Legal update by Gary Knight, Partner and Costs Lawyer
The legal profession awaits key decisions from the courts by way of early case law to assist with the interpretation of many of the ambiguous issues that appear to arise following the new rules and directions which came in to play on April 1; some guidance as to how the new â€œproportionalityâ€ test will be applied would be welcome and just how will the courts deal with relief from sanction applications and costs in excess of approved budgets from this point forward; unfortunately it is likely to be some time before post â€œJackson Day
â€ issues reach the stage where an appeal or appeals will be appropriate; fortunately, however, until such time there are still judgments to consider and decisions to digest.
One decision eagerly awaited by both claimant and defendant solicitors related to two matters heard together before the Court of Appeal namely Flatman (â€œFâ€) v Germany  EWCA 278
an unconnected case of Weddall (â€œWâ€) v Barchester Health Care Limited
had instructed GMS Law (â€œGMS
â€) and both cases had been unsuccessful with adverse costs orders against each claimant. Both claimants had proceeded under a CFA however neither claimant had after the event insurance.
The appeals focussed on applications for discovery of funding arrangements made by unsuccessful claimants in personal injury litigation and the extent of such discovery and to what extent solicitors acting on behalf of the claimants can fund or, as described by the COA, â€œprime the pumpâ€ litigation for those of limited means when proceeding pursuant to a CFA with no â€œafter the eventâ€ insurance cover without exposing themselves to adverse orders for costs should the claims fail.
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