Friday, 27 December 2013


The 2 that are in most demand are 'BUDGETING LAW AND PRACTICE' and not far behind 'THE NEW TACTICS OF LITIGATION' which i am writing now. Happy new year to my loyal readers.


The decision in MITCHELL( and now DURRANT ) was achingly predictable.
The really interesting cases were , i thought , the Supreme Court decision in WOODLAND V ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL.The judgment of Lord Sumption was achingly wonderful.For the first time in a decade he has not chosen his books of the year in 'The Spectator'. It would be hard to beat his wise words which signify yet another twist in the extension of tort.
Those who think Jackson LJ is anti-claimant ought to read the decision he delivered in ROBERTS V BANK OF SCOTLAND where he wiped the floor with a scummy bank .
Ward LJ in the run up to his retirement delivered a series of inspirational and worldly decisions , none more so than in WRIGHT V WRIGHT where he cast serious doubt on HALSEY.My top tip for 2014 is that we will see a concerted effort by the Appeal Court to foist ADR upon litigants.Budgeting , nurtured in the nursery of the Birmingham Mercantile Court , is going to be the other hot area .Remember , MITCHELL was a sanctions case not a budgeting one.

Monday, 16 December 2013


The best out there at good value are as follows.
1. On the fizzy front the Aldi £6-99 Loire is utterly decent. 'The Times ' today wrongly asserts that the £9-99 Champagne won awards. It did not and isn't good.It was their £16-99 number which did well.For the same money i strongly recommend from the Coop Les Pionniers ( secretly made by Heidsieck for them )  and the best which is Tesco own label finest.
2. A lovely classical red is Les Gillets Bordeaux , a snip at £6-99 from M and S. Going upmarket Waitrose has fine Rioja for £9-99 on promotion.Majestic have magnums of 2004/5 for about £36 , cheap for the quality/quantity. For general value i swear by Cotes Du Rhones , particularly made by Les Dauphins , found in many supermarkets at about £7.
3. I did not think much of Wolf Blass chardonnay in the past but it has moved decisively in the direction of Burgundy and is now very good .Full price is about £10 but it is widely promoted and you may well get if for under £7. The best white steal if you are fast is at Marks and Spencer which is selling for £9-99 (down from £15 a week ago) 2011 Borgogne Blanc Les Femelottes , a bottle rated as one of the best of the year by Jancis Robinson. The 2011 M and S  Californian from Schug at £16 is one i have not tasted but the reputation is high.  Aldi Limoux at £6-99 is delicious .


1. The decision is not being appealed.
2. Counsel for the defendant (rightly) conceded that the Order deprived the claimant of future costs.This would not deprive the claimant of the 6 figure bill already incurred. Never forget that budgeting is all about what is to be done , to be spent.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


I was with Alex Hutton QC last thursday for our Lexis webcast on costs  and good fun it was, particularly as Master ' take no prisoners' Howarth was present too..Alex raised this issue. The Rules mean that a claimant with a pile of adverse costs orders against them can walk away from their indebtedness . Might this offend the right to respect for property , contrary to Article 1 of the first Protocol to the European Convention ? Wait and see . Big money is at stake.


It is not over. Part 36 is to be revamped , the DBA Regs are to be made workable and budgeting will probably be made universal in multi-track cases.


Sorry for the silence but things have been so so busy.
MITCHELL is the case of the year and is a powerful sign that the Appeal Court is not going to dilute the Jackson regime. Comply or die is the message. Lawyers are clever and adept .The requisite change of culture will be applied by the vast majority overnight.
Thank you to Martyn Jennings who knows how to throw a spectacular blast .He introduced me to Richard Burcher, a name you will hear again and again. He is leading the way on alternatives to the hourly rate and is in demand internationally. A lovely man.