Casseldine –v- The Diocese of Llandaff Board for Social Responsibility (Charity)
Landau Decision on the Operation of QOCS Distinguished
Judgment has been handed down in of our client this morning by Regional Costs Judge Phillips in the Cardiff County Court.
C had instructed solicitors to deal with a personal injury claim in March 2012 and had entered into a Conditional Fee Agreement on 02/03/12 supported by an ATE policy. Liability was disputed by D and the solicitors terminated the CFA on 30/01/13. This had the effect of also terminating the ATE cover pursuant to contractual provisions.
C then instructed new solicitors and entered into a fresh CFA on 06/08/13. Proceedings were issued in December 2013 and the case came on for trial on 01/12/14 when the claim was dismissed with an Order that the issue of whether or not C was entitled to the protection of QOCS under CPR 41.13 to 44.17 was directed to be determined by the Regional Costs Judge.
Berlad Graham were instructed by C to deal with this discrete costs issue.
District Judge Phillips found that the only relevant decision (being that of Master Haworth, Senior Courts Costs Office, in Landau v The Big Bus Company (31 October 2014, unreported)) could be distinguished and found that –
- No proceedings were commenced under the first (pre Jackson) CFA
- The proceedings were conducted under the second (post Jackson) CFA
- The first CFA had been terminated by the first solicitors, thus no success fee or indeed any costs were payable under the first CFA
- Had C won at trial, the Court would not have been in a position to Order D to pay any additional liabilities
- The transitional provisions at CPR 44.17 and 48.2 must be read in context – CPR 48.2 is directed squarely at recoverability
- The purpose of the rules was to achieve a quid pro quo, so that post 1st April 2013 QOCS protection applied where D was not faced with any additional liability
C was awarded full costs protection along with costs of the application summarily assessed and to be paid by D.
Permission to appeal has been granted.
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