Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Consultation
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In 2017, the Department of Health held a consultation to discuss the idea of proposing to limit legal costs in low value clinical negligence claims, those cases whereby the damages are agreed at less than £25,000. This became known as the Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Consultation.
The majority of respondents in the Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Consultation opposed the idea of imposing fixed recoverable costs of clinical negligence cases.
An updated report was also prepared on the issue of expanding fixed costs from their current application in December 2020.
The Ministry of Justice requested that the Civil Justice Council (CJC) establish a working group which was to report on how the proposals discussed in the consultation were to be progressed. These working groups were established, and their job was also to find the cause of high legal costs in clinical negligence claims. They were given the task of determining how these high costs can be avoided without risking access to justice or patient safety.
A report from the Civil Justice Council was published in October 2019, however, we are still to see any changes or reforms from the Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Consultation on the costs which are to be recovered by law firms who run any successful Clinical Negligence case.
The updated report of December 2020 explored the intention to extend current fixed costs to claims up to £100,000 in value however, it was stated therein that there was not an appetite to apply this scheme to clinical negligence cases. A separate fixed costs regime is still being formulated, but this will only apply to clinical claims up to £25,000 in value, and would therefore remove the significant costs attached to these low value matters.
Current Clinical Negligence Recoverable Costs
Whilst the Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Consultation is an attempt to limit the level of costs recoverable in Clinical Negligence claims, costs at this moment in time remain fully recoverably on a standard basis, to be assessed if not agreed.
This means costs must be quantified on an hourly rates basis, and a Bill of Costs must be prepared to detail the costs being sought. The costs will then be subject to Detailed Assessment Proceedings if agreement cannot be reached upon the same.
How Can ARC Costs Assist?
ARC Costs are specialist Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers. We hold expertise in representing both receiving and paying parties in all areas of legal costs, and provide a full array of legal costs services.
Our current Clinical Negligence Costs services includes assisting our clients in preparing detailed Costs Budgets or Bills of Costs, and negotiating the best result on their behalf. When there are specific disputes in costs, we can assist in preparing either Points of Dispute or Points of Reply.
As regulated Costs Lawyers, we can also provide representation in Detailed Assessment proceedings or at any Costs, and provide advocacy at any assessment hearing or Costs and Case Management Conference (CCMC)
On the implementation of any of the recommendations of the Clinical Negligence Fixed Costs Consultation, it is likely difficulties will arise in setting fixed fees for medical experts, and as such these may remain largely in dispute. We have expertise in handling fixed costs disputes and can assist in recovering your outstanding fixed costs on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Should you wish to discuss a costs query with us, telephone one of the team on 01204 397302 or email us at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can speak on our Live Chat facility to speak with one of our costs experts.
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