Page 31 - PIC Magazine Autumn Issue 13
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even call it pop culture anymore? I’m still confused by sick meaning good and throwing shade not being the same
as using an umbrella on the beach. Legally speaking, in
the first six months of 2019 the issue that I consider most dramatic would be the MOJs’ clinical negligence fixed costs consultation. I certainly hope the powers that be have read their copies of the Secret Barrister and have learned some lessons. Saying that, expanding fixed costs as they suggest will certainly provide me with more time to revisit my well-thumbed copy of Hollywood Husbands.
George, 65, London
“What did you take away from Gray v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1780 (QB)”
My immediate reaction was that the Judge endorsed a
‘fag’ packet CCMC due to finite court resources, despite
the importance of budgeting and costs to litigation.
The concept of avoiding compartmentalisation was also
a touch confusing in the context of a compartmentalised budget document. Perhaps the highlight, however, was
Mr Justice Lambert confirming that the budget was low, but not manifestly too low, but certainly lower than he would have allowed. It reminded me of when Babs Jenkins said, he’s small, but not too small, but smaller than I’d like. Poor Dan the Spiderman never got over that. Anyway, such is the roulette wheel of Budgeting, which is as confusing as Spencer or Springer.
Miranda, 30, Durham
“If you had one costs tip for Solicitors, what would it be?”
There are so many, but in light of recent cases I would urge all Solicitors insisting on preparing their own budgets, or even having them prepared by a costs expert, to remind themselves of the importance of the indemnity principle, and the ramifications for them should they breach this.
A breach need not be deliberate or malicious, and incompetence or ignorance is no
defence. You simply cannot breach this principle within the Budget
and recent cases make plain the importance of this. If you
breach it before me, then there is a very real risk
that not only will I apply sanctions galore, but I may
even withdraw my Indiana Jones Commemorative
bullwhip from the display behind my desk and beat you out of my
chambers with it.
    Costs Officer Sonia Ponceby-Thwaites
The Judge is ‘away’ and in his place we have Costs Officer Sonia Ponceby-Thwaites.
Chris, 58, Lowestoft
“What are your thoughts about the recent appeal in West v Stockport NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1220?”
Well, for me, it was an exercise in good sense and superb reasoning; reminding me of Donald Trump if we lived in the Stranger Things’ Upside Down (yes I watch current trends). Whilst I direct no criticism at the NHS, who had to take the point due to, some might say, poor rule drafting, any other outcome would have caused tremendous harm to the core concept of justice. However, for me, one interesting takeaway was a throwaway comment where the Court made clear that court fees fall outside the proportionality test. Now I may be alone, but certainly when I have seen crude costs-to-damages arguments (for and against) I cannot recall too many where the
court fees were also removed. Still, it was one minor point in a strong and useful Judgment.
Jess, 39, Oxon
“Have you had any highlights or lowlights so far in 2019?”
You mean other than our Cricketing success, the ongoing popularity of women’s football, enjoying Wimbledon or the final season of Game of Thrones. I’m on a pop culture
roll here, do they
              If you would like to ask Costs Officer Sonia Ponceby-Thwaites a burning question in our next issue of Partners In Costs, please email Autumn 2019 INDUSTRY EXPERTS

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