Fixed Fast Track Costs (Personal Injury Claims) UPDATE.
Important Update On Fixed Fast Track Costs & Personal Injury Claims
From 31st July 2013 Civil Procedure Rule 49.29 took effect resulting in Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) being applicable to any RTA/EL/PL claim that was submitted through the MOJ Portal on or after the 31st July 2013. Until such time, when a claim left the Portal and proceedings were commenced, the Claimant was able to recover costs on a hourly/unit calculation..
The amount of costs that can be recovered for fast track litigation is set out in CPR 45.29C RTA and CPR 49.29D EL/PL. As can be seen from the table below, the Claimant’s FRC increases the closer the claim gets to Trial to reflect the work done by the Solicitor at each stage of the litigation process to prepare the case for a final contested hearing.
But what are the costs consequence if a claim ‘Leap Frogs’ through the table?
For example: If a Claimant obtains Default Judgment in an RTA the matter is set down for a disposal hearing. This means that the claim is not allocated to track.
The claim would have leapfrogged from “Issued –Post issue Pre Allocation £1160 + 20 % of damages” to “Issued –Post listing Pre trial £2655 + 20% of damages” and missed out “ Issued –Post allocation Pre listing £1880.00 plus 20% of damages”
In the matter of Peter Berry –v- EUI t/a Admiral Insurance the Defendant put this argument to the test.
Howards Solicitors represented the Claimant and Horwich Farrelly Solicitors acted for the Defendant.
The Claimant claimed damages for personal injury arising from a Road Traffic Accident. The Defendant failed to respond to a Part 36 offer and proceedings were commenced. When the Defendant did not reply to the claim form, Default Judgment was obtained and the matter was set down for disposal.
The Court made an Order that did not allocate the claim to track and confined the Claimant to file/serve a statement that was limited to quantum only.
Before the disposal hearing was heard the Defendant settled the claim for the sum of £2800.00. The Claimant then served a Formal Bill of Costs claiming FRC at “Issued –Post listing Pre trial £2655 + 20% of damages” The Defendant replied with Points of Dispute averting that, as the Court had never allocated the matter to track, the Claimant was only entitled to recover “Issued –Post issue Pre Allocation £1160 + 20 % of damages” i.e £1720.00 plus VAT.
The Claimant filed a reply to the Point of Dispute submitting the following:
In reply to Point 2 of the Points of Dispute the Claimant submits that £2655 + 20% of damages (20% of £2800.00 = £560.00) applies as Table 6B of CPR 45.29 reads “On or after the date of listing but prior the date of trial” If parliament had intended that there be a deduction when a matter is listed for Trial without being allocated to track then a provision would have been explicitly created within CPR. The Defendant is inventing a piece of law to make up for clear deficit in the argument put forward. The rules regarding fixed costs are clear; there are no provisions or entitlement for a reduction.
The matter was then set down for a Provisional Assessment hearing on 2nd September 2014 at Leicester County Court.
The Claimant’s submissions were accepted in full. The Court found that Part 45.29 Table C column 3 applied and the Claimant’s costs were assessed as drawn.
FIXED RECOVERABLE COSTS (FRC)