Notable cases

I don’t just undertake work in the field of costs and litigation funding. I retain an interest and thriving practices in many other areas of law, particularly public law as the case list below makes clear.

In terms of the costs cases that I have undertaken, many of my most interesting cases include detailed assessments or hearings at first instance in the County Court, which tend not to be reported. A number of my cases have found their way on to the web, or as High Court or Court of Appeal decisions have been reported, some of which I include below.

ESSAR OILFIELD SERVICES LTD v NORSCOT RIG MANAGEMENT PVT LTD (2016)

An arbitrator’s general power to award costs included the power to award the costs of third party litigation funding, which were “other costs” within the Arbitration Act 1996 s.59(1)(c).

ARBITRATION – LEGAL ADVICE AND FUNDING – CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS

QBD (Comm) (Judge Waksman QC) 15/09/2016

References: LTL 16/9/2016 EXTEMPORE

DA COSTA & ANOR v SARGACO & ANOR (2016)

In a claim for damages arising from a road traffic accident where it was alleged that the claim was fraudulent and the credibility of two claimants was in issue, a judge had been wrong to exclude one claimant from court while the other gave evidence. The starting point was that a party was entitled to be present throughout a civil trial and although there were classes of case where a departure from the norm might be justified, the judge had not given sufficient reason for taking such a course.

NEGLIGENCE – ROAD TRAFFIC – CIVIL PROCEDURE – INSURANCE

[2016] EWCA Civ 764

CA (Civ Div) (Black LJ, Floyd LJ, Moylan J) 13/07/2016

References: LTL 14/7/2016 : [2016] CP Rep 40

DENISE JONES v SPIRE HEALTHCARE LTD (2016)

An insolvent firm of solicitors could validly assign both the benefit and the burden of a conditional fee agreement to another firm.

LEGAL ADVICE AND FUNDING – CIVIL PROCEDURE – LEGAL PROFESSION – COSTS

CC (Liverpool) (Judge Graham Wood QC) 27/04/2016

References: LTL 17/5/2016 : [2016] 3 Costs LO 487

STUART JOHN GENTRY v (1) LEE MILLER (2) UK INSURANCE LTD (2016)

The court considered the appropriate approach to granting relief from sanctions in cases where a defaulting party had delayed in applying for relief but could point to evidence which enabled it to allege that the claim was a fraudulent one. It was necessary to consider all the circumstances of the case; a default judgment could not be set aside as a matter of course just because an arguable fraud was alleged.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – INSURANCE – PERSONAL INJURY

[2016] EWCA Civ 141

CA (Civ Div) (Lewison LJ, Beatson LJ, Vos LJ) 9/03/2016

References: LTL 10/3/2016 : [2016] CP Rep 25 : [2016] 1 WLR 2696 : Times, April 21, 2016

GEORGE ANDREW CONNOR (A PROTECTED PARTY BY HIS WIFE & LITIGATION FRIEND REBECCA CONNOR) v (1) CASTLE CEMENT (2) S&S STEEL FABRICATIONS LTD (3) VESUVIUS UK LTD (2016)

In an unusual and complex personal injury case the claimant had genuinely presented the psychiatric symptoms described soon after the work accident. In accordance with expert psychiatric opinion he had been suffering from an actionable psychiatric injury, namely hysterical pseudodementia.

PERSONAL INJURY – NEGLIGENCE – HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK – CIVIL EVIDENCE

[2016] EWHC 300 (QB)

QBD (Merc) (Cheema-Grubb J) 19/02/2016

References: LTL 2/3/2016

REBECCA EVE KELLETT (A PROTECTED PARTY BY HER LITIGATION FRIEND ALISON DAWN MCMAHON) v WIGAN & DISTRICT COMMUNITY TRANSPORT (2015)

Where a solicitor had invoked the services of a medical agency to obtain a report from an expert, it was neither reasonable nor proportionate within the meaning of CPR r.44.4(1) for the agency to charge VAT in respect of the report itself.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS – VAT

CC (Manchester) (Judge Platts) 16/09/2015

References: LTL 11/11/2015

MICHAEL DENNIS DALTON & ORS v BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLC (2014)

Noise-induced hearing loss, sustained by a number of employees as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work, was a “disease” within the meaning of CPR Pt 45 so as to attract a success fee of 62.5 per cent where claims for damages were settled before a trial had commenced.

PERSONAL INJURY – CIVIL PROCEDURE – LEGAL ADVICE AND FUNDING

[2015] EWHC 616 (QB)

QBD (Cardiff) (Phillips J) 13/03/2015

R (on the application of SUSAN SAVAGE) (Claimant) v MANSFIELD DISTRICT COUNCIL (Defendant) & LINDHURST GROUP (Interested Party) (2015)

Outline planning permission was upheld for a mixed use development near a wood containing substantial breeding populations of nightjar and woodlark. There was a risk that the woodland could be included in a potential special protection area, but that had not been formally proposed and the planning authority had therefore been under no obligation to consult Natural England or accept its advice about that possibility.

PLANNING – ENVIRONMENT – ANIMALS – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2015] EWCA Civ 4

CA (Civ Div) (Sir James Munby PFD, Lewison LJ, King LJ) 15/01/2015

MANSFIELD DISTRICT COUNCIL v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES & LOCAL GOVERNMENT (2014)

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government had been entitled to claw back part of grants made from the European Regional Development Fund where the local authority receiving the grants had failed to advertise invitations to tender in the way contemplated by the regional development agency’s guidance and the European Union’s national guidance.

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT – EUROPEAN UNION – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2014] EWHC 2167 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Foskett J) 2/07/2014

R (on the application of ROYSTON POTTER) (Claimant) v AMBER VALLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL (Defendant) & (1) MR MICHAEL WOOD (2) MRS MICHAEL WOOD (Interested Parties) (2014)

Where a planning board had decided to grant planning permission for a residential development contrary to the advice and recommendation of its own planning officer, it was appropriate to quash that decision because the summary reasons the board gave were insufficient to demonstrate that it had followed the correct legal approach or the reason why it had disagreed with the view of its officer.

PLANNING – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2014] EWHC 888 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Hickinbottom J) 28/03/2014

SAVAGE (Claimant) v MANSFIELD DISTRICT COUNCIL (Defendant) & LINDHURST GROUP (Interested Party) (2014)

A local planning authority had not erred in granting outline planning permission for an urban development adjacent to woodland which Natural England had identified as an important area for nightjars and woodlarks. Although the woodland was not designated as a special protection area, the possibility of future designation and its impact on the proposed development had been properly considered by the planning committee.

PLANNING – ENVIRONMENT – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2014] EWHC 600 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Stewart J) 6/03/2014

JADE HAMNETT v ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL (2014)

The Administrative Division of the High Court did not have jurisdiction to perform a statutory review of two experimental traffic regulation orders, which had the effect of removing disabled parking spaces on a high street, on the basis that they breached the Equality Act 2010 s.29. The clear intention of Parliament was that claims under s.29 “must” be brought in the county court.

ROAD TRAFFIC – ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – CIVIL PROCEDURE – DISCRIMINATION

[2014] EWHC 246 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Singh J) 13/02/2014

[2014] 1 WLR 2562 : [2014] RTR 22 : [2014] ACD 83

R (on the application of RICHARD HAYDEN) v EREWASH BOROUGH COUNCIL (Respondent) & SIMON KELLY (Interested Party) (2013)

A local authority had not erred in granting a householder permission to build an extension. Although his neighbour had concerns about subsidence resulting from the construction work, those concerns could be dealt with through the Building Regulations 2010 and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

PLANNING – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2013] EWHC 3527 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Stewart J) 14/11/2013

DENNIS RYE LTD v BOLSOVER DISTRICT COUNCIL (2013)

There had been sufficient evidence for a Crown Court to convict a company on two charges for breaches of an abatement notice by burning waste, including plastics and treated wood which created dark smoke and caused a nuisance to adjoining residential properties.

NUISANCE – ENVIRONMENT – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2013] EWHC 1041 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Collins J) 22/03/2013

[2013] ACD 95 : [2013] Env LR D8

ALLSOP v DERBYSHIRE DALES DISTRICT COUNCIL (2012)

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s.215 afforded a local planning authority no power to issue a notice requiring a cessation of the use of land which did not contravene Pt III of the Act, and no power to issue a notice which failed to identify the substance of the mischief at which it was directed. A notice issued to a farmer was invalid where it referred to his land’s use but was in fact directed at graffiti on a trailer.

PLANNING – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2012] EWHC 3562 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Leggatt J) 13/11/2012

(1) MICHAEL MARK ANTHONY WHITE (2) MICHAEL THOMAS WHITE v SOUTH DERBYSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL (2012)

A local authority could not rely on its own ultra vires act, namely wrongly issuing a caravan site licence, to found a prosecution of the landowner for not having a valid licence.

LICENSING – PLANNING – LOCAL GOVERNMENT – CRIMINAL LAW – HUMAN RIGHTS

[2012] EWHC 3495 (Admin)

DC (Gross LJ, Singh J) 8/11/2012

[2013] ACD 37 : [2013] PTSR 536

WEBB v ENVIRONMENT AGENCY (2011)

The Environment Agency’s late introduction of a defence under the Water Resources Act 1991 s.165, which meant that court proceedings had to be discontinued in favour of Lands Tribunal proceedings, in which the claimants were largely successful, justified a departure from the usual costs rule under CPR r.38.6 that a claimant who discontinued proceedings would be liable for the costs of the defendant.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS – WATER LAW

QBD (Sweeney J) 5/04/2011

DAVID SMITH v COUNTRYWIDE FARMERS PLC (2010)

A costs judge had directed himself correctly when putting a receiving party to his election on whether to produce a copy of a conditional fee agreement or to confirm compliance with the Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations 2000 by evidence. Furthermore, it was unacceptable in practice or in principle for a costs judge to scrutinize the terms of a CFA to check that all matters and all terms had been properly included.

LEGAL ADVICE AND FUNDING – COSTS – CIVIL EVIDENCE

QBD (Cardiff) (Judge Seys-Llewellyn QC) 11/02/2010

AMBER VALLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL v (1) SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES & LOCAL GOVERNMENT (2) ALLAN NORTHCOTT (3) MARGARET NORTHCOTT (2009)

A planning inspector had properly considered all relevant and material factors when determining that the conversion of a barn into a residential dwelling would not harm the character and appearance of the area, including the special landscape area.

PLANNING – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2009] EWHC 80 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Bean J) 23/01/2009

TREHARNE & ORS v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WORK & PENSIONS (2008)

The European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8 could not be extended to found any claim for damages for the failure of the Child Support Agency properly to pursue maintenance assessments.

FAMILY LAW – HUMAN RIGHTS

[2008] EWHC 3222 (QB)

QBD (Cranston J) 30/09/2008

[2009] 1 FLR 853 : [2009] 2 FCR 350 : [2009] Fam Law 190

PETER ANDREW AVRIL v STEPHEN BOULTBY (2008)

On a detailed assessment of costs in a road traffic accident case, a judge had erred in disallowing a premium incurred in respect of after the event insurance obtained by a claimant, even where liability for the accident had been admitted by the defendant from the outset of the case.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS – ROAD TRAFFIC

CC (Nottingham) (Judge Inglis, District Judge Millard) 14/05/2008

R (on the application of CORUS UK LTD) v EREWASH BOROUGH COUNCIL (2007)

An inspector’s recommendation that a brickworks site be reinstated into a local housing plan was not unconditional and the local authority was entitled to exclude the site on the basis that the underprovision of housing in the sub-area in which the site was located was offset by borough-wide overprovision of housing.

PLANNING – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2007] EWHC 2486 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Burton J) 12/10/2007

CORUS UK LTD v EREWASH BOROUGH COUNCIL (2006)

The judge had been entitled to grant a claimant a three-day extension of time under CPR r.3.1(2) for service of a Part 8 claim form to challenge a local authority’s local plan.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – LOCAL GOVERNMENT

[2006] EWCA Civ 1175

CA (Civ Div) (Ward LJ, Laws LJ, Longmore LJ) 22/06/2006

[2006] CP Rep 41 : [2007] 1 P & CR 22

CORUS UK LTD V EREWASH BOROUGH COUNCIL (2005)

The appropriate procedural rules governing an application for an extension of time for an application under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s.287 were those contained in CPR r.3.1 .

PLANNING – CIVIL PROCEDURE

[2005] EWHC 2821 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (McCombe J) 9/12/2005

[2005] NPC 145

VARIOUS CLAIMANTS V (1) BRYN ALYN COMMUNITY (HOLDINGS) LTD (IN LIQUIDATION) (2) ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE PLC (2003)

Where the Court of Appeal was dealing with an appeal and then an appeal ancillary to the main appeal on issues under CPR Part 36, the sealing of the order on the main appeal did not preclude the court considering whether Part 36 orders should be made in favour of three claimants not previously made party to the Part 36 appeal.

CPR – CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS – PERSONAL INJURY

[2003] EWCA Civ 783

CA (Civ Div) (Auld LJ, Waller LJ, Mantell LJ) 10/06/2003

[2003] QB 1441 : [2003] 3 WLR 107 : [2003] CPLR 415 : (2003) 147 SJLB 749

BRADLEY HOLLINS v H S RUSSELL : MARK EDWARD TICHBAND v B HURDMAN : ALISON DUNN v HELEN WARD : DORA MAY PRATT v DANIEL DAVID MICHAEL BULL : JOHN JOSEPH WORTH v JAMES JOSEPH MCKENNA : GERALD SHARRATT v (2003)

The Court of Appeal gave guidance on the interpretation of ss.58 and 58A Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and regs.2, 3 and 4 Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations 2000 SI 2000/692.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS – LEGAL PROFESSION – PERSONAL INJURY

[2003] EWCA Civ 718

CA (Civ Div) (Brooke LJ, Hale LJ, Arden LJ) 22/05/2003

[2003] 1 WLR 2487 : [2003] 4 All ER 590 : [2003] 3 Costs LR 423 : (2003) 100(28) LSG 30 : (2003) 153 NLJ 920 : (2003) 147 SJLB 662 : Times, June 10, 2003 : Independent, June 3, 2003

VARIOUS CLAIMANTS V (1) BRYN ALYN COMMUNITY (HOLDINGS) LTD (2) ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE PLC (2003)

Unless a fresh CPR Part 36 offer was made during the appeal proceedings the machinery of Part 36 was not available to the Court of Appeal which would be disinclined to use its discretion to achieve a similar result by reference to a pre-trial Part 36 offer.

CPR – CIVIL PROCEDURE – COSTS – PERSONAL INJURY

[2003] EWCA Civ 383

CA (Civ Div) (Auld LJ, Waller LJ, Mantell LJ) 24/03/2003

[2003] CP Rep 49 : [2003] PIQR P30 : (2003) 147 SJLB 387 : [2003] NPC 40

GENERAL GUARANTEE FINANCE LTD V RONALD KRAJCZYNSKI (2001)

An appeal from an order setting aside statutory demands was not an appropriate forum for examining serious triable issues involving the law of estoppel.

INSOLVENCY – EQUITY – CPR – CIVIL PROCEDURE

Ch D (Leslie Kosmin QC) 7/11/2001

[2002] BPIR 324

PAUL DAVID CULLEN V JOHN COGGINS (2000)

The defendant was entitled to assume, as a matter of common sense, that a road junction would remain clear when he proceeded past a green traffic light and had not negligently contributed to the cause of the accident between himself and the claimant, who had driven through a red light to enter the junction. Cases such as this one were decided on their own facts and the court did not consider there was any room for a strict rule to be applied.

TRANSPORT – DAMAGES – NEGLIGENCE – PERSONAL INJURY

CA (Civ Div) (Robert Walker LJ, Mance LJ) 8/03/2000

JOHN IAN PURDY (CLAIMANT) V PHILIP JOHN CAMBRAN (DEFENDANT) (1999)

When exercising its powers under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, the court had to seek to give effect to the overriding objective. It followed that when the court was considering under the 1998 Rules whether or not it was just, in accordance with the overriding objective, to strike out a claim, it was not necessary or appropriate to analyse that question by reference to a rigid and overloaded structure which a large body of decision under the former rules had constructed.

CIVIL PROCEDURE – PERSONAL INJURY – CIVIL EVIDENCE

CA (Civ Div) (Swinton Thomas LJ, May LJ, Singer J) 17/12/1999

[2000] CP Rep 67 : [1999] CPLR 843

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