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Judge raises no-win no-fee concerns

Judge raises no-win no-fee concerns

Concerns have been raised about the high legal costs associated with no-win, no-fee cases.

Lord Justice Rix questioned the costs involved in these cases following a dispute over who was to blame for a flood which occurred in a school dining room. It is thought that the costs involved in the case amounted to over £200,000.

Due the involvement of a no-win, no fee agreement in the case, the appeal court judge suggested that it was "practically impossible" to settle the dispute.

The Court of Appeal was asked to decide on the parties which should foot legal costs, after an earlier trial saw a judge order a construction firm to pay more than £27,000 in damages to Epsom College following the flooding incident in 2006.

Commenting on the appeal case, Lord Justice Rix said it had effectively been waged between two insurers.

He said that following the flood, the school's insurers' solicitors had set up a no-win, no fee agreement and the school blamed Bisley Construction – now renamed Pierse Contracting Southern – for the incident.

The school said the firm had worked in the hall three years earlier and one of its workers had hit a nail through a water pipe.

However, the claims were disputed by the construction firm.

Despite the damages which the school was awarded in the initial trial, the appeal court learned that the school's legal costs amounted to £165,000, while the firm's had reached £60,000.

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