APIL judicial review challenge to fixed costs CPR changes for clinical negligence and PI claims over £100K concluded against Ministry of Justice

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers’ (“APIL”) Judicial Review claim against the Ministry of Justice has concluded with a consent order in the Administrative Court. APIL’s press statement is here.

The grounds challenged the consultation; the clarity of the drafting for clinical negligence claims in the intermediate track; inconsistency with the clinical negligence Pre Action Protocol; the omission of costs recoverability for inquests and restoration to the company register; the new costs provisions for vulnerability; and the lack of clarity as to whether the rules were intended to change existing Court of Appeal case law on contracting out of fixed costs.

The Ministry of Justice ran a further consultation and amended the CPR from 6 April 2024, redrafting the provisions relating to clinical negligence claims in the intermediate track so that this will only apply where the Defendant admits liability in full in the formal Pre Action Protocol response letter, to include the costs of restoration to the company register and inquests. The Ministry of Justice has clarified that there was no intention to reverse the current case law on contracting out of fixed costs (Doyle v M&D Foundations and Building Services Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 927). The Ministry of Justice has also agreed to consult by 1 October 2026 on the rules surrounding vulnerable parties including evidence from stakeholders inside and outside the legal profession, court users, citizens advice, Advocate, APIL. HMCTS, judicial office holders especially at County Court level. This consultation will be published by 31 October 2027 subject to agreement between the parties to extend the end date.

Katherine Apps KC, Dan Laking and Christopher Moss acted for APIL and were instructed by Oliver Studdert and Katie Wilkins of Irwin Mitchell LLP.