Solicitor and own client costs in PI claims involving children and protected parties
Solicitor and own client costs in PI claims involving children and protected parties

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Solicitor and own client costs in PI claims involving children and protected parties
  • Background
  • Costs where money is payable by or to a child or protected party
  • Costs and expenses incurred by a litigation friend

Background

As a result of the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO 2012) and the abolition of legal aid (except in limited circumstances) several issues arose in relation to costs payable by children and protected parties.

Pre-1 April 2013

Costs cannot be deducted from an award of damages for a child or protected party without permission of the court. This was not usually an issue prior to the implementation of LASPO 2012 as a successful claimant’s costs were recoverable from the defendant including success fees under Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA). Usually claimant’s solicitors would waive the right to any further costs. Where a CFA was entered into prior to 1 April 2013, any success fee will still be recoverable from the defendant.

Post 1 April 2013

Note: the exception referred to above in relation to the abolition of legal aid for personal injury claims may be applicable: funding remains available to one category of claimant, namely children who have suffered severe disability from neurological damage sustained during the mother’s pregnancy, the child’s birth or within eight weeks of birth, as a result of clinical negligence. Given the loss of recoverability of success fees and After the Event (ATE) premiums claimant practitioners should be aware of the availability of funding in these specific circumstances. General