We are always looking for interesting content for our readers and the Legal Costs Blog is absolutely delighted to have obtained an exclusive article from specialist costs counsel Kevin Latham and Mark Friston of Kings Chambers.
This article covers the new Road Traffic Accident Protocol.
This is the most comprehensive review of the scheme we have seen (and it is clear from a number of readers’ comments how much assistance is urgently required on these muddled new rules).
Not only does this provide an excellent run through of the new scheme, but it identifies a number of problem areas which are likely to form the basis for the next round of the Costs Wars. For example:
"There is a risk that less scrupulous claimants will make offers which are unlikely to be accepted by defendants, only to withdraw them following the total consideration period and thus obtain costs assessed on the standard basis when Part 7 proceedings are issued. It seems that the new regime offers the defendant very little protection from this potential abuse. The point is re-enforced as the defendant’s offer in the S2SP would appear not to attract Part 36 status (as an RTA Protocol Offer) until proceedings are issued under PD 8B and offers made within the S2SP are unlikely to comply with the formal requirements of CPR 36.2. It would thus seem that the only way in which a defendant can protect himself against this unsatisfactory position, is to replicate every offer made within the S2SP and subsequent total consideration period in correspondence as a fully compliant Part 36 offer in the event that the claim falls outside the Protocol at some future point."
This is invaluable reading for those dealing with RTA claims. Read and circulate: RTA Protocol Article.