One of the areas of law that I have had an interest in for a number of years is flight delay claims.
A few years ago, I found myself having to make such a claim against British Airways, when their computer system, running presumably on souped up ZX Spectrums crashed spectacularly leaving me and my family adrift.
One of the more interesting aspects of the work is the way that the European Small Claims Procedure can be utilised instead of the more familiar process under part 27 CPR, with the bonus that necessary and proportionate costs can be awarded, as opposed to nominal fixed costs.
The amount of such costs awarded can vary dramatically, from a few hundred pound to two thousand pounds. Certain court centres around the country, including Liverpool deal with such claims in bulk. I went to Liverpool earlier this month to argue an appeal in front of HH Judge Wood QC, to attempt to establish some guidance on how such costs should be assessed and awarded.
A copy of the judgment can be found here:Senior v Blue Air Judgment – Final. In the case of Senior v Blue Air Management (County Court at Liverpool, 19th September 2019) the judge considered the recent cases of West/Demoulpied in the Court of Appeal and gave structured guidance to the costs judges who will assess such costs, and the degree to which they must give reasons.
How long the European Small Claims procedure will endure, in the light of the Brexit shenanigans currently unfolding of course remains to be seen. Although Brexit appears to have proceeded at a glacial pace since 2016, things are picking up speed as we hurtle towards 31st October 2019, and like so many matters the procedure’s future simply can’t be predicted at this time.