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Philip Gaskell

Consider cost implications at all key stages of litigation

Philip Gaskell

Head of Legal and Compliance (Solicitor)

Philip is responsible for QM’s strategic approach in relation to costs litigation. He is also responsible for providing in-house training and keeping QM’s solicitors, costs lawyers and costs draftsmen up to date with all developments in legal costs.

He has a particular interest in the implementation of the Jackson reforms and ensuring the changes in the legal landscape are used to maximum effect in reducing claimants’ costs.

Philip monitors QM’s performance within the costs negotiations, the detailed assessment process and the costs budgeting process, striving to constantly improve upon outcomes to ensure the best possible results are obtained in every case.

Philip also oversees the monitoring of opponents’ tactics to attempt to increase costs and the co-ordination of strategies to successfully combat such attempts.

Philip specialises in dealing with high value claims but maintains a varied caseload to keep abreast of developments in all areas of costs.

Background:

Philip has 15 years’ experience in the legal costs industry with over 12 years at QM Costs.

He has been instructed to deal with costs arising from a myriad of sources, including, clinical negligence, professional negligence, commercial litigation, planning appeals, nuisance, wrongful arrest, judicial review and a full range of personal injury claims, amongst many others.

He has dealt with costs arising from litigation within the majority of civil courts in England and Wales including the Court of Appeal and House of Lords. Philip has dealt with costs issues ranging from test cases in relation to low value fixed costs cases through to group litigation and catastrophic loss claims, with costs claimed running to millions of pounds.

He has successfully pursued appeals and test cases in relation to issues including success fees, fixed costs issues, ATE premiums, CFA Regulations, hourly rates and breaches of the indemnity principle regarding BTE LEI limits.

Career highlights:

Philip’s notable cases include reducing a 100% success fee to 20% in the face of the then prevailing caselaw that 100% was appropriate by and using innovative arguments to show the prevailing position was illogical, saving an insurer client over £500,000 in legal costs.

Successfully arguing a London firm’s London hourly rates should not be allowed between the parties in A v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, which was the only reported appeal in the High Court to favour the paying party on the ‘Wraith’ argument for almost a 10 year period.

In a recent case before the Senior Costs Judge (January 2015) successfully arguing costs were disproportionate and largely unnecessarily incurred, resulting in a reduction of over 80% to the claim for costs and a saving of over £300,000.

Best piece of advice:

Consider costs implications at all key stages of litigation.