As a non-specialist, I hope some claimant personal injury practitioner will explain just what (apart from the unearthly phraseology) is novel about the government’s latest bright idea on costs - qualified one-way costs-shifting ('QOCS rules “will deter valid claims”'). Surely it always used to be the case that if a plaintiff failed at trial to beat a payment into court, he was liable for the defendant's costs from the date of the payment - costs which might very well wipe out the damages he had won.
And how does it have the slightest tendency to ‘deter claims’, valid or otherwise, to be told that you won’t have to pay the defendant’s costs if you lose? If there is anything startling about the proposals, it is their apparent injustice to successful PI defendants, not any unusual hardship they cause to claimants.
Martin R Maloney, solicitor, London N3
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