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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Don't delay difficult news on costs (or anything else!)

Don't delay difficult news on costs (or anything else!)

This is not untypical: arrive at the mediation, claimant's solicitor hands over a schedule of costs to date (or even worse waits until mid afternoon to do so). Defendant's solicitors, acting for professional indemnity insurers, gasp at costs almost three times higher than expected, and those are base costs before 100% uplift under the CFA and insurance premium. The mediation is almost aborted on the spot. There can be no prospect of settlement within insurer's reserves.

How much better it would be for the claimant to have identified its costs position well before the mediation to allow the defendant to take this on board and adjust its expectations and/or reserves or at the least seek more information, for example about hours and rates, the grades of those who have worked on the file, etc.

The general rule should be to maximise the exchange of information, and get what others might perceive as bad news out there early.

Mediator: Mark Jackson-Stops

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