ILC ARTICLE

APIL takes on government over fixed recoverable costs rules


APIL is challenging new rules to extend fixed recoverable costs in personal injury cases.

The new rules are due to be introduced on 1 October despite the fact that a government consultation into their viability does not conclude until 8 September.

There are four key areas of APIL’s challenge, all of which it believes represent significant impediments for injured people to secure justice.

The first concerns clinical negligence claims. The new rules suggest that clinical negligence cases valued between £25,000 and £100,000 should be moved to the new intermediate track if ‘both breach of duty and causation have been admitted.’

But it is not specified at what stage of the case those admissions must be made. If they are only made late in proceedings, solicitors may invest significant time and effort before finding out that applied fix costs do not cover the work already done. This may dissuade them from taking on such cases.

APIL is also challenging provisions relating to vulnerable people, which will mean that solicitors will have to cover part of the additional costs incurred when representing vulnerable people.

A further challenge relates to the unlawful exclusion from the new regime of fixed recoverable costs for representation at inquests, and for restoring companies to the Companies Register, while APIL is also challenging an apparent reversal of Court of Appeal case law, which allows parties to contract out of fixed costs when there is a dispute in settlement agreements.

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