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J C and A Solicitors Ltd v Andeen Iqbal & Another [2017] EWCA Civ 355 - Jim Knight, Harmans

11/08/17. The Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that no obligation to repay Stage 1 fixed costs (£400 + VAT) is imposed by the RTA Protocol or by the CPR upon Protocol Claimants merely because, after the conclusion of Stage 1, they take no steps to pursue their claim under Stage 2.

The RTA Protocol came into effect in its original form on 30 April 2010, and was substantially up-dated and revised with effect from 3l July 2013, in the light of the Jackson reforms.

The appeal concerned the RTA Protocol in its original form, which continues to apply to claims submitted between those two dates.

The appeal involved three materially identical RTA claims which proceeded under the RTA Protocol. In each case, the defendant’s insurer admitted liability and paid the claimant the Stage 1 fixed costs. Thereafter, none of the three claimants took any further steps to advance their claims, in the manner prescribed for Stage 2.

In each case the defendant’s insurers commenced proceedings in the Small Claims Track of the County Court for recovery of the Stage 1 fixed costs, both from the relevant claimant and from their solicitors, namely the appellant J C and A Solicitors Limited (“JC&A”). The insurers in each case were EUI Limited (“EUI”) trading under the Admiral name.

Before the County Court Judge in Cardiff, the claims were advanced primarily upon the basis that the...

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