I’ll get the lights…

Feeling cheerful? Good, we’ll soon change that. Whether Claimant or Defendant on disrepair, judicial review or other CFA funded claims, the world is about to shift on its axis somewhat, and both sides are going to have to rethink their positions and tactics.

The Government’s response to the consultation on reforms to civil litigation and costs (the Jackson reforms) has now been released.

The full response can be downloaded here [pdf] and the associated impact assessment is here [pdf]

The press release is here.

In short, the Government intends to go ahead with its original proposals. Expect legislation soonish.

From the perspective of housing practitioners, some things are not … Read the full post

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Champerty Returns

Sibthorpe & Morris v LB Southwark [2011] EWCA Civ 25

Champerty and maintenance are two common law doctrines relating to the funding of civil claims. They were, at one time criminal offences, but now survive only as a matter of public policy. Briefly, maintenance is where a third party agrees to fund the suit of another in which he has no legitimate cause or interest whereas champerty is where the third party maintains the suit while also seeking a share of the damages to be awarded. Both of these were commonly used by the wealthy and powerful in the past in order to advance political causes as well as to … Read the full post

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Retrospective CFAs on appeal

Birmingham City Council v Forde [2009] EWHC 12 (QB) was the High Court hearing of Birmingham’s appeal from the High Court (Costs) case we reported on in August last year.

In short, the appeal was dismissed, and the judgment of the Costs Judge upheld, but in a lengthy and detailed judgment, there are some considerable differences to the reasoning and the findings of the Costs Judge that are worth noting. In particular, the new elements are:

i) the finding that there is no policy, or other, reason why CFAs, including the success fee, should not be retrospectively effective; (with the exception of when proceedings had been issued and notice of funding … Read the full post

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Retrospective CFAs

Forde v Birmingham City Council [2008] EWHC 90105 (Costs)

In brief, where a firm had asked a client to sign a second CFA for a disrepair claim, at a time when it appeared that the first CFA might be found unenforceable, and the second CFA provided for a success fee where the first one didn’t:

a) was the second CFA unenforceable because it concerns matters contained in the first CFA?

b) was the second CFA unenforceable because it is retrospective?

c) what period is covered by the second CFA?

d) is the success fee retrospective?

e) when a second CFA is signed at a time when a firm offer is … Read the full post

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Third party Funding, after your cash?

Sorry for another Times story reference, but I felt myself slipping into bewilderment with this story. Third party financing for bringing a case, OK. But it is then denied that there is any resemblance to encouraging personal litigation because:

Helping one company to sue another and possibly profiting from it is simply not the same thing as helping the victim of a car accident to sue the driver at fault. One is a personal dispute that may have involved tangible human suffering; the other involves a business managing commercial risk.

Eh? Colour me stupid but what, precisely, is the difference? “I fund you to bring a case and take … Read the full post

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