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Wasted costs order VS Professional negligence claim

(30 Posts)
samanthamplified Fri 10-Mar-17 10:39:07


I need to get a wasted costs order made against a lawyer I used previously, I have a strong case.

Wasted costs order already made against me but I feel the lawyer should've been liable for it and the court order should be amended.

Do I apply to court for that order or do I need to go through a professional negligence claim inc. the pre-action protocol?

The professional negligence route seems a long way to go about it

Can I just apply for a wasted costs order via a D11?

What's the difference?

I'm a litigant in person...


Collaborate Fri 10-Mar-17 12:20:53

Would be a fresh cause of action. You should try setting out your case to them, and see how they respond.

Collaborate Fri 10-Mar-17 12:21:38

Meant to add - if the WCA is because of their act or omission they should at least reduce the amount of their own fees by the amount of the order.

Familylawsolicitor Fri 10-Mar-17 13:39:14

Have you exhausted complaints process and escalated to the Ombudsman? How much are we talking about? They may pay to not have to deal with the hassle of resolving a complaint.

samanthamplified Fri 10-Mar-17 14:10:45


I've already paid the lawyer and I'm being chased by the other party's wasted costs

Total: £30k (inc. my loss)

The LO have an average compensation payout of £250 I heard...

I need to the court order amended to make this lawyer liable for my wasted costs (his fees) and the other party's wasted costs

How do I this?

Shall I just make an application to the court an await a hearing?

Familylawsolicitor Fri 10-Mar-17 15:09:44

The court has made that order. It would be an appeal. Tough to do yourself. Were you represented at the hearing where the WCO was made?

Collaborate Fri 10-Mar-17 15:33:18

It all depends on the reason why a WCO was made - if it was the fault of the solicitor they should suck it up.

samanthamplified Fri 10-Mar-17 15:36:47

Yes I was represented by the same lawyer - it's been over 21 days so is it too late for an appeal?

I won't go into the reasons, but the lawyer is definitely is responsible for the reasons the order was made

EyeStye Sat 11-Mar-17 00:35:45

Yes I was represented by the same lawyer

Bit of a conflict there it seems.... First step is to get a transcript of the judgement where a wasted costs order was made. If there's £30k at stake I really would instruct counsel to advise and draft the appeal. The 21 days is not an absolute bar, you just need permission beyond that and if you have good grounds and good reasons for delay its not generally overly problematic IME particularly if you didn't get a sealed order or transcript for some time through no fault of your own.

Allthebestnamesareused Sat 11-Mar-17 13:51:57

Can you explain why your solicitor was at fault?

samanthamplified Mon 13-Mar-17 11:51:55

Thanks for that advice - I'll look into getting a barrister to help with the appeal, but do you know how much one will charge for this?

@Allthebestnamesareused - I don't really want to go into details on here, but his negligence/omissions were the only and direct cause of adjournment and, consequently, wasted costs...

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 13-Mar-17 14:02:30

Have you already followed the firm's complaints procedure. If you do it is likely that they will agree to cover the costs if it was their omission that lead to adjournment etc. They will also let their insurer know of a possible claim.

samanthamplified Mon 13-Mar-17 15:20:34

Yes done this, but process is too long via insurers (3 months+ pre action protocol...)

So I'd prefer to have the order varied so I'm not liable for oppositions's costs and my costs can be recovered

Opposition are chasing me for costs that I can't afford to pay (not even 10%), so there's a chance I could lose my job i.e. only source of income atm

MummaGiles Mon 13-Mar-17 15:28:26

There's a very high threshold to prove wasted costs. Higher than just negligence. You need to take that into consideration. Do you have an order for costs against you personally, or a wasted costs order?

samanthamplified Mon 13-Mar-17 17:19:37

The order is against me personally to pay opposition's wasted costs of the adjournment

I understand there's a threshold, but the reasons for adjournment are a direct result of his omissions...if that isn't good enough then I wouldn't what would be...

MummaGiles Mon 13-Mar-17 18:54:12

The order against you won't be a wasted costs order, as they are made against legal represtantives. If you have incurred a loss because of your solicitor's act or omission then you may have a claim in negligence. I would contact your solicitors and complain in the first instance. You may be able to sort this out informally.

NotRumpole Mon 13-Mar-17 22:32:31

I second what Mumma said - it doesn't make sense that a wasted costs order would be made against you personally - the whole point is that they are orders made against your solicitor or barrister. Who is telling you you have personal liability for the wasted costs?

samanthamplified Tue 14-Mar-17 00:19:59

The court order says so:

"The applicant shall pay the wasted costs of today..."

I really feel my lawyer should be liable for this

A claim for negligence seems a long process and I'll be chased for costs in the meantime and may have enforcement action taken against me which could have long term consequences like losing my job or not being able to get a loan/mortgage...

samanthamplified Tue 14-Mar-17 00:20:35

Lawyer is a barrister via direct access, he is not a solicitor

Collaborate Tue 14-Mar-17 07:26:15

You should write to the barrister's head of chambers and complain. If they agree that the act or omission was the fault of the barrister I suspect they'll offer to recompense you (perhaps by refunding the fee you paid and also paying the costs order).

babybarrister Tue 14-Mar-17 08:53:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babybarrister Tue 14-Mar-17 08:57:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

samanthamplified Tue 14-Mar-17 09:42:56

Yes, I'm aware of this but I feel the insurance/claim route would be detrimental to me due to it's lengthy procedure

i.e. Barrister has 3 months to respond to my Letter of Claim...

I need quicker action taken to prevent opposition party from enforcing costs on me because I can't afford to pay and my job is within a regulated environment so could lose it if a debt is on my head

He has not personally responded to my complaint

Contract did not specify he would help with litigation

But he did and I have proof of his active involvement, would this break my case?

samanthamplified Tue 14-Mar-17 09:45:29

Also, in total he charged me more than 3x what the opposition was charged

This revelation was particularly upsetting...

Collaborate Tue 14-Mar-17 13:22:17

Presumably your barrister charged you more because you weren't able to present your case on a plate to him/her unlike the opposing barrister who was briefed by a solicitor.

There can be many reasons why one particular barrister costs more than another, including seniority and how many people want to book them.

Not much you can do other than pursue your complaint through chambers and see what you think about their response.

Your barrister cannot be responsible for errors made in the conduct of your case before they assumed responsibility. You must be very clear in what they were assuming responsibility for, as you are responsible for everything else.

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