• A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

    A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis

    Accurate understanding and technical analysis

  • National and International Experience

    National and International Experience

  • 34 years in private legal practice

    34 years in private legal practice

  • A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

    A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

  • Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

    Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

  • There when you need him

    There when you need him

Legal Viewpoint July 2018

21 Jul 18

Overstated Costs Claims are Unreasonable and Improper.

A driving issue in all legal disputes is how to fund it; and more particularly the uncertainty of recovering costs if you win, or constraining the exposures to reimburse opponent’s costs if you lose. And perceptions that costs claims are or will be overstated is a particular bugbear, especially among defendants, whose own-side costs are often amply less than those sought from them by claimants. They can therefore be expected to welcome a recent Court of Appeal decision in Gempride Ltd v Bamrah & Anor [2018] EWCA Civ 1367 (21st June 2018), to award barely half the amount of costs sought by a claimant because her solicitors cited a higher hourly rate than they were entitled to under terms agreed with the client. The solicitors rejected allegations that the exaggerations were deliberate, on grounds that they had not themselves prepared or presented the numbers, having delegated the ‘detailed assessment’ claim to costs draftsmen who had failed to do their job properly. The Appeal court however dismissed these contentions, because the solicitors had certified the accuracy of their claim, and anyway they were ultimately responsible for whatever work and calculations the delegated draftsmen prepared.  The Court did/could not go against the cost judge’s conclusions that the solicitors’ over-claim had not been dishonest, but held that it had nevertheless been ‘unreasonable and improper’.

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Professional Risk Expertise

Mike Willis has worked with a diverse range of professions including...

The FMWL Approach …

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis;
  • Focus on duty, causal event(s) and consequences; not gossip…
  • Sensitive but objective empathy;
  • Overarching commerciality; and
  • Clear aims, with vision where necessary to explore indirect routes to solutions.