paper on the discount rate is complete ;we are awaiting publication.
I understand that the Goodale litigation,brought by prisoners against the MOJ, has just settled.The MOJ were funding both sides of the litigation,an interesting economic exercise.

Monday, 2 May 2011


The Ralph Lauren car collection is a masterpiece and one should go see them if in Paris before the end of august.i know nothing technical about cars.The RAC breakdown man told me i was the first person ever to call him out for help in changing a tax disc.A magnificent spectacle.
 AA Gill in the Times Style magazine described a restaurant as expensive for a starter was a tenner.At Lassere,an asparagus starter was £58 .However,this Parisian 2 star Palace has a roof that opens up to reveal the sky above.Bonkers.
 For a treat try the  Royal Monceau hotel just revamped by Starck.The bar is beautiful and the toilets are in a hall of mirrors.