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Additional Liabilities and Human Rights

Respondent in case of Coventry & Ors v Lawrence and Anor [2014] UKSC 46 to consider whether to maintain argument that the recovery of additional liabilities breaches the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Supreme Court had held that the occupiers of a stadium had been liable in nuisance to the appellants, the owners and occupiers of a residential bungalow. The nuisance had arisen from the use of the stadium for speedway racing and other motorcar racing, and the use of a motocross track to the rear of the stadium for motorcycle racing and similar activities.

Dealing with the costs of the appeal, the paying respondents contended that to require them to pay a success fee and an ATE premium would constitute a breach of Art 6 (the right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human rights. 

The disputed additional liabilities were a success fee of £319,000 and insurance premium of £350,000 on top of “highly regrettable” base costs of £400,000.

The Supreme court has declared that if the respondents wish to maintain their argument then the appeal must be relisted to hear detailed submissions. This should only happen after notice has been given to both the Attorney General and the Secretary of State for Justice.

Amendments to revised Civil Justice Council guidance on the instruction of experts in civil claims

21 August 2014 update

Some minor additions have been made to this new CJC Guidance (with new paragraphs 31, 61 and 87 added). It is not formally in force at present, although it is intended that it should replace the Protocol on experts which currently forms part of Practice Direction 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules. The Guidance has been issued in anticipation of the Protocol’s removal from the Practice Direction in the autumn, and the Guidance will then be in force.

31. If a solicitor sends an expert additional documents before the report is finalised the solicitor must tell the expert whether any witness statements or expert reports are updated versions of those previously sent and whether they have been filed and served.

61. Before filing and serving an expert’s report solicitors must check that any witness statements and other experts’ reports relied upon by the expert are the final served versions.

87. When a case has been concluded either by a settlement or trial the solicitor should inform the experts they have instructed.


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