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Defendants face higher costs

Defendants face higher costs

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has challenged the Court of Appeal (CoA) after it said damages should be raised by 10 per cent from April next year.

It comes after the announcement was made by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, the Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and the vice president of the CoA Sir Anthony May in a ruling handed down in July in Simmons v Castle (26 July 2012).

The move by the judiciary – which, critics say, hijacked a standard personal injury claim to announce a major policy shift – was aimed at redressing the balance for claimants once the recoverability rule for conditional fee agreements is scrapped from April 2013. Although an increase in damages was expected, the ABI is concerned that defendants could face a double whammy of costs over the course of months or even years. These include the rise in damages and the fact that successful claims launched pre-April on a CFA will be entitled to the 100 per cent uplift.

The ABI is preparing to go into battle with the claimant body in what will be perceived as an indirect challenge to the judiciary, and it has instructed DAC Beachcroft partner Andrew Parker, a key advisor to the Jackson LJ review, to challenge the ruling. Consequently, the CoA has agreed to reopen the case, requesting that the ABI contact the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) and the Personal Injury Bar Association (Piba) to add them to the list of parties as defendants.

IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death, including accidents at work. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, contact a member of IBB's Personal Injury team: call us on 01895 207972 or email PI@ibblaw.co.uk.