Summary of Recent Cases – Costs

Wasted costs order made against the claimant’s solicitors where there was clear evidence of incompetence that could fairly be termed as negligence.

Rasoul v Linkevicius (1) Groupama (2) (2012) Central London County Court (Judge Collender QC), 05.10.12

A wasted costs order was granted against a solicitors firm which had pursued a road traffic accident claim on behalf of a claimant as there was clear evidence of incompetence which could be fairly termed as negligence, and the way in which the case collapsed at trial supported the defendant insurer’s early allegations of fraud.

The second defendant insurer applied for a wasted costs order against the claimant’s solicitors’ firm. The insurer had written to the claimant’s solicitors at an early stage clearly alleging that the claimant’s claim was fraudulent. It reasserted its allegation in clear terms in the defence.

The claimant’s statement did not contain a proper statement of truth. He did not give evidence at trial because he was allegedly illiterate. His witnesses had allegedly given statements over the phone to the claimant’s solicitors. It emerged that the statement of one witness was expanded from what he had told the claimant’s solicitor; whilst the other witness said that he had never spoken to the solicitors. The claim was dismissed.

A wasted costs order against the solicitors was appropriate because there was clear evidence of at least incompetence which could fairly be termed as negligence. Considering the allegations, and the allegation of fraud, it was also curious that the witnesses had not been seen in person. The course of the trial supported the allegation of fraud. A solicitor’s proper competent work would have ensured that the case collapsed long before the trial took place.

March 27, 2013 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases