New safeguard for costs payments from protected party’s damages

black-and-white-child-connected-265702 Children and Protected Parties

It is remarkable how often applications are made in circumstances on which no solicitor/client bill has been lodged with the court nor, indeed, served on the litigation friend

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee

Litigation Futures reports that solicitors will in future have to provide a bill or breakdown of costs when seeking payment of success fees and after-the-event (ATE) premiums out of the damages of children or protected parties.

Under new rules, likely to come into effect in April 2019, there will be an express requirement for the lodgement of a copy of the solicitor's bill to their client – or, in the alternative, a breakdown of such costs.

The committee has recognised that "in order to determine the reasonableness of a success fee it is necessary to ascertain the amount of base costs payable under the terms of the retainer", and to do that there must be a statute bill, which must in turn have been delivered to the litigation friend.

This is good news for protected parties - children or those without capacity - it gives the opportunity for further scrutiny of amounts deducted by way of success fees and ATE premiums, to ensure that the person who has suffered obtains the maximum amount from their damages.

If you are a litigation friend for a child or other loved one, and have either received a bill or other notification that your solicitors intend to apply to deduct legal fees from their damages, contact us for completely free initial advice.

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Sarah Armstrong, Liverpool

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