Podcast by Practico - the PodCost series
2021-09-08 - A costs chat with friends - Prof Dominic Regan with Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis
Dominic Regan’s Twitter handle pays homage to a vintage champagne. He is a legal speaker, writer, broadcaster and trainer as well as a non-practising solicitor. He said during this session that he was honoured to be asked to take part in the Practico Virtual Roundtable series, but in truth, we were every bit as honoured to have Dominic share his thoughts and wisdom with us.
We kick off with a look at the Civil Justice Council’s proposals for compulsory ADR.
After a quick look at the difference between the original vision in relation to costs budgeting and current practice, the conversation moves on to Dominic’s favourite case of 2019 – Essex v UBB Waste. Dominic’s view is that the judgment of Mr Justice Pepperall contains many lessons for litigators, and Jeremy makes the point that the judgment is akin to a checklist for litigators to use once the outcome of a trial is known. It really is a judgment with something for everyone.
Staying with the Part 36 theme, Dominic highlights the surprising situation that many claimants do not make Part 36 offers and Dominic and Jeremy look at the basket of benefits available to successful claimants who do.
Dominic looks briefly at the new witness statement regime in the Business and Property Courts. His firm view is that there was nothing wrong with the original rules, the issue is that non-compliance has too long been tolerated. In trying to right that wrong, the rule makers got carried away and the resulting new system is massively elaborate. Dominic’s own alternative is, by contrast, strikingly simple.
The new guideline hourly rates also receive a quick mention, in particular whether they signal a move towards a market basis for setting hourly rates in the future.
The session finishes with an exchange of legal quotes which I hope will raise a smile.
For links to all the case reports that are mentioned in
2021-07-23 Costs chat with friends - Judith Ayling QC with Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis
Our most recent guest came to the Bar in her mid-30s with a successful career as a commissioning editor in linguistic and philosophical publishing already under her belt. Last year she took silk and is described as ‘a force to be reckoned with’. Jeremy, Andy and I were absolutely delighted to have Judith Ayling QC take part in our latest costs chat between friends and a lively and informative session it proved to be.
Our aim is to bring you informative and relevant content and, with Judith’s help, I am confident that yet again we have hit the mark. Next time we will be joined by Dominic Regan and, as always, please do let us know if there are topics of particular interest to you which we could discuss with Dominic.
2021 05 05 - Costs chat with friends - Andrew Hogan with Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis
This time our regulars Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis are joined by Andrew Hogan of Kings Chambers. Jeremy describes Andrew’s contribution as ‘enormously illuminative’ and we are sure you will agree. The topics covered are:
• Andrew’s thoughts on the effect of the pandemic on the High Court/ SCCO versus the County Court.
• The new regime for witness statements operating in the Business and Property Courts with effect from 6 April 2021 (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part-57a-business-and-property-courts/practice-direction-57ac-trial-witness-statements-in-the-business-and-property-courts). In Andrew’s words, he has never seen anything like it and the pilot could be seen as ‘an exercise in shuffling the deckchairs.’ Andrew and Andy highlight some immediate and longer-term practical issues which may emerge, including the weaponisation of non-compliance by the parties.
• Solicitor client assessments can be the stuff of nightmares and the panel agree that the challenges we have seen thanks to CheckMyLegalFees.com (Belsner v Cam -https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2020/2755.html) and Swann v Slater & Gordon - https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/cap-on-damages-amounts-to-informed-consent-court-rules/5107930.article) will inevitably outgrow their current home in personal injury and migrate to commercial litigation.
• Budget variations - the procedure provides a bridge between the certainty that exists for the parties when a costs budget is approved at the beginning of the case and the fact that cases often develop in ways which cannot be imagined initially. The panel discuss two recent budget variation cases (Thompson v NFL Limited  EWHC 679 (QB) and Persimmon & Taylor Wimpey v Osborne Clark  EWHC 831 (Ch)) and highlight the interplay between the separate routes of budget variation applications on the back of significant developments and establishing good reason to depart from an approved budget on detailed assessment. They also pose an important question – who is in the best position to decide whether a budget should be increased, the managing judge or the costs judge?
• The session finishes with a nod to the possibility of costs managing expert accountants’ fees in the future as mentioned by the Senior Costs Judge in the long running costs assessment in the case of Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc - https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Costs/2021/B4.html
2021 03 08 Costs chat with friends - Andrew Post QC with Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis
In our latest PodCost, Andrew Post QC joins us from Hailsham Chambers and we talk about:
1 - The Zuberi v Lexlaw decision of the Court of Appeal on the enforceability of DBAs and what it means for the ability to effect termination clauses (easy) and to introduce hybrid fee arrangements (difficult).
2 - The possibility of partial relief from sanction for late filing of a costs budget based on obiter remarks in Heathfield International LLC v Axiom Stone (London) Ltd.
3 - Merricks v Mastercard will shortly return to the CAT and certification for this opt-out class action is expected. We discuss what this means for costs in collective actions and how the CAT may approach costs management if it can be encouraged to develop an appetite for budgetary control.
4 - A year after the first lockdown kicked in, we consider the good and bad aspects of remote working, in court, mediation and in daily practice.
2020-12-15 A costs chat among friends - Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis with Andrew Gordon-Saker
In this Christmas edition of the PodCost we were delighted to be joined by the Senior Costs Judge, Andrew Gordon-Saker for a review of the year in litigation costs and how (well) the SCCO has adapted and coped with remote hearings. There is also some news about the Guideline Hourly Rate Review and some thoughts about budgeting after the October rule changes
2020 - 10 - 15 A costs chat with friends - Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis with Alex Hutton QC
n this latest episode, Jeremy Morgan QC and Andy Ellis catch up with Alex Hutton QC from Hailsham Chambers. Topics include a short consideration of how litigation is holding up in the current pandemic and recession, the latest on the guideline hourly rates review, the possibility that the next iteration of the 'costs wars' may pit clients against their lawyers, and the key takeaways from the recent rule changes around budget variation