Lisbie v SKS Scaffolding Ltd, Court of Appeal - Supreme Court Cost Office, April 01, 2011, [2011] EWHC 90203 (Costs)

Resolution Date:April 01, 2011
Issuing Organization:Supreme Court Cost Office
Actores:Lisbie v SKS Scaffolding Ltd
 
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Case No: AGS1004571

Neutral Citation Number: [2011] EWHC 90203 (Costs)

IN THE SENIOR COURTS COSTS OFFICE

FROM ST ALBANS COUNTY COURT

Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane

London, EC4A 1DQ

Date: 1st April 2011

Before :

MASTER GORDON-SAKER

sitting as a Deputy District Judge of the St Albans County Court

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Between :

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Mr Simon P Browne (instructed by McKeowns) for the Claimant

Mr Robert Marven (instructed by AJB Legal Services) for the Defendant

Hearing date: 16th March 2011

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Judgment

Master Gordon-Saker :

  1. On 28th August 2008 the Claimant, Mr Stuart Lisbie, had the misfortune to be injured in a road accident. He instructed McKeowns, a firm of solicitors in St Albans, to act on his behalf in relation to his claim for damages against the Defendant.

  2. On 24th November 2008 Wonway UK Limited, a claims management company, wrote to the Defendant's insurers:

    We are instructed to act on behalf of Lewis Day Transport Plc, and for their driver [Mr Lisbie], in relation to their claims for losses suffered as a result of the above accident.

    ...

    We confirm provided there is no dispute on quantum and that we receive payment within the next 14 days, our client is prepared to accept your offer of 50:50.

  3. Apparently unaware of that letter McKeowns wrote to the Defendant's insurers the following day:

    We are instructed to put forward an offer of £1,650 in full and final settlement of our client's claim.

    ...

    The above is without prejudice to any claim our client's insurers or employers might have.

  4. On 2nd December 2008 Accident Hotline Limited, claims handling agents for the Defendant's insurers, replied to McKeowns:

    We reject your offer of £1650, we would value your clients general damages at £1450. We are also prepared to make an offer of £25 in respect of undocumented special damages for your client.

    As per the attached letter from your clients hire/repair company [Wonway] your client has agreed to settle this matter on a 50.50 basis.

    We assume that you will also be in agreement to dealing on a 50.50 basis and we will raise the relevant cheques on acceptance of our offer.

  5. McKeowns wrote to the Defendant's insurers on 16th February 2009:

    We ... would confirm our client's acceptance of your offer in the sum of £1,475.00 of which our client will receive £737.50 after deduction of 50%, provided, of course, that our costs and disbursements are met in addition, such costs to be assessed in default of agreement between us.

  6. There then followed a calculation of the costs claimed in accordance with Section II of Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. The sum claimed for costs was £2,015.58.

  7. Accident Hotline Limited replied by letter dated 19th February 2009:

    We have noted that the valuation of £1475 has been agreed. As such we have raised a payment of £737.50 in settlement of your clients claim.

    Given that your clients damages after contributory negligence fall below £1000, we will not be in a position to consider your costs.

  8. On 19th March 2009 the Claimant commenced costs-only proceedings pursuant to CPR 44.12A in St Albans County Court. By an order dated 3rd March 2010 (but varied by an order made on 7th June 2010) the Claimant was awarded his costs ``to be subject to detailed assessment if not agreed'' and by an order dated 31st August 2010 the case was transferred to the Senior Courts Costs Office.

  9. There is but one issue on the detailed assessment: whether the Claimant is entitled to fixed recoverable costs calculated under Section II of CPR Part 45 or whether he is only entitled to the fixed costs recoverable in small claims track cases. The amount of the latter has been agreed at £280.

  10. As this case has not been transferred to the High Court I am hearing it as a Deputy District Judge of the St Albans County Court and any appeal from me would be to a Circuit Judge of...

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