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Hadley v Przybylo judgement marks ‘significant win’ for claimants

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A much-awaited judgment in the Hadley v Przybylo Court of Appeal case been described as a ‘significant win’ for claimants and a major development in personal injury law.

The case centred around the question of whether a claimant’s solicitor could recover the costs incurred in attending meetings connected with the claimant’s rehabilitation, including those with case managers or financial deputies.

At first instance, Master McCloud had determined the point of principle against the claimant, finding that such costs were not progressive and therefore not recoverable.

However, on Friday 15 March, in a judgement handed down remotely, the Court of Appeal unanimously found for the claimant on both his grounds of appeal: that the test applied was incorrect; and that this element of costs is recoverable in principle.

The Court had been provided with extensive evidence addressing the role, scope and interaction of solicitor, case manager and deputy – with detailed statements from the claimant’s solicitor, two case managers and the deputy.

In the event, the Court was reluctant to consider that material in any detail, finding that it had limited bearing on the point of principle.

According to legal experts, the outcome of this case marks a significant win for claimants, particularly those involved in catastrophic injury claims, setting a precedent for the recoverability of costs associated with rehabilitation.

Chris Barnes KC from Exchange Chambers who acted for the claimant, said: “The point determined was one of potentially real significance to the manner in which catastrophic injury claims are handled – specifically whether a claimant’s solicitor can recover the costs of attending meetings connected with the claimant’s rehabilitation, whether with the case manager or financial deputy.

“The judgment is a significant win for claimants and their rehabilitation. It goes far beyond restoring what might have been the position prior to the first instance hearing. No longer can defendants challenge these costs on the point of principle.

“Further, in reiterating the approach of In Re Gibson’s Settlement Trusts the Court has steered away from the potentially narrower ‘progressive’ test that had become increasingly pervasive.

“Finally, there is helpful guidance as to the phase of the budget in which such costs should be placed.”

Chris Barnes KC and Matthew Stockwell from Exchange Chambers were instructed by Simon Roberts and Elen Roberts from Gamlins Solicitors.

  

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