In the recent case of Imansouren v Ocado Central Services Limited, the Claimant’s conduct resulted in his stage 3 ATE premium of £94,000 being assessed at Nil.
The issue arose from a personal injury claim brought by the Claimant against the Defendant, his employers, following an accident in July 2012. As such the relevant rules regarding provision of notice were:
“Where a party enters into a funding arrangement within the meaning of rule 43.2(1)(k), that party must inform the other parties about this arrangement as soon as possible and in any event either within 7 days of entering into the funding arrangement concerned or, where a claimant enters into a funding arrangement before sending a letter before claim, in the letter before claim”.
(CPR rule 44.3B(1)(c) (as was) provided that a party may not recover certain additional costs where information about a funding arrangement was not provided.)
Whilst the Claimant’s solicitors served a Notice of Funding advising there were two stages to the ATE premium, this was incorrect as there were three stages and no notice was provided of the third stage. The claim proceeded, being listed for a 2-day trial in July 2017, with the matter settling shortly prior to that. The parties agreed costs save for Stage 3 of the ATE premium. The Defendant contended that the Claimant had failed to provide notice of Stage 3 of the premium in breach of CPR PD 19.4 3 and had failed to comply with various court orders, which had caused significant delays resulting in the premium being unreasonably incurred.
The Master agreed with the Defendant that it was unreasonable and disproportionate for the Defendant to pay Stage 3 and reduced it to Nil.
The decision is important given it illustrates the Court’s approach to conduct and delays when considering the recoverability of staged ATE premiums.