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Small claims, big issues

Matt Waszak considers the recent judgments in A v Royal Mail Group ?and its impact on the recovery of ?ATE premiums and success fees ?by claimant solicitors

8 December 2015

In August and September 2015 two important judgments were handed down in the case of A & Anor v Royal Mail Group concerning the recovery of success fees and after the event (ATE) insurance premiums from damages awards in claims brought on behalf of children and protected parties.

The proceedings arose from very ordinary ?facts. Two children, referred to as A and M, were innocent passengers in a car that collided with another vehicle driven by the defendant. It was uncontroversial that the accident was caused ?by the defendant’s negligence. 

Claims pursued on behalf of both children through the Ministry of Justice’s claims portal by their father – acting as their litigation friend – were settled by the defendant’s insurer for awards of damages of a little over £2,000 each. The awards comprised sums for general damages and past physiotherapy treatment. 

At a hearing on 27 May 2015, District Judge Lumb, the regio...

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