Understanding EL PL Fixed Costs
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What are EL PL fixed costs?
Some Employers Liability and Public Liability claims will need to be submitted to an EL PL Portal and if a settlement is reached within this Portal, and without the need for proceedings to be commenced, it will give rise to EL PL Fixed Costs.
The following cases will fall under the so-called Pre Action Protocol/ EL PL Protocol:
- Cases arising from accidents or Letters of Claim submitted after 31 July 2013 as this was when the fixed costs regime was introduced;
- Personal injury claims, including employers liability, public liability and occupiers liability;
- The claim value is less than £25,000
There are two stages in the process within the Protocol, and the level of EL PL fixed costs which apply will vary based on the stage of settlement.
Fixed Recoverable Costs are governed by Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules. More recently, Regulation 7 has amended Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules to includes tables which reference the amount of EL PL Fixed Costs which are recoverable in different instances.
If the Claim Settles within the EL PL Protocol
Table 6A relates to EL PL Fixed Costs, where a case settles within the Portal. The amount of EL PL Fixed Costs which will be recoverable is based on the value of the damages and the stage of the Protocol where the claim settles.
If the Claim Falls Out of the EL PL Protocol
It sometimes is the case that the claim will fall out of the Portal/Protocol. A common reason for this is that liability is disputed and thus further investigations are required, not allowing the matter to proceed with the Portal time limits set.
In this instance, it Tables 6C and 6D which set out the amount of EL PL Fixed Costs which will be recoverable. The amount costs which are recoverable in this instance will vary on not only the amount of damages recovered but also whether the case settled prior to the issuing of Part 7 proceedings or after Part 7 proceedings are issued, but the case settles before trial. Alternatively, there are set EL PL Fixed Costs which apply to cases which are disposed of at Trial.
Table 6C relates to claims which proceed outside of the Protocol and are Employers Liability Claims, and Table 6D relates to those claims which proceed outside of the Portal but are claims for Public Liability.
It should be noted that Disease Claims will not follow the fixed costs regime should they proceed outside of the Protocol, even if they were initially submitted within the Portal. This is stated in CPR 45.29A(2).
It should also be noted that in EL PL Fixed Costs, if an order is made in favour of the Defendant, then the same fixed costs reference above will be taken into account in ordering costs to the Defendant as per CPR 45.29F. However, whilst the Court is encouraged to refer to the above-mentioned tables even if costs are awarded to the Defendant, they are not bound by these, and sometimes Costs can be awarded at a lower rate than those referenced in the appropriate table, allowing the Court to use its discretion when assessing costs to be awarded to the Defendant.
Disbursements are also recoverable in EL PL Fixed Costs and are governed by CPR 45.12.
“CPR 45.12 allows for the following disbursements to be recovered:
(a) the cost of obtaining –
(i) medical records;
(ii) a medical report;
(iii) a police report;
(iv) an engineer’s report; or
(v) a search of the records of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority;
(b) where they are necessarily incurred by reason of one or more of the claimants being a child or protected party as defined in Part 21 –
(i) fees payable for instructing counsel; or
(ii) court fees payable on an application to the Court; or
(c) any other disbursement that has arisen due to a particular feature of the dispute.”
CPR 45.19 provides a list of the amount which is recoverable for each of the above disbursements. It is important, therefore, that if your claim is likely to be subject to EL PL Fixed Costs, that any disbursement you incur does not exceed the amounts recoverable within CPR 45.19.
How Can ARC Costs Assist?
ARC Costs are a team of Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers who regularly deal with different types of Costs and costs recovery. Alongside, costs which fall to be assessed on the standard basis under Detailed Assessment Proceedings, ARC Costs also regularly assist with Fixed Recoverable Costs.
Numerous disputes may occur even within the fixed costs regime, including the amount of disbursements recoverable and the stages in which the matter settled. We can also assist in advising on costs consequences before the matter is settled. We hold various experience in assisting both the receiving party and the paying party.
Should you require to discuss your costs query with us, please contact us on 01204 397302 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can complete our enquiry form, and a costs expert will contact you.
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