Kerry Underwood

Archive for February 2015


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Here is a link to BBC Radio 4’s File on Four broadcast at 8:00pm on Tuesday 24 February 2015.

It lasts 40 minutes.

Written by kerryunderwood

February 25, 2015 at 11:27 am

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Candidates required to make futile suggestions concerning the legal system:

Job requirements:

  1. You must never have had a proper job.
  2. You must never have dealt with a client or member of the public.
  3. You most certainly must never have run your own business or taken any commercial risk.
  4. You must use the terms “platform”, “portal” and “technology” in every paragraph of anything you write.

Personal attributes

  1. A willingness to meddle in things you know nothing about.
  2. Having a completely safe tax payer funded job with an index-linked pension.
  3. Not have any real experience of real life.


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February 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

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The Supreme Court has finished hearing the appeal in Coventry v Lawrence and judgment is expected in July of this year.

Written by kerryunderwood

February 17, 2015 at 10:54 am

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Dick Chilblain reports live from Westminster – May 2015

“My previous governments, comprising the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties have been preparing for the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. To this end my governments of the last 18 years have: –

  •  Scrapped legal aid
  • Increased court fees tenfold
  • Introduced employment tribunal fees causing an 80% reduction in cases
  • Heavily restricted Judicial Review
  • Allowed non-lawyers to practice law
  • Allowed the banks to get away with treason
  • Mounted a sustained attack on lawyers and professional people generally
  • Introduced damaging and expensive reforms which do not work
  • Introduced a further set of damaging and expensive reforms that do not work
  • Caused a huge increase in litigants in person clogging up the courts and not getting justice
  • Sought to destroy the rule of law
  • Acted like a bunch of Nazi yobs towards the legal system.

The fees in my courts are now so expensive that even I cannot afford them and I am the Queen. I am surprised at the tenfold increase in court fees as I spend much of my time giving Royal Assent to endless Bills waffling on about reducing the cost of going to law.

Consequently in exercise of my Royal Prerogative and to celebrate 800 years of Magna Carta I am reversing all of the above changes.

In addition I will never again appoint a Lord Chancellor who is not a lawyer.”

Written by kerryunderwood

February 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

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All figures throughout are NET of VAT.


The Guideline Hourly Rates for 2014 remain the same as the Guideline Hourly Rates for 2010. These rates are as follows:-

  Grade London 1       London 2    London 3    National 1   National 2  National 3  
Grade A – Solicitors or Fellow of CILEX over 8 years’ qualified experience

(my italics to emphasise the change under the Guideline Hourly Rates 2014).

 £409.00  £317.00  £229.00 – £267.00  £217.00  £201.00  £201.00
Grade B – Solicitors or Legal Executives (CILEX) over 4 years’ qualified experience  and Costs Lawyers who are suitably qualified, and subject to regulation, depending on the complexity of the work

(my italics to emphasise the change under the Guideline Hourly Rates 2014).

 £296.00  £242.00  £172.00 – £229.00  £192.00  £177.00  £177.00
Grade C – Other qualified Solicitors or Legal Executive and Costs Lawyers who are suitably qualified, and subject to regulation, depending on the complexity of the work

(my italics to emphasise the change under the Guideline Hourly Rates 2014).

 £226.00  £196.00  £165.00  £161.00  £146.00  £146.00
Grade D – Trainee Solicitors, paralegals or equivalent  £138.00  £126.00  £121.00  £118.00  £111.00  £111.00

A full list of the areas covered by the categories (London 1, London 2, London 3, National 1, National 2 and National 3) can be found here.


Pre 30 April 2013

From   £1,000.00 to £10,000.00 £
Stage 1 – £400.00
Stage 2 – £800.00
Total      £1,200.00

  Post 29 April 2013 The post 29 April 2013 road traffic accident fees are:-

From   £1,000.00 to £10,000.00 £
Stage 1 – £200.00
Stage 2 – £300.00
Total      £500.00

(The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2013, SI 2013 No 789 (L.7))   The post 30 July 2013 fees are:-

From   £10,000.00 to £25,000.00 £
Stage 1 – £200.00
Stage 2 – £600.00
Total      £800.00

In both portals the Stage 1 fee is payable 10 days after receiving the Stage 2 Settlement pack and the Stage 2 fee is payable 10 days after settlement is agreed.  


With effect from 31 July 2013 any case, except an Industrial Disease case, exiting any portal goes in to a new Fixed Recoverable Costs scheme and those Fixed Recoverable Costs are as per the table below. Alone, industrial disease cases exiting the portal will go straight to open, standard costs and cannot be the subject of Fixed Recoverable Costs outside the portal. A pre-31 July 2013 RTA portal case that is where the CNF was issued before 31 July 2013 that exits the portal now goes to the old so-called Predictable Costs Scheme which will soon wither on the vine. Fixed recoverable costs for RTA, EL and PL claims falling out of the RTA and EL/PL protocols

Pre issue£1,000 – £5,000 Pre issue£5,001 – £10,000 Pre issue£10,001 – £25,000 Issued –Post issue Pre Allocation Issued –Post allocation Pre listing Issued –Post listing Pre trial Trial –Advocacy Fee
Case Settles before issue Case Settles before issue Case Settles before issue
Road Traffic Accident
Fixed Costs Greater of £550 or £100 + 20% of Damages £1,100+ 15% of Damages over £5k £1,930+ 10% of Damages over £10k £1,160+ 20% of Damages £1,880+ 20% of Damages £2,655+ 20% of Damages £500 (to £3,000)£710 (£3-10,000) £1,070 (£10-15,000) £1,705 (£15,000+)
Escape + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% na
Employers Liability
Fixed Costs £950+ 17.5% of Damages £1,855+ 12.5% of Damages over £5k £2,500+ 10% of Damages over £10k £2,630+ 20% of Damages £3,350+ 25% of Damages £4,280+ 30% of Damages £500 (to £3,000)£710 (£3-10,000) £1,070 (£10-15,000) £1,705 (£15,000+)
Escape + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% na
Public Liability
Fixed Costs £950+ 17.5% of Damages £1,855+ 10% of Damages over £5k £2,370+ 10% of Damages over £10k £2,450+ 17.5% of Damages £3,065+ 22.5% of Damages £3,790+ 27.5% of Damages £500 (to £3,000)£710 (£3-10,000) £1,070 (£10-15,000) £1,705 (£15,000+)
Escape + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% na


Stage 3 Hearings

In all cases in all portals, whatever the value of the claims, the Stage 3 fee is £250 for a paper hearing and £500 for an oral hearing. All fixed costs at all stages are exclusive of VAT.  

Type A, B and C fixed costs

Type A

Type A fixed costs are the legal representative’s Stage 3 costs for a paper hearing and in the Road Traffic Accident portal are £250.00 plus VAT. In the Employers Liability and Public Liability portal which came into place on 31 July 2013, Type A fixed costs are £250.00 plus VAT.   

Type B

Type B costs are additional advocate’s costs for conducting an oral Stage 3 hearing and are also £250 for Road Traffic Accident portal cases and are the same for the Employers’ Liability and Public Liability portals, giving a total fee of £500 for an oral Stage 3 hearing in all portals.  

Type C

Type C fixed costs are the costs for the advice on the amount of damages where the claimant is a child and are £150 in the Road Traffic Accident portal and are the same in the new Employers’ Liability and Public Liability portals. Note that neither of the portals applies to protected parties within the meaning of CPR 21.1(2), for example a person lacking capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (paragraph 4.3(2) of the EL and PL portal and paragraph 4.5(2) of the new RTA portal). Although children are dealt with in CPR 21 they are not protected parties. The heading of CPR 21, and the term used throughout, is Children and Protected Parties. (My emphasis). Note also that while both the portal and the Fixed Recoverable Costs Scheme allow for an additional fee in relation to a matter involving a child there appears to be no provision for such an additional fee if the matter is settled after exiting the portal but before proceedings are issued. There appears to be nothing to stop a claimant issuing proceedings while the matter is still in one of the portals, provided that the appropriate time has expired since lodging the Claim Notification Form, which stands as the Letter of Claim. Claimants may wish to do this in children cases to avoid the lacuna whereby no additional fee is payable in a child case where the matter has exited the portal but not yet been issued.

London enhancement

The 12.5% uplift continues to apply where the claimant lives or works in certain areas of London – see below.

Road Traffic Post 30 July 2013

On 31 July 2013 the road traffic portal was extended to cover claims up to £25,000, but only where the accident occurs on or after 31 July 2013 for claims between £10,001 and £25,000. (Paragraph 1.2(1)(a) and (b) of the new RTA protocol). The trigger for road traffic accidents between £1,000 and £10,000 entering the portal is that the accident occurred between 30 April 2013 and 30 July 2013 inclusive. On 31 July 2013 the new portal was introduced covering Employers’ Liability and Public Liability claims up to £25,000.


Road Traffic £1,000 – £10,000

CNF pre 30 April 2013 = Old, higher costs
CNF 30 April 2013 onwards = New, lower costs

£10,001 – £25,000

Cause of action pre 31 July 2013 = does not enter portal
Cause of action 31 July 2013 onwards = enters new portal

Employers’ Liability and Public Liability except industrial diseases

Cause of action pre 31 July 2013 = does not enter portal
Cause of action 31 July 2013 onwards = enters new portal

 Industrial diseases

Letter of claim pre 31 July 2013 = does not enter portal
Letter of claim 31 July 2013 onwards = enters new portal


The advocacy fee is a fixed add-on to the fee for the stage reached. This will often be at the end of the whole process, but could be at any post-issue stage, for example a quantum hearing post allocation but pre-listing where liability is admitted. Otherwise you get what is in the box. The figures are most certainly NOT cumulative. All figures carry VAT on top.


In relation to escaping fixed fast track costs, the claimant must succeed in recovering a further 20% or more; if they fail to do so they will be liable for all of the defendant’s costs of dealing with that application. This is the same test as in relation to the existing fixed costs scheme and for all intents and purposes I expect that there will never be such an application. Remember also that even if the case is outside the portal, or is removed from the portal, and does not fall within the fixed fast track costs system any bill of costs of £75,000 or under will be subject to paper assessment and not detailed oral assessment. If the claimant fails to achieve a further 20% then the claimant receives the lower of the sum as assessed or Fixed Recoverable Costs. (CPR 45.29K as amended by The Civil Procedure (Amendment No.6) Rules 2013). No doubt there will be cases which should properly be heard in the multi track, rather than the fast track, even though valued at £25,000 or less. However if this is perceived to have been done for costs reasons then the solicitor will be hit hard, the likely outcome being that as a solicitor you will be ordered personally to pay full indemnity costs to the defendant, even when the claim has been wholly successful. Remember that personal injury cases of all kinds are subject to qualified one way costs shifting and the courts will be reluctant to move a case out of the fast track system into the multi track system when on the face of it the claimant will be at no risk of costs, and stand to gain a much higher award of costs than if the matter had remained in the fast track. On the face of it Qualified One Way Costs Shifting applies, and so unless a Part 36 offer has been made in the assessment proceedings a claimant is free to have a go without the risk of a costs penalty. Paying parties are advised always to make a Part 36 offer in such circumstances.   For full details on Guideline Hourly Rates and Portal costs, see my blogs Fixed Costs, All the Portals and Fixed Recoverable Costs Guideline Hourly Rates – CJC Costs Committee’s Recommendations Rejected


The much publicized increase in civil court fees will take place this Monday 9 March, so the last day for issuing under the old regime is tomorrow Friday 6 March.

Here is the draft Statutory Instrument which sets out the fees and has now been approved by both Houses of Parliament.

2015 No. (L. )

Senior Courts Of England And Wales

County Court, England And Wales

Family Proceedings, England And Wales

The Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015

Made ***

Coming into force in accordance with article 1

The Lord Chancellor, with the consent of the Treasury, makes the following Order in exercise of the powers conferred by section 92(1) and (2) of the Courts Act 2003(1) and section 180(1) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014(2).

The Lord Chancellor has had regard to the matters referred to in section 180(3) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Lord Chancellor has consulted in accordance with section 92(5) and (6) of the Courts Act 2003.

A draft of this Order was laid before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament in accordance with section 180(7) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Citation and commencement

  1. This Order may be cited as the Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015 and comes into force on 1st March 2015 or, if later, the next Monday after the day on which the Order is made.

Amendments to the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008

2.—(1) The Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008(3) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 5 (remissions and part remissions), for paragraph (2)(a), substitute—

“(a) fee 1.2 if the fee relates to proceedings to recover a sum of money in cases brought by Money Claim OnLine users; or”

(3) In Schedule 1 (fees to be taken), for the column headers and for the text (in both columns) from “1. Starting proceedings (High Court and County Court)” to the end of the entry headed “Fees 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3”, substitute—

“Column 1 Number and description of fee Column 2 Amount of fee (or manner of calculation)
1 Starting proceedings (High Court and County Court)
(a) does not exceed £300; £35
(b) exceeds £300 but does not exceed £500; £50
(c) exceeds £500 but does not exceed £1,000; £70
(d) exceeds £1,000 but does not exceed £1,500; £80
(e) exceeds £1,500 but does not exceed £3,000; £115
(f) exceeds £3,000 but does not exceed £5,000; £205
(g) exceeds £5,000 but does not exceed £10,000; £455
(h) exceeds £10,000 but does not exceed £200,000; 5% of the value of the claim
(i) exceeds £200,000 or is not limited. £10,000
1.2 On starting proceedings in CCBC cases brought by Centre users or cases brought by Money Claim OnLine users, to recover a sum of money where the sum claimed:
(a) does not exceed £300; £25
(b) exceeds £300 but does not exceed £500; £35
(c) exceeds £500 but does not exceed £1,000; £60
(d) exceeds £1,000 but does not exceed £1,500; £70
(e) exceeds £1,500 but does not exceed £3,000; £105
(f) exceeds £3,000 but does not exceed £5,000; £185
(g) exceeds £5,000 but does not exceed £10,000; £410
(h) exceeds £10,000 but does not exceed £100,000. 4.5% of the value of the claim
Fee 1.1
Where the claimant does not identify the value of the claim when starting proceedings to recover a sum of money, the fee payable is the one applicable to a claim where the sum is not limited.
Fees 1.1 and 1.2.
Where the claimant is making a claim for interest on a specified sum of money, the amount on which the fee is calculated is the total amount of the claim and the interest.”

(4) In Schedule 1 (fees to be taken), for the entry in column 2 (amount of fee) corresponding to fee 2.1 (a) (case on the multi track) substitute “£1090”.

(5) In Schedule 1 (fees to be taken) for the entry in column 2 (amount of fee) corresponding to fee 2.1 (b) (case on the fast track) substitute “£545”.

Amendment to the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008 3.—(1) The Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008(4) is amended as follows.

(2) In Schedule 1 (fees to be taken) for the entry in column 2 (amount of fee) corresponding to fee 1.2 (application for divorce etc), substitute “£410”.


(This note is not part of the Order) This Order amends the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/1053) and the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/1054).

Article 2(3) increases the fee (Fee 1.1) for starting proceedings to recover money where the sum exceeds £10,000 and alters the basis on which that fee is calculated. The fee is 5% of the amount claimed. Article 2(3) also merges two existing fees (Fees 1.2 and 1.3) which apply to starting proceedings by users of the County Court Business Centre and Money Claims Online. In those cases, the fee for starting proceedings where the sum exceeds £10,000 is 4.5% of the amount claimed.

Article 2(2) makes a minor amendment to the provision identifying exceptions from the provisions for remission to reflect the altered number of the fee for starting proceedings electronically by the Money Claims OnLine facility.

Articles 2(4) and (5) and 3 prescribe afresh, without altering the amount, three fees set before the enactment of section 180 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Sentencing Act 2014 (c. 12). Those three fees currently recover more than the costs of providing the service.

A full impact assessment accompanies this instrument.


The whole question of court fee remissions has just become much more important with the massive increase in court fees – effective 9 March 2015 – implemented by The Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015.

To be eligible for a fee remission you must pass two tests, the disposable capital test and the gross monthly income test, and fill out Form EX160. Only the person who has to pay the court or tribunal fee can make a fee remission application. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:

• applications to the Court of Protection on behalf of ‘P’ (a ‘person’ who lacks the capacity to make decisions); or

• any person acting for or representing a child involved in legal action.

In the case of a litigation friend, they may sign Form EX160 on behalf of the claimant but the application must be made in the name of, and for the benefit of, the claimant, not the litigation friend.

Disposable capital test

The disposable capital test:

Court or tribunal fee Disposable capital threshold
Your court or tribunal fee is: You, and your partner’s disposable capital is less than:
Up to £1,000 £3,000
£1,001-£1,335 £4,000
£1,336-£1,665 £5,000
£1,666-£2,000 £6,000
£2,001-£2,330 £7,000
£2,331-£4,000 £8,000
£4,001-£5,000 £10,000
£5,001-£6,000 £12,000
£6,001-£7,000 £14,000
£7,001 or more £16,000

For people 61 years or older there is a single disposable capital limit of £16,000, regardless of the amount of the court fee.

Gross monthly income test

The gross monthly income test:

Remission 1: You will receive a full fee remission if you are in receipt of one of the means-tested benefits listed below:

• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

• Income Support.

• Universal Credit with gross annual earnings of less than £6,000.

• State Pension Credit guarantee credit.

The court or tribunal will need to see original and official evidence that you are in receipt of one of these benefits.

Remission 2: If you and (if applicable) your partner’s gross monthly income is below these thresholds then you will receive a full fee remission:

Gross monthly income cap thresholds – full remissions
Gross monthly income with: Single Couple
No children £1,085 £1,245
One child £1,330 £1,490
Two children £1,575 £1,735
£245 for each additional child

If your gross monthly income exceeds the above figures you may still receive a partial fee remission. For every £10 of income you have over the threshold set out in the above table, you will be required to pay £5 towards your court or tribunal fee. The court or tribunal will calculate whether you are required to pay a contribution towards the fee – known as a partial remission.

If your gross monthly income is over the below figures, or your expected contribution is higher than the fee required, you will not be eligible for a fee remission:

Gross monthly income cap thresholds – partial remissions
Gross monthly income with: Single Couple
No children £5,085 £5,245
One child £5,330 £5,490
Two children £5,575 £5,735
£245 for each additional child

Employment tribunals

In Dozie v Addison Lee plc (2013) UKEAT/0328/13, [2013] ICR D38, [2013] All ER (D) 172 (Sep), the EAT held that it can hear an appeal without a fee being paid or a fee remission granted as an appeal is properly instituted at the point it is presented. Although this was an urgent appeal, the logic is that the EAT is free to hear a non-urgent appeal in such circumstances.

Given that a claimant appellant will have forked out £1,200 to have the employment tribunal claim heard and £400 for the initial EAT sift, that is £1,600 before the appeal is even listed, the EAT may become a bit charitable about the payment of a further £1,200 for the appeal hearing. After all, it is hard to see the EAT surviving on the small number of appeals that it will be receiving.

This particular reform is very significant as it has proved what many of us were saying, that the Jackson reforms are about attacking access to justice and removing the ability of ordinary people to resolve disputes in the courts, rather than any grand scheme to improve the court and tribunal system.

This has been confirmed by the massive increase – over 600% in some cases – in court issue fees which come in to place on 9 March 2015.

Written by kerryunderwood

February 12, 2015 at 11:17 am

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Another Dick Chilblain exclusive!

An innovative Alternative Tooth Structure plans to dominate the market and open 2953 shops in 34.7 days by having dentists work on conshoomers teeth whilst upside down. The business has an IOU for the standard 12 million required to dominate any market, although these appear to be Colombian pesos worth £3,120 arising from the import of cocaine for the new business.

Nigel Neutron, 94, nuclear weapons tester (retired) explained:-

“I’ve got my pension but no teeth left and that got me thinking about what would get me to pay for a dentist now that I have not got any teeth. It would have to be something new and different and exciting!”

Nigel discussed the benefits:-

“The dominant dentist compliant patient role is reversed. No one can respect an upside down dentist, so the fear is removed. The idea of a trained and qualified dentist standing over a patient is frankly very 20th century.”

Due to the demands of hanging upside down the work will in fact be performed by monkeys.

“Children love it” explained Neutron – “instead of being told that they are going to the dentist their parents, if I can use such an old fashioned term, tell them that “the monkey is going to play with you.”

Unfortunately Oswald the Orangutang did just that and is now on the Primate Sex Offenders Register, “but that’s happened with non-upside down dentists as well” says Neutron.

Asked if he had any plans to take the idea to other professions, such as the law, Neutron was dismissive:-

“That is stupid. Law needs intelligent, learned people; it is not a physical thing like dentistry. No, I can never see the day when law could be practised by non-lawyers filling in as lawyers. That is a bridge too far.”

NEXT WEEK: How to start your own heart transplant business.

Written by kerryunderwood

February 11, 2015 at 11:46 am

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There seems no depths to which those representing defendants in clinical negligence proceedings will not stoop – see my blogs NHS Litigation Authority: How it Misled Parliament and The NHS Lying Authority at it Again.

I have seen a letter from Dental Protection, which is not an insurance company, not a law firm, not an Alternative Business Structure and not a claims management company, but nevertheless appears to be involving itself in potential litigation.

It appears to be a part of the Medical Protection Society Ltd, a company limited by guarantee which is also none of the above.

The letter makes a Calderbank offer on the basis that if the claimant wishes to accept the damages offer then s/he must accept the costs offer and vice versa.

The damages offer is good and one which any claimant would be advised to accept.

The costs offer is derisory, being less than one third of the disbursements alone, which would leave the solicitor with a heavy disbursements bill and no costs.

On the face of it, there is not a problem. The client would have to pay all of the solicitor’s profit costs and all of the shortfall on disbursements and so would reject the package, even though the offer on damages is a good one.

Obviously the offer does not comply with Part 36, and does not purport to do so.

The problem is that the total charge to the client, including base costs, success fee and disbursements, is limited to 25% of the Allowed Damages Pool, that is general damages and past special damages.

Thus the offer is attractive to the client, but hopeless for the lawyer. It is obvious that if costs are called damages and the 25% cap applies, then the solicitor is losing 75% of what are in truth costs.

Using the Underwoods method of restricting the overall charge to 25% of everything, including future special damages, helps only slightly.

Only the success fee is capped by law at 25% of damages; solicitors are free to charge the full balance of unrecovered solicitor and own client costs, even if that wipes out all of the damages.

That is obviously unattractive to clients. Virtually all claimant solicitors are limiting the total charge to the client to 25%, but this cannot work if Dental Protection get away with this sort of thing. Consequently a client protection measure that causes no harm to defendants is being exploited by them in a cynical and harmful way.

Presumably they hope that solicitors will be unable to promise clients that they will keep at least 75% of their damages. This in turn will lead to fewer clients making claims and therefore fewer claims against the members of Dental Protection.

My advice is to issue proceedings in all cases where Dental Protection are on the other side. Once proceedings are issued they cannot deal with the matter.

A solicitor conducting him or herself in the way that Dental Protection is conducting itself is likely to be made the subject of a Wasted Costs Order. Once the Courts and Criminal Justice Act comes into force that results in automatic reporting to the Solicitors Regulations Authority – see my blogs Personal Injury Revolutionized and Wasted Costs and Non-Party Costs Order.

Courts have the power to award costs against non-parties in any event. I trust judges will see this conduct for what it is and order anyone adopting this tactic to pay costs on an indemnity basis, whatever the result of the substantive case.

In the meantime the rump of this Rump Parliament has felt fit to pass a statutory instrument requiring a claimant making a Part 36 offer to show that it was a genuine attempt to settle the case before it gets the Part 36 benefit previously approved by the same Parliament.

See my related blogs:-








Written by kerryunderwood

February 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

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A Dick Chilblain Special !

As Elvismania grips Hertfordshire ahead of the King’s appearance at Bovingdon Cricket Club this Saturday Ace Reporter Dick Chilblain dropped in to Heartbreak Hotel, the HQ of the new Elvis Alternative Business Structure, where all advice is sung using the titles of Elvis songs.

Dick arrived as Penny Lane, a solicitor with an identity problem, re-capped her client’s position:

So, Long Tall Sally Quindell-Stobart you met Danny at A Little Cabin on the Hill. He asked Are You Lonesome Tonight; you said I Want You, I Need You, I Love You and there followed a Hawaiian Wedding Song.

That’s When Your Heartaches Began. Marie’s the Name of His Latest Flame. There was Trouble. You were All Shook Up and said “You’re A Heartbreaker.” Now you have only Memories and you want Money Honey.

LTSQ-S: Yes, that’s right. Why are you singing and curling your lip?

PL: That’s what we do here. Is it So Strange?

Next door Penny Lane’s colleague is seeing Danny. Fearless Dick Chilblain asked about Ethics:

“Yes, we will be opening an office there soon.”

So, Danny, Marie’s the Name of your Little Sister. This is about Suspicious Minds. You don’t want to go your Separate Ways. Long Tall Sally is Always on Your Mind. You want to Patch it Up.

DQ-S:Yes, why are you singing and wearing a gold suit?

Trust me – I am an Alternative Business Structure.

Mr Justice Moneybags of Singapore cut short his dream of publicly caning a few people to say that lawyers had to cut fees, and if needs be records and anything else, and this was a welcome move to keep whichever country he was now a judge in at the forefront of international commercial arbiration.

NEXT WEEK: Dick Chilblain visits the Upside Down Dentist Alternative Tooth Structure.

ABS Past would like to acknowledge the role of Mr Andrew Twambley in suggesting the idea of an Elvis ABS.

Written by kerryunderwood

February 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

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Dick Chilblain reports!

10,000 firms have come up with the idea of people being able to ask them to advise on legal matters and agree a fee to do so!

Being “lawyers” these people will advise on the law; if it is a special matter that needs special help they will ask a specialist to help. The working title for these specialists is “barristers” but some firms prefer the term “counsel”.

These “lawyers” have decided to call themselves “solicitors”; they have volunteered to be trained for at least six years, spending about £50,000 on their training.

They will be insured for every penny, and even if the insurance does not cover them for any reason, they will set up and pay for a separate fund, so that no-one can ever lose out.

These “solicitors” and “barristers” will be regulated, at their own expense, and will make themselves subject to all sorts of special rules to protect the public. They plan to call their customers “clients” to mark this difference.

More details will be announced in due course.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for ABS’s Past commented:

“What a laugh! It will never catch on. Conshoomers want untrained fly by night businesses likely to go bust to deal with their most important personal and business matters. Discipline, training, regulation,insurance, compensation.What next – ethics, honesty, professionalism?

Namby-pamby nanny-state stuff. No-one will want it. They will be suggesting “courts” as a replacement for sending the boys round. Ridiculous.”

Written by kerryunderwood

February 2, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


with 4 comments

Three former judges of England and Wales have been appointed to the Singapore International Commercial Court. They are former Court of Appeal Judge Lord Justice Rix, former High Court Judge and Jackson Reforms enforcer Mr Justice Ramsey and former Deputy High Court Judge Simon Thorley QC.

Lord Justice Rix showered praise on his new paymasters, reflecting Lord Justice Jackson’s affection for Singapore’s legal system.

Others, including the United Nations Human Rights Committee, think that Singapore has one of the worst legal systems on the planet.

Few argue with the proposition that Singapore is a totalitarian state. Its judiciary is complicit with, and at the heart of, this totalitarianism. Compare and contrast Singapore with apartheid South Africa where the Law Society of South Africa pointedly kept Nelson Mandela on the roll of solicitors throughout his imprisonment for treason.

As well as being corrupt, Singapore has the highest rate of state executions in the world, imposed by a compliant judiciary. It has no free press, no freedom of association, unlimited detention without trial and is below Russia in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index; it is ranked 150 out of 180 and has slipped in each of the last two years. Homosexuality is a criminal offence. It is one of the few countries which has refused to sign or ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

British QCs have suffered at Singapore’s hands for representing their clients. Julian Burnside QC had his phone tapped and was fined US$16,000 with US$38,000 legal fees for representing his client against the wishes of the state of Singapore.

All of this is dealt with at length and with supporting evidence in my blog Jackson L.J, Singapore and Totalitarianism, where I suggested that Singapore was not a good model on which to base reforms of our own judicial system. Ignoring the totalitarian issue, the Jackson Reforms have very obviously failed.

Why then are these three judges joining the corrupt judiciary of Singapore? It could not possibly be for the money could it? Surely Mr Justice Ramsey, who delivered the Sixteenth Lecture in the [Jackson] Implementation Programme at the Law Society Conference on 29 May 2012, all about cutting lawyers’ fees, could not be that hypocritical.

Maybe these three musketeers are going to Singapore in the hope of improving and reforming its judiciary. If that is the case then they should say so.

If not, in these austere times, let us save some money by stripping them of their judicial pensions and titles. Others have lost theirs for less.

Written by kerryunderwood

February 2, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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