‘Are my costs proportionate?’, ‘How much will I recover?’, ‘How much will I pay my opponent if I lose?’ All perfectly fair questions addressed to solicitors and to costs experts all the time. We should know the answers, at least in broad terms. After all, the concept of proportionate costs has been with us in one guise or another for approaching 20 years, and we are turning into a fifth year of the ‘new’ post Jackson proportionality test. Yet, like many of my colleagues, I find that the answer I give will depend as much on place and personality as it does on principle.
Welcome to our new Costs Newsletter; and the first since the significant expansion of our commercial costs team in December. We very much look forward to meeting with you if possible in 2017, and hope that you will consider availing of our free costs seminar service which we provide in conjunction with leading costs counsel.
“Disproportionate” ATE premium slashed from £31,976.49 to £2,120. Master Simons delivers an uncompromising reminder, to solicitors’ and ATE providers alike, of how draconian the new proportionality test can be. In his judgment in Rezek-Clarke v Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC B5 (Costs), the Master distinguished the Court of Appeal decision in Rogers v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council  EWCA Civ 1134. A summary of the judgment appears below.