Bristow v The Princess Alexander Hospital NHS Trust, & Reid v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, are the cases reviewed by Just Costs Solicitors in an archived guest article.
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Bristow v The Princess Alexander Hospital NHS Trust
Over the last 12 months mediation has turned from a suggestion to almost an all out necessity.
The case of Bristow v The Princess Alexander Hospital NHS Trust has shown that if the correct procedure is undertaken by only one party then the entitlement to costs can be increased on the basis of being allowed indemnity costs.
The long and short of this case was that mediation was proposed by the Claimant to narrow any possible issue on the matter. The Defendant out right refused to mediation stating that it was unnecessary. At the assessment the judge stated “In principle the Defendants have not given any reasonable reason why they refused to engage in mediation and I am satisfied that there should be an appropriate sanction”.
The sanction allowed by the court was that the 80% bill (reductions due to inclusions of on recoverable work) should be allowed on an indemnity basis instead of standard basis.
A further case where this has turned out to be costly to the losing party, the case of Reid v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
This case ordered the Defendant (again not willing to mediate) paid indemnity costs from the date on which they failed to respond to an offer of mediation.
It is a stern lesson that unless you have a very good reason not to mediate then the undertaking of the same could save you costs (as I believe as harsh sanctions would be given by the court if the Claimant rejected mediation). And that to offer mediation to the Defendant on cases could turn out to be beneficial if the Defendant is not forthcoming.
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