Haydon v Strudwick  EWHC 90164 (Costs)
Following a road traffic accident on 08/01/03 where the Claimant sustained very serious injuries, a bill in the sum of £890,048.58 was served on the Defendant. Within this sum, around £300,000 related to the uplift and £1,041.00 related to the insurance premium. In their Points of Dispute, the Defendant claimed that a notice of funding had not been served or file with the pleadings, neither was a further notice of funding served when the 2nd CFA was entered into (to reflect the Claimant no longer being a minor but a patient). In the Replies, the Claimant claimed that the Defendant had been notified that they were acting under a CFA with additional liabilities and that the Particulars of Claim stated that the matter was being funded by way of a CFA which included additional liabilities. An application for relief from sanctions was issued.
The Claimant submitted that the breach was a technical breach and that the Claimant should not be deprived of the opportunity in principle to recover a success fee. It was argued that the Defendant had not suffered any prejudice as they had been notified both in the letter of claim and in the Particulars of Claim that the matter was being funded by a CFA with additional liabilities. The failure of the Claimant to comply was not intentional.
The Defendant conceded that if the notice of funding had been given at the appropriate time, the Defendant would not have behaved differently and that the Defendant had suffered no prejudice, except for the detailed assessment proceedings.
Relief from sanctions was granted in respect of the additional liability claimed in the 1st and 2nd CFAs, however, relief was not granted regarding the recovery of the ATE premium. It was not accepted that the reference to “additional liabilities” in the letter of claim and the Particulars of Claim referred to the existence of an ATE policy. Therefore the Claimant was able to recover the success fee for those periods claimed in the Bill subject to further argument as to the reasonableness and level of success at detailed assessment.