This appeal considered whether the respondent’s After the Event (‘ATE’) insurance premium in respect of the main appeal was recoverable from the appellant, and specifically whether proceedings in the Supreme Court were the same proceedings commenced by the respondent in 2009. The Supreme Court, by a majority of 4 to 1, upheld the costs assessment of the costs officers. The majority held that the CFA was correctly assigned irrespective of the reorganisation of the respondent’s solicitors’. Considering the ATE premium, the Court held that its recoverability turned on the meaning of LASPO, s 46(3), which referred to an insurance policy “in relation to the proceedings”. As a matter of ordinary language, one would say that the proceedings were brought in support of a claim and were not over until the courts had fully disposed of that claim. The purpose of the transitional provisions of LASPO was to preserve rights and expectations vested under the previous law, and this would be defeated by a rigid distinction between different stages of the same litigation. Therefore, there was no rational reason why the legislation should have wished to limit the transitional provisions in s 46(3) to a particular stage in litigation, and so the proceedings were the same for the purpose of recoverability of the ATE premium.

For judgment, please download: [2017] UKSC 23
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (6 Feb 2017 morning session)