The following Personal Injury guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) was introduced on 1 April 2013 as part of the Jackson costs reforms following the removal of a claimant’s right to recover additional liabilities from the defendant, ie success fees and after the event (ATE) insurance premiums. The relevant CPR provisions are CPR 44.13 to CPR 44.17 and CPR PD 44, para 12.
QOCS applies to personal injury and fatal accidents claims (under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA 1976) and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934) which are not funded by a ‘pre-commencement funding arrangement’. A pre-commencement funding arrangement is defined in CPR 48 but essentially it means a conditional fee agreement (CFA) entered into before 1 April 2013, ie before the removal of the claimant’s right to recover additional liabilities from the defendant under Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO 2012).
It is important to note that QOCS does not displace the normal rule that the losing party pays the winning party’s costs. However, it limits the circumstances in which costs orders can be enforced against losing claimants and provides for circumstances where they can be enforced with or without court permission.
The QOCS regime applies to:
claims against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau
a claimant or counter-claimant making a personal injury claim
QOCS does not apply
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