Point of General Principle

Now decisions of Cost Committees – sorry Independent Adjudicators – do not set precedents. At the height of the CCA wars however, when we were doing multiple hearings every week, and when the Committee Clerk was a suitably senior, experienced and trained member of staff they nearly did. I remember one case, a successful Category 1 outcome one paper submissions which the firms was insistent went to Committee to establish the travel time reasonably involved in a journey regularly faced by local firms. The CC agreed with the firms general timings and the Clerk indicated that he would let the assessors know so that they did not make the same error time and time again. As you know things quickly became worse and the application of such common sense rapidly disappeared.
That said we advised upon an potential appeal recently involving the firm claiming for time involved in collecting and processing urgent Court Orders required in a domestic violence case. Perversely of course the time claimed by the fee earner was less than would have been involved had they instructed a process server.
The adjudicator agreed with us – hopefully a memo will be winging its way around the assessment centre.

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