The Jackson Reforms and the impact on Infant Approval Hearings: update to the Civil Procedure Rules

The Jackson Reforms and the impact on Infant Approval Hearings: update to the Civil Procedure Rules

Since Jackson LJ published his Review of Civil Litigation Costs, there has been a significant impact on the costs claimable, and awarded in Infant Approval Hearings.  With costs under the Judicial microscope, the 78th Update to the Civil Procedure Rules will place an even greater burden on Claimant solicitors to justify and recover costs.

Under Rule 11.3 of the new Practice Direction to Part 21 for Children and Protected Parties,  where the Solicitors seek to deduct costs from the Claimant’s damages, the Witness Statement must now include:-

  1. A copy of the conditional fee agreement or damages based agreement
  2. The risk assessment by reference to which the success fee was determined
  3. The reason why the particular funding model was selected
  4. The advice given to the litigation friend in relation to the funding arrangements
  5. Details of any costs agreed, recovered or fixed costs recoverable by the child; and
  6. Confirmation of the amount of the sum agreed or awarded in respect of
    1. General damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity; and
    2. Damages for pecuniary loss other than future pecuniary loss, net of any ums recoverable by the Compensation Recovery Unit of the Department of Work and Pensions.

Failure to comply with the new Practice Direction will significantly reduce the recoverable costs.  With the Court taking a hard-line approach in relation to applications for Relief from Sanctions, Claimant’s Solicitors will have one chance to get all of the information required before the Court and to seek payment out in respect of Success Fees and ATE Premiums.

Claimant solicitors will have to work harder to justify costs and it becomes even more important to keep legal fees to a minimum.  In this respect, Kearns can help. We attend hundreds of Infant Approval hearings at County Courts nationwide. We have an experienced panel of representatives ready to accept your instructions for attendance at the hearing at a competitive fee.

At Kearns, we deliver a first class service :

  • Highly experienced and well trained Infant Settlement Team: with representation striving to support & enhance your firm’s reputation
  • Transparency of our competitive fixed fees – ensuring costs are recoverable and kept to a minimum
  • Solid working relationships with the judiciary in each locality we are instructed to appear
  • User friendly service.  Book us for attendance by e mail, or telephone and your case will be covered
  • Advocacy expertise whilst you are liberated from non-billable travel and waiting time at court
  • Same day detailed reporting of the outcome of hearings.
  • A highly personable and knowledgeable team, always ready to answer your queries.