Surrey v Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 1598 (QB) (01 July 2016)

In the month or so prior to 1 April 2013 the solicitors acting for each claimant with the agreement of the Litigation Friend of each claimant, arranged for the Legal Aid Certificates to be discharged in each case and for the funding for each claimant henceforth to be funded by a CFA. In fact, the CFA was what is known generally as a ‘CFA Lite’ – in other words, a CFA by virtue of which the client’s liability to pay his lawyers’ costs is limited to the amount of costs recoverable from the other party. Any shortfall is absorbed by the solicitors. (paragraph 2)

Each case was finalised in a way that was successful from each claimant’s point of view resulting in a liability upon each defendant for costs. However, in due course, recovery of the success fee and the ATE premium in each case was challenged by the the NHSLA and the Costs Judge upheld the challenge in each case, holding that the changed funding arrangements were not reasonable. (paragraph 3)


The appeals will, accordingly, be allowed in each case save that the sums allowed by way of recovery in respect of the ATE premiums in Surrey and AH will be in the sums the respective Costs Judges said they would have allowed had recovery in principle been permitted. (paragraph 121)