It is some months since the last edition of the 39 Essex Chambers Personal Injury Newsletter. We hope that you are pleased to see this first edition of 2015 with our new look, ahead of our move to a new building in Chancery Lane later this year.
The last edition featured a long article by Camilla Church on Mitchell. Since then the vexed question of rule 3.9 has been back to the Court of Appeal in Denton v TH White Ltd and it seems that the plethora of contested applications which Mitchell gave rise to has abated – a 3.9 application heard by Senior Master Fontaine in January 2015 was the first she had heard since Denton was decided.
But it seems that the QBD Masters’ Corridor and the Courts generally are now detained instead with costs management hearings. In some County Courts listing for applications is as long as 12 months, because CMCs where the parties would previously have agreed directions or required only a brief telephone hearing have morphed into CCMCs which take 1.5-2 hours if the budgets are contested, which they almost invariably are. We shall wait to see what happens, but in the meantime we update you in the costs section on the first two reported decisions on appeals from costs management orders, Havenga and Redfern, and on a High Court decision which gives some guidance on budgeting, Tim Yeo v Times Newspapers. Meanwhile as work on this edition is completed the Supreme Court is hearing argument in Coventry v Lawrence about whether a party’s right to recover a success fee and ATE premium from an unsuccessful opponent under the pre-1 April 2013 regime infringed art.6 ECHR and/or art.1 of the First Protocol to the ECHR, with interventions from the Secretary of State for Justice, the General Council of the Bar, the Association of Costs Lawyers, and the Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK, to name but some.
The liability update includes the very recent Supreme Court decision (28 January 2015) on the duty (or lack of duty) owed by the police when responding to a 999 call, Michael & others v The Chief Constable of South Wales Police & anor.