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QOCS and Discontinuance - James Bentley, Guildhall Chambers

21/10/16. As it stands, there is no authority on how QOCS fits with discontinuance. However, there have been multiple county court decisions on the issue. Magon v Royal Sun Alliance (Unreported, 26th February 2016, Central London County Court) is the latest of those cases and makes interesting reading for those worried about the effect of discontinuance and QOCS in claims where fundamental dishonesty is not alleged.

The Facts

The facts of the case were fairly straightforward. The claimant was in a road traffic accident and pursued a claim for personal injuries. However, when it came to issuing the claim she issued not on the insurer of the defendant driver (as would have been her right to) but on the claims handler instead. In light of the error, the defendant claims handler invited the claimant to discontinue and to pay their costs.

At around the same time, the defendant also entered into settlement negotiations with the claimant on behalf of their principal, leading the matter to be settled for a relatively modest sum. After the matter had settled the claimant subsequently discontinued against the claims handler and accepted that although they were entitled to an order for costs, the order would not be enforceable since the claimant was protected by QOCS...

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