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Jackson in Action: case law

In our regular monthly round up of cases we look at the effects of the changes to the Civil Procedure Rules under the Jackson Reforms:

DWF - Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting/fundamental dishonesty: In Tajud v Benedict (2015) the claimant lost QOCS protection under CPR r.44.16, after District Judge Avent, sitting in Central London County Court concluded that the claimant had treated the signing of statements of truth “with impunity and in fact contempt”. The claimant had signed statements of truth when he knew or could not honestly believe that they were true and the Judge held on the balance of probabilities that the claim was fundamentally dishonest. 3/12/15 (for more details, see our legal update or contact Jewels Chamberlain)

Detailed assessment/new proportionality test: In BNM v MGN (2016) Master Gordon Saker, sitting in the Senior Courts Costs Office, reduced the amount of costs that a claimant could recover from a defendant, notwithstanding that he had found some of those costs to have been necessarily and reasonably incurred.  The claimant’s costs, which were claimed at £241,817, including a success fee and an ATE premium were subject to a line by line assessment by the Master, who then heard argument as to whether the costs should be reduced further on the basis that they were disproportionate, applying the new test of proportionality. Concluding that the costs were disproportionate to the sum at stake (a figure of £20,000), the Master applied the new test to the claim for additional liabilities, on the basis that he was no longer obliged to assess the additional liabilities, separately from the base costs. 3/6/16

Detailed assessment/new proportionality test: In May & Anor v Wavell & Anor (2016) Master Rowley, sitting in the Senior Court Costs Office, reduced the reasonable costs incurred by the claimant on the basis that they were undoubtedly disproportionate. The claimants’ costs were claimed at £208,236.54, with the case settling at £25,000. Having carried out a line by line assessment of the costs, which produced a figure of £99,655.74, the Master then reviewed that figure, applying the new test of proportionality, against the sum at stake and the complexity of the litigation and concluded that it should be reduced down to £35,000 plus VAT. 16/6/16

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.