Tuesday, 28 February 2012


May i just point out to my ever widening audience that Mrs Padmore is a happily married women .That is the story we have agreed upon anyway. Those who recall my Dennis The Menace days will know i am honourable.Ish.


Today is the day that those who applied will find out if they have been successful.Should you see any junior ordering magnums of Dom Perignon 2002 today be very suspicious.

Monday, 27 February 2012


My thanks to HH Judge Simon Brown QC who sent me a judgment from New York handed down on february 24th. How international we have become.In DA SILVA MOORE V PUBLICIS Judge Peck , the loveliest and most genial of men , approved predictive coding as a legitimate method of securing the just ,speedy and inexpensive resolution of disputes.Coding consists of training a computer to comprehend which documents are relevant , with feedback being given on a core set of documents. This enables the custodian of the documents to point the system in the right direction and it will then undertake a thorough search , narrowing down the mass to a more manageable shortlist.
 Some worthwhile observations include the declaration that it is a myth that a  manual search is more effective and the statement that it was very helpful to take to court your technology expert ( also known as "Bring your geek to court day" ). Ouch.


It is reported that Charlotte Church has pocketed £600,000 as a victim of being hacked. Horrid as it must have been, is it right that damages should be so high? I asked our leading p.i.  barrister , Stuart MacKechnie , what was the maximum an injured person would get for their injury. In an instant he told me that quadriplegia and very severe brain injury attract £265,000. Madness.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


A trial is due to begin in New Orleans on monday.There are 116,000 plaintiffs , 300 witnesses and 72 million documents which if printed and stacked would soar 4 and a half miles into the air.It is the action for damages against BP for losses caused by the Deepwater pollution disaster . What is amazing is that the incident only happened on April 20 th 2010.It is a staggering tribute to Judge Barbier that he actively managed so much so quickly . This is precisely the Jackson/ Brown model of case management that we so urgently need in our own juridiction.


I have just got back from Manchester where i was with the great RSA team including Sue Bright , one of my oldest friends. and the Birmingham head of legal, Sarah Padmore ( the person on the left of the picture ) who lives in sunny Harborne and who is just the kindest of people.  I had a long chat with David Graham whom has mellowed enormously. As i approached he put down his book , 'Finding Your Female Inner Self ' and sipped at his Elderflower presse , having renounced alcohol . Loise Doherty organised the event as brilliantly as ever and to top it off Roy Hughes , DLA training supremo, said hello this morning .Too much.


I am so grateful for the patronage of Chris Dale , the Godfather of electronic disclosure, who has set me up to talk in Munich at the end of june. If you want to know what is really going on in the field then read his blog which also contains stupendous travel writing too.

Friday, 24 February 2012


On march 16th the Court of Appeal is to hear LETTS V RSA. Where an offer is accepted is the court bound to give the claimant their full costs ( the costs of the proceedings under 36.10 )or is there a means of denying costs to penalise unreasonable conduct ?


The decision in Dockerill has just been released by the Court of Appeal. It is already on the British and Irish Legal website .

Thursday, 23 February 2012


The SRA has instructed Tim Dutton QC to defend the decision not to lift a finger against a female Manchester injury solicitor ( now on the other side of the world) who was creative with a bill. Your money is being well spent.


Congratulations to Erica who was admitted to the bar today. She will make an almighty impact in costs law . So glam that she makes Kate Middleton look like a Bolton bag lady , it is unfair that she is so clever as well.And a wedding in December .

Monday, 20 February 2012


These are interesting times. I am helping a magic circle firm with Part 36 tactics , an international company looking to acquire personal injury firms here and a top 100 firm seeking to identify and eliminate litigation risk.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


It is getting heavy.This week Helphire received an onerous demand for information from the OFT. Others got similar letters. There is no suggestion that they have done anything whatsoever that is improper but Government has waded into the whole car insurance market and a big fuss is inevitable.


A female   claimant personal injury specialist  ( or so her profile says ) solicitor in the Greater Manchester area is , unbeknowns to her, at the heart of a major dispute involving the SRA and whether  she should be struck off for unprofessional conduct. Watch this space.
Meanwhile, a District Judge in Stoke on Trent has found that a claimant solicitor falsely misrepresented the views of counsel on quantum and yet should get off without any penalty. Ludicrous.

Saturday, 18 February 2012


The most successful export from West Bromwich since the Jensen Interceptor, John Foy QC, had a great result in SIMCOE this week. Interest on costs runs from the date of the order rather than a later date when costs are quantified.The decision of HH J Stewart QC in Toner was overturned.
What is interesting is to look at the bill of Irwin Mitchell in Simcoe. The claim settled without a trial for less than £13,000. The bill was 6 times the quantum. When Jackson kicks in we will see fixed costs in the fast -track and no recovery of additional liabilities.This would mean , i believe , that the costs recoverable from the defendant will be akin to the damages. That is an enormous reduction in costs for the claimant.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


It has been decided that every potential  employment tribunal claim must first be filed with ACAS. No longer will the claimant have immediate access to the tribunal.
Sean Jones and i are to write a chapter on employment tribunal costs for the new edition of the bible on civil costs , Cook , to be published in november this year.


The MOJ confirmed on thursday evening that the non-injury small claims limit is to go up to £10,000 as i said it would here on 7th October last year,What is more, there is the threat to bump it up to £15,000 after a period of reflection.A compulsory reference to mediation is intended.
The High Court threshold for claims is to go up to £100,000.

Monday, 6 February 2012


High court judges in their current costs training are being (rightly) told to ignore the majority view in Medway. Fox , decided shortly afterwards, says that the winner should indeed have their costs.Jackson was right all along.