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Jack Macaulay secures exceptions to the QOCS regime

Jack Macaulay appeared for the successful Defendant in a costs dispute following the discontinuance of a fast track personal injury claim.

The Claimant was a child who had been involved in a minor road traffic accident. 18 months after the accident he brought a claim for personal injuries, acting via his mother and litigation friend. He discontinued his case on the day before trial, and sought to rely on the qualified one-way costs shifting (“QOCS”) rules to prevent the Defendant enforcing its costs order against him and his litigation friend.

The Defendant succeeded in obtaining an enforceable costs order because:

  • Prior to discontinuance the Claimant was facing a strike-out application that would have succeeded; in order to prevent the consequences of this application being evaded the notice of discontinuance was set aside and the claim struck out, bringing it within the QOCS exceptions in CPR r44.15.
  • The claim was fundamentally dishonest: the litigation friend alleged that the accident caused the Claimant a period of bedwetting, but his medical records revealed that this started before the accident. The litigation friend failed to adequately explain this inconsistency.
  • The Claimant’s solicitors were made jointly liable for the costs, having behaved in an improper, unreasonable, and negligent way by “cold calling” the Claimant’s family, and then failing to conduct the litigation properly.

A note on the case can be found here.


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