Legal Aid Agency must pay increased costs for failure to state whether statutory charge would apply to Human Rights Act claim


Re: PW & Ors v Luton Borough Council [2017] EWHC 3028 (Fam)

Whether the claimants’ costs of pursuing the Human Rights Act 1998 claim have been increased by the conduct of the Legal Aid Agency in failing to state whether the statutory charge relating to the costs of the care proceedings would apply to the recovery of their damages and, following on from that determination, whether those additional or increased costs should indeed be paid by the Legal Aid Agency.

The Court held that the LAA had acted “so unreasonably as to have increased the costs of the claimants in the prosecution of their claim”, and accordingly determined that they should pay increased costs as per, Senior Courts Act 1981, s 51 and the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. This is because it had arguably had access to all the relevant documentation in July, or in the alternative was offered them repeatedly and “reminded in correspondence on a number of occasions about the implications of the Northamptonshire case”.

Chris Buttler was involved in this case.