0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Earle v Centrica Plc, Ipswich County Court, 25 July 2005

14 October 2005
The issues

Costs – Medical Agency Fee – Whether Recoverable

The facts

The Claimant was injured in a road traffic accident and brought proceedings against the Defendant. The claim was settled for £3850.00. A Costs Bill of £2422.10 was claimed.

The Defendants challenged the medical expert and agency fees. The Claimant brought proceedings for the balance of costs being the disbursements to which they claimed entitlement in accordance with CPR Part 45 relating to fixed recoverable costs in road traffic accidents. The disbursements amounted to an invoice for £25.00 plus VAT from MDL Medical Administration Ltd, a GP release charge of £50.00 for the notes and an invoice for £435.00 for the expert’s report

The decision

1. Disbursements which were recoverable were limited to the cost of obtaining medical reports, medical records, a police report, an engineer’s report or a search of the records of the DVLA together with any other disbursements that had arisen due to a particular feature of the dispute.

2. Following Stringer v Copley and the decision in Claims Direct test cases tranche 2, there was no principle which precluded the fees of a medical agency being recoverable between the parties provided it could be shown that their charges did not exceed what was reasonable and proportionate if the work had been done by solicitors. The District Judge had been shown an agreement between MDL and the medical expert in question. That doctor failed to clarify the basis of the £25.00 charge. The medical expert under that agreement was paid £285.00 and the expert had to pay MDL an appropriate annual fee. The case concerned predictable costs regime. There was a risk that solicitors would seek to circumvent the restrictions on their profit costs by delegating matters which would normally be viewed as solicitors work to third parties who could claim as disbursements the work that the solicitor would normally have expected to perform within the predictable fee structure. This might affect engineering agencies as much as medical agencies. This would subvert the policy considerations behind the predictable costs regime.

3. Any doubts which the Court had had to be resolved in favour of the paying party. On the material available to the Court the Claimant was entitled only to the record production fee of £50.00 and the medical expert’s fee of £285.00. Since the Claimant had not made disclosure of the MDL Agreement as had been invited by the Defendant prior to the issue of process the Claimant would be awarded neither interest nor costs.

focus on...

Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.

View

Legal updates

Financial Services – ‘Duty of Care’ Bill: consumer protection or damp squib?

The Financial Services Duty of Care Bill (the “Bill”) was introduced into the House of Lords in October 2019 and had its second reading on 9 January 2020.

View

Legal updates

Noise-induced hearing loss claims – documentation and the expert engineer

Guest writer, Finch Consulting Senior Consultant Teli Chinelis applies his expertise in preparing engineering reports in relation to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) claims to explain information that is required from the claimant and information that is required and is advisable to be retained by employers, in order to ensure that claims can be fairly represented.

View

Legal updates

SRA Standards and Regulations November 2019

On Monday 25 November the 2011 SRA Handbook is replaced by the 2019 SRA Standards and Regulations (often referred to as STARS).This is the 26th version of the Code of Conduct for Solicitors.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up