The latest update to the Civil Procedure Rules will place an even greater burden on claimant solicitors to justify and recover costs.

In order to deduct costs from the claimant’s damages, it has always been necessary to draft a witness statement in support. However, the witness statement must now include:

  • a copy of the conditional fee agreement;
  • the risk assessment to show how the level of success fee was determined;
  • the reasons why the particular funding model was selected;
  • the advice given to the litigation friend in relation to the funding arrangements;
  • details of any costs agreed or recovered by the child; and
  • confirmation of the amount of the sum agreed or awarded in respect of:
    • general damages for pain suffering and loss of amenity; and
    • damages for financial losses (not including future losses), net of any sums recoverable by the Compensation Recovery Unit.

Failure to comply with the new Practice Direction will significantly reduce the recoverable costs. Now that the courts are taking a hard-line approach for applications for relief from sanctions, claimant solicitors will have one chance to get all the information required before the court and to seek payment out in respect of success fees and ATE premiums.