Why your clients still need ATE Insurance With QOCS (Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting)
Before the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act came into effect in 2013, ATE insurance ensured that the claimant or defendant, if successful, wouldn’t be liable for any litigation costs.
The introduction of Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (QOCS) means that if a case is lost or abandoned both parties may still be liable for litigation costs. This applies even when a solicitor is acting under a Conditional Fee Arrangement (no win – no fee).
Defendants will generally be ordered to pay the costs of successful claimants but, subject to certain exceptions, will not recover their own costs if they successfully defend the claim.
ATE insurance still has an important role to play, however, in protecting claimants from the cost of expert reports and failure to beat a Part 36 offer.
What is a Part 36 offer?
A Part 36 offer encourages parties to try and settle a dispute before going to trial.
The recipient of the offer must carefully consider the potential consequences of not accepting the offer because they are likely to incur legal costs from the date the offer was made.
A Part 36 offer will affect the judge’s decision as to who should pay costs relating to failure to accept the offer.
An ATE policy will ensure that you don’t pick up the other party’s costs relating to the Part 36, as well as covering the cost of expensive medical reports.