NEWSLETTER: 3+9=Costs (October 2020 Edition)

Welcome to the 2nd Edition of 39 Essex Chambers' Costs Newsletter.  If anyone thought that Covid-19 would mean a quieter time for legal developments, this newsletter demonstrates that view to be mistaken!

This edition brings you right up to date with the rumbling judgment of Lavender J in Belsner which held that solicitors owed a fiduciary duty at the time of entering the retainer and are thus saddled with a duty to obtain informed consent.  Our analysis is provided by none other than the former Senior Costs Judge.  We take you back to 2014 to shine a light on what might lie ahead on hourly rates, sweeping up recent judgments of interest from the SCCO corridor.  We move on to an extremely interesting development - the award of a success fee as part of the substantive award in an Inheritance Act claim, thus seemingly circumventing the prohibition against adverse awards of success fees (Re H (Deceased)).

Fancy a quiz?  What do you get when you cross a withdrawn Part 36 offer with a claim in which the big-ticket item is lost by the Claimant and only 10% of the rest is won?  Read on to find out more about winners, losers and indemnity costs (Blackpool BC).

October, October – tends to mark a rule change, and sure enough you should all be aware by now of the new Precedent T.  We give you the pointers, some tips and consider the as yet undefined "oppressive behaviour".

As we round up this edition, we review a decision of the Court of Appeal on the making of costs orders against a regulator, particularly before the Competition and Markets Authority and the Competition Appeal Tribunal (Flynn Pharma).  We consider the starting point for such orders and the tests for departure.  We also review Swift v Carpenter for the rare consideration by the Court of Appeal of Protective Costs Orders in private law proceedings.

Finally, we close with an article first published in our Construction & Commercial Group newsletter last month, but repeated here because of its wide costs relevance, reviewing a solicitor-client fall-out on an epic scale with costs of £12m odd in issue, a fight about the validity of the CFA and a finding that the best interests of the client were left in the rear-view mirror! (GEHC v Winros Partnership)

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