Professional negligence and clear understanding of costs

31st January 2015 by

If you are considering a claim for professional negligence, you will need to consider carefully any potential costs associated with your claim – your lawyer should provide you with detailed estimates and analysis to help you fully understand the possible cost-benefit of the action.

Unfortunately, many litigants fail to consider the realistic impact of costs and fees and can sometimes become involved in costly litigation that saddles them with disproportionate fees.

Costs should always be appropriate and should, where possible, be broken down in such a way as to be clear, transparent, and entirely accountable – where costs are calculated poorly, courts may decline to give them approval.

For example, in 2013 the High Court declined the costs as laid out by two parties to a construction professional negligence dispute that had previously been heard in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC).

The judge involved in the case, Mr Justice Coulson, called the costs involved “disproportionate and unreasonable”. He said that “even the successful party will recover only some of its costs. In other words, it will cost significantly more to fight this case than the claimant will ever recover.”

He added, “On that basis alone, it seems to me that the costs in the costs budgets are both disproportionate and unreasonable.”

A new costs management regime was introduced to UK civil courts in April 2013 and required most parties engaged in a dispute to prepare and exchange cost budgets for court approval. Those that fail to comply can face severe financial penalty.

Although courts themselves can, in some circumstances, calculate proportionate and reasonable costs, in many cases they do not possess the information to provide an alternative figure. As such, it is vital that parties to a dispute, whether claimants or defendants, have legal representation that provides them with a clear and realistic breakdown of costs.

Healys LLP professional negligence lawyers

Brighton and London professional negligence lawyers can help you make a claim for full redress in the event that you suffered financial loss attributable to the negligence of a professional such as a solicitor, accountant, construction contractor, or surveyor.

For an initial evaluation of your circumstances, talk to our specialists today. We provide a full and realistic assessment of your chances as well as any costs likely to be associated with your case.