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In the event, 6 April 2023 came and went. Many claims were issued in the weeks in the run up to the QOCS changes. Some prematurely. Others not. The full impact of the changes will be played out in years rather than months. This short piece attempts to address in summary form what might be done about it from a claimant perspective.
Two key points colour the analysis:
¹Where there are no interlocutory successes for the claimant along the way. Should the claimant have obtained a costs order following (say) a contested relief from sanctions application, a Defendant will be able to enforce against that costs order.
At first blush, the rule change presents a great difficulty for those representing claimants. This is particularly so given the forthcoming changes whereby fixed recoverable costs will apply to most civil claims valued at less than £100,000 in October 2023.
However, if one takes a step back, a different perspective is that it merely changes the tactics of the case along the way.
Given that most cases settle, the following considerations apply:
There is a large question mark as to whether costs would be enforceable against Tomlin orders. The point of a Tomlin order (in its true form) is a stay of the action, and confidential settlement terms between the parties as was recognised by the Court of Appeal in Cartwright v Venduct  EWCA Civ 1654 at paragraph 48. Whether a defendant can enforce its costs against a confidential settlement remains to be seen and will likely be the subject of an appeal in due course.
Accordingly, what we know at this moment is limited. However, whilst it might feel unwelcome, it is not exclusively bad news.
Henry King is a Barrister at 12 King’s Bench Walk.
Change has long been brewing in relation to the Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) regime.
Matthew Olner, solicitor at Nelsons, talks about how the QOCS changes have affected his law firm.
In this article, Rebecca Squires and Jane Marigold from DAS give their perspective on the QOCS changes.
QOCS changes: The ATE Provider’s Perspective
The impact of QOCS on costs lawyers
The Optimise scheme, launched by DAS and Maxima, has supported over 100 clients over the past two years, transforming the landscape for clinical negligence and personal injury cases.
Lisa O’Dwyer from Action against Medical Accidents looks at how the LDFRC process will affect Clinical Negligence claims.
William Ellerton, Partner at DAS Law, gives his predictions for how the new FRC could play out.
The ARAG Group and ERGO Versicherung AG, ERGO Group’s property & casualty insurer in Germany, have signed an agreement regarding the acquisition of D.A.S. UK, ERGO’s legal protection insurance business in the United Kingdom.
The full impact of the QOCS changes will be played out in years rather than months. Here, Henry King from 12 King’s Bench addresses what might be done about it from a claimant perspective.
Carol Parsons, Head of ATE at DAS, talks about ATE and its numerous strengths ahead of BIBA 2023.
Ahead of BIBA 2023, here's a look at what we have to offer to customers, particularly in uncertain times.
Since the introduction of QOCS and the subsequent change to ATE premiums being payable by the client, solicitors have faced some challenges when the client is a minor.
Carol Parsons, Head of ATE at DAS, explains the difference between After the Event and Before the Event Legal Expenses Insurance.
DAS and Maxima have launched ‘Optimise’, a new clinical negligence/personal injury scheme aimed specifically at smaller legal practices.