Hadley v Przybylo – Court of Appeal judgment handed down – significant win for claimants 

The much-awaited judgment in Hadley v Przybylo has been handed down today.

“The point determined was one of potentially real significance to the manner in which catastrophic injury claims are handled – specifically whether a claimant’s solicitor can recover the costs of attending meetings connected with the claimant’s rehabilitation, whether with the case manager or financial deputy,” explained Chris Barnes KC from Exchange Chambers who acted for the claimant.

At first instance, Master McCloud had determined the point of principle against the claimant, finding that such costs were not progressive and therefore not recoverable. The Court of Appeal has unanimously found for the claimant on both his grounds of appeal: that the test applied was incorrect; and that this element of costs is recoverable in principle.

The Court had been provided with extensive evidence addressing the role, scope and interaction of solicitor, case manager and deputy – with detailed statements from the claimant’s solicitor, two case managers and the deputy,

In the event, the Court was reluctant to consider that material in any detail, finding that it had limited bearing on the point of principle.

Added Chris Barnes KC:

“The judgment is a significant win for claimants and their rehabilitation. It goes far beyond restoring what might have been the position prior to the first instance hearing. No longer can defendants challenge these costs on the point of principle.

“Further, in reiterating the approach of In Re Gibson’s Settlement Trusts the Court has steered away from the potentially narrower ‘progressive’ test that had become increasingly pervasive.

“Finally, there is helpful guidance as to the phase of the budget in which such costs should be placed.”

Chris Barnes KC and Matthew Stockwell from Exchange Chambers were instructed by Simon Roberts and Elen Roberts from Gamlins Solicitors.

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