Judgment handed down by Court of Appeal today in West v Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

Nicholas Bacon QC (for the Appellants) and Roger Mallalieu (for the Respondents) acted in what has been billed the new “Lownds” case on proportionality.

In a judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal today in West & anr -v- Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, the Master of the Rolls has provided the guidance which the profession has been seeking since the introduction of new test of proportionality in April 2013. Although the case directly concerns the recovery of after the event insurance premiums in clinical negligence cases, the Court of Appeal has made a point of taking the opportunity to explain how CPR 44.3(2) is to work and be applied by judges assessing costs. Of critical importance for the future is the court’s guidance that where there are items of costs “which are fixed and unavoidable, or which have an irreducible minimum, without which the litigation could not have been progressed”, they will not be reduced on the grounds of proportionality.” Links to the judgments can be found here and here.