InsightsInsight - Family and Divorce - POSTED: August 11 2015
Coroners’ Courts 2015 – Can the family recover their costs?
Since the decision of Roach v Home Office 2009 costs judges have permitted recovery of inquest costs where they come within the definition of “costs of and incidental to” civil proceedings for negligence or breach of statutory duty. The recent decision of Lynch v Chief Constable of Warwickshire considered to what extent the costs of legal representation should be recovered.
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Attendance by the family legal team at an inquest might be justified but it needs to be of demonstrable benefit to the civil claim based on the principles of Gibson Settlement Trusts 1981. Although it is generally acknowledged that not all costs in representing a family will be recoverable and that the principle in Roach still remains, much depends on the approach of the costs judge in each case.
Interested Persons are constantly reminded by Coroners that Inquests are not about fault but often the evidence given and factual findings of the coroner or jury do advance a civil claim for the family. The costs judge in Lynch has emphasised that only legal costs that are “reasonable and proportionate” (to the claim) are recoverable.
For advice, support and training on Inquests contact John Sheath on 01622 776406 or email JohnSheath@brachers.co.uk.
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