Our first annual disputes client conference: Trends in international dispute resolution

On Monday 12 November, we held our first annual Herbert Smith Freehills disputes conference “Trends in international dispute resolution”. Following introductory remarks by global head of dispute resolution Sonya Leydecker, a series of presentations and panel discussions took place on the following topics: Crisis management – preparing for the worst Trends in international arbitration/jurisdiction The … Read more

Part 36 offers in context of counterclaims and negative declarations

A recent High Court judgment highlights the scope for confusion in applying Part 36 in a case where the formal roles of claimant and defendant do not reflect the reality of who is seeking a (greater) remedy in financial terms: The Procter & Gamble Company v Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA and another [2012] EWHC 2839 (Ch). The Civil Procedure Rule … Read more

Part 36 offers will trump “qualified one-way costs shifting” in personal injury claims

The government has clarified certain aspects of its plans for qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS), which will apply for personal injury claims from April 2013. QOCS means that personal injury claimants will be awarded their costs if the claim is successful but will not generally have to pay the defendant’s costs if the claim fails. The government confirmed in an announcement on Tuesday (10 … Read more

Part 36: difficulties in split trials

A recent High Court decision has highlighted difficulties arising from the application of Part 36 in the context of split trials, or trials of preliminary issues: Ted Baker Plc v Axa Insurance UK Plc [2012] EWHC 1779 (Comm). Under CPR 36.13 the fact that a Part 36 offer has been made must not be communicated to the trial … Read more

“No good reason” to depart from court approved costs budget

In what is thought to be the first costs management pilot case to proceed to detailed assessment, the court has held that there was no good reason to depart from the claimant’s approved costs budget. This was in circumstances where the claimant’s costs had exceeded the budget by approximately £270,000 but neither the defendant nor the court … Read more

Costs management for most courts from April 2013

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has approved an amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) to introduce “costs management” procedures more widely from next April. Although the final versions of the relevant rule and practice direction have not yet been published, we understand that the procedures will apply to all multi-track cases commenced on or after … Read more

Court of Appeal defends successful party’s refusal to mediate

In a rare move, the Court of Appeal has stepped into the shoes of the trial judge and exercised the court’s discretion on costs, holding that a successful party was not unreasonable to refuse mediation and should not be penalised in costs on that basis: Swain Mason v Mills & Reeve (a firm) [2012] EWCA … Read more

Moves toward greater use of judicial docketing

One of Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendations, in his January 2010 report on civil litigation costs (see our summary of the key recommendations here), was that cases should be assigned wherever possible to designated judges who have relevant expertise and, so far as possible, a case should remain with the same judge – the practice known as “docketing”. … Read more