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April 2013 changes

Changes to the law from April 2013

Since 1.4.13, for all new clients instructing solicitors after that date, while solicitors can still act on a “no win, no fee” basis, if and when your case is successful there will usually be a success fee payable by you to your solicitor (which until then was payable by the Defendants or their insurers) which will be no more than 25% of the compensation paid for your personal injury and past losses.

Similarly, since that date the cost of any After The Event (ATE) insurance (which would usually have been taken out to cover the risk of having to pay the opponent’s costs, as well as the client’s own disbursements, if the case was lost) will no longer be recoverable from unsuccessful Defendants.

However, against those new restrictions, the amount of damages awarded for personal injury will increase by 10% (for the same new clients only) and (save where the claim was without merit or fraudulent) any costs penalty or order in favour of the Defendants during a case cannot exceed the amount of any compensation paid.

In clinical negligence cases an ATE insurance policy can still be taken out and the premium payable by the Defendants in successful cases however the scope of the insurance cover is strictly limited to the client’s own expert’s report/s on liability and causation (essentially proving the breach of duty).

(In addition to the above, there were a raft of changes implemented to legal procedure from the same date, and the value of the small claims track (for so-called small claims cases) was increased to £10,000.00.)