Barlow – v – Perks  EWHC 90087 (Costs)
The Claimant was injured in a road traffic accident on 08/05/01 and instructed KSB Claims. The matter was conducted under a retainer dated 30/05/01 and the Claimant had the benefit of BTE Insurance with Motor Law while he was represented by KSB Claims. The matter was transferred to Irwin Mitchell in July 2004 as KSB Claims stopped dealing with personal injury work. However, Irwin Mitchell failed to inform the Claimant that because they were not on the KSB Claims panel, the BTE insurance was not available to him anymore. They also failed to inform the Claimant that it could be possible to find another firm of solicitors to deal with the matter under the BTE policy because they were on the panel. The Claimant was only given two options, to enter into a CFA or fund the claim himself. Therefore, the Claimant entered into a CFA with Irwin Mitchell. The matter settled in August 2005 and the Defendant was to pay damages of £13,750 and costs. A detailed assessment of costs was applied for and the Defendant challenged the validity of the CFA.
Master Rogers found that Irwin Mitchell had failed to comply with Regulation 4(1)(a) and 4 (1)(b) because had not properly informed the Claimant about other methods of funding and the availability of insurance. Therefore it was found that there had been a material non-compliance with Regulation 4 which had adversely affected both the client’s position and the administration of justice generally.