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Court of Appeal decision in Cable v LV - A useful result for defendants

Our focus is on changing claimant solicitor behaviour, rather than dramatic journeys to the Court of Appeal.

Whilst most commentators have focused on the obvious disappointment of the claimant’s claim being reinstated by the Court of Appeal, we are of the view that there are significant positives in this decision. We have taken time to consult with our insurance partners and counsel and the important points to take from this decision are:

  1. Artificially maintaining a claim in the portal is an abuse of process;
  2. The threshold for when the claimant’s solicitor had knowledge that the claim was likely to exceed £25,000 is low; it is when the claimant’s solicitor ought to have known;
  3. Evidence of the prejudice to the defendant and the manifest unfairness is required;
  4. Where a claim stays in the portal longer than it should; the claimant can lose interest on special damages;
  5. More significantly, the claimant’s solicitors can lose their potentially significant costs.

Following the original decision in Lyle v Allianz, we prepared a suite of standard letters for use in the pre-litigation stage. These were updated following the lower court’s decision in Cable v LV. 

Our objective was always to encourage the claims to be dealt with on the appropriate platform. The feedback that we’ve had and our own experience confirms that this has been achieved. Our focus is on changing claimant solicitor behaviour, rather than dramatic journeys to the Court of Appeal. 

As a result of our approach, those standard letters require little change following the Court of Appeal decision in Cable v LV. 

If anything, this decision endorses our proportionate based approach to date and the guidance from Lord Justice Coulson makes it easier for us to seek sanctions against the claimant and their solicitor, which we expect will accelerate the desired change in behaviour.

If you would like to receive our updated suite of standard letters for use prior to litigation, incorporating the guidance from the Court of Appeal, please provide your details below.

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