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Personal Injury Law Journal: November 2015

Hannah Saxena examines the ability of the court to set aside qualified one-way costs shifting

Two and a half years ago fundamental dishonesty was a phrase very few practitioners would have recognised. It is now over two years since the introduction of QOCS in April 2013 with the fundamental dishonesty exception and now, since 13 April 2015, s57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (the CJCA) has come into force that also uses the phrase.

Holly Tibbitts considers what lawyers can do to minimise the effect of the government’s latest assault on civil justice.

Despite widespread criticism from the legal community, on 9 March 2015 the government implemented a crippling rise in court fees in England and Wales. Aware of the potentially devastating effect on claimants, lawyers throughout the country worked feverishly to protect their clients’ positions by issuing claims before the demise of the old fee regime. But now that the issuing frenzy is over and the much maligned fee hike has come to pass, is there anything else that can be done to mitigate the effects of this new price for justice?

Andrew Hogan sets out the different strategies for approaching mediation

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an alternative to litigation. Seen 20 years ago, as touchy-feely nonsense, ‘being nice’ to the ‘being nasty’ of litigation, the last 20 years have seen it increase dramatically in importance.

Strike out; admission of liability; conflict of interest; solicitor default

When is it appropriate to strike out a claim in which liability is admitted?

Brenna Conroy outlines the distinction between appreciation of an accident and witnessing a victim’s injuries for secondary victim claims

It is hard to escape the notion that the rise in the number of secondary victim claims in recent years owes its success to the amorphous concept of ‘proximity’. The test of proximity itself is well established: a secondary victim claimant can only establish a claim in law as a result of witnessing an event or its immediate aftermath. Establishing proximity does not pose much of a problem if the claimant has witnessed an accident itself; what remains controversial is defining the limit of ‘the event’ and its ‘immediate aftermath’. Having looked at the decisions of the courts on this issue, one would be forgiven for thinking that the boundaries are imposed somewhat arbitrarily.

6 Pump Court

Nicholas Baldock discusses the factors courts take into account when considering chronic pain claims

Whether acting for the defendant or claimant, chronic pain cases can and do cause particular problems, some of which are touched on below. Pain can be caused by a number of factors; in some cases what might appear to be a minor trauma can cause complaints of significant chronic pain. Such pain might have a physical or a psychological cause or both. That causes defendants to be suspicious. Claimants have the burden of proving that genuine chronic pain was caused, in the legal sense, by the accident. Claimants who fabricate or exaggerate complaints of chronic pain face dire consequences which will affect their legal advisors.

In the second part of his article Paul Jones explains the new code system of the new bill of costs pilot scheme

In Part 1 of this article the small but important amendment to CPR 47.6(1) was considered together with the new Precedent Q which must be served with a bill of costs when a costs management order has been made in a case. As discussed, the purpose of this amendment was to assist the court to undertake a comparison between the budgeted costs and the actually incurred costs in light of the provision in CPR 3.18 that costs should not be allowed on a standard basis assessment in excess of the budgeted costs unless there is a good reason. This change is an important part of Lord Jackson’s blueprint for making costs in civil litigation more proportionate and, in particular, the streamlining of the process for assessing those costs. Another important part of that vision is to change the way the costs incurred are actually recorded by solicitors and how they are ultimately presented to a court for them to be assessed; this is what the 81st update’s new bill of costs pilot scheme (the pilot) is intended to do.

Rachel Heelis reviews the third edition of Clinical Negligence Claims – A Practical Guide

Having previously owned copies of both the first and second edition of the book and in light of all of the recent and significant changes in the field of clinical negligence law, I was very eager to read and review the latest (third) edition of this book. I have always found it an excellent guide and a ‘first port of call’ which contains everything you need to know to run complex clinical negligence cases.