Precedent H – the price of getting it wrong!!
In a recent High Court matter in which Christine Middleton was heavily involved and which was destined for an extensive (5 day) detailed assessment in the SCCO, the Receiving Party accepted that an offer made based upon their shambolic Precedent H budget was, in fact, extremely generous, resulting in an overall costs saving for the Paying Parties, not only so far as the principal sum was concerned (a reduction overall exceeding 65%), but also the potential costs of the hearing itself. (2018)
Mediation is confidential
More and more costs personnel ignore the contents of mediation agreements, whether as to costs recovery or confidentiality. At the County Court in Nottingham recently the District Judge agreed with Christine Middleton’s submissions - confidential means confidential, and despite the Paying Party's Counsel attempting to suggest privilege no longer existed as the matter had concluded, the Court rejected his arguments - and it cost the Paying Party a pretty penny to unsuccessfully argue the point!! (2018)
Solicitors ultimately responsible for acts of unqualified law costs draftsmen, Court of Appeal emphasis
The peril of instructing unqualified costs draftsmen who drafted a bill that breached the indemnity principle, and Solicitor signed it off.
Despite attempts to lay the blame at the door of the costs draftsman, the Court determined that Solicitors who instruct cost draftsmen and others “remain ultimately responsible for the acts and omissions of those to whom they delegate parts of the conduct of litigation, particularly when those to whom such work is delegated are not authorised”, the Court of Appeal said recently in a major ruling on misconduct in assessment proceedings - bill reduced by 50%. Gempride Ltd v Bamrah & Anor  EWCA Civ 1367
Professional courtesy does pay .................
The judgment of Mrs Justice Rose in PJSC Aeroflot - Russian Airlines v Leeds & Anor (Trustees of the estate of Boris Berezovsky) & Ors  EWHC 1735 (Ch) highlights the impact of unreasonable conduct by parties and their legal teams such that indemnity basis costs were awarded.
The costs order made in this case was made specifically due to the conduct of the Claimant and its legal representatives. Not only did the Claimant discontinue at the eleventh hour, but presented conduct that Mrs Justice Rose said "[lost] sight of any basic standard of decent and compassionate behaviour". She used the word "shocking" also to describe their conduct. By contrast Mrs Justice Rose, who had case managed the matter for some time, stated that the LIP Defendant's letters to the court "were always courteous, temperate and helpful.