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Civil Litigation Section

Insurers bound by protocol to pay solicitors costs, Supreme Court hears

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Insurers are legally obliged to pay costs to claimant solicitors for initiating claims in the Road Traffic Accident (RTA) portal, the Law Society has submitted to the Supreme Court.

In written evidence, the Society said insurer Haven should be obliged to pay around £12,500 in costs to north-west firm Gavin Edmondson Solicitors in a dispute over local value RTA claims. 

After receiving claims notification forms relating to six individuals in 2012, Haven settled the claims directly and subsequently refused to pay costs as set out in the pre-action protocol.

The case, won by the law firm at the Court of Appeal, has been heard in the Supreme Court this week as justices attempt to resolve issues around the practice of insurers settling claims directly.

The case considers the issue of a defendant insurer that contacted injured parties directly after they had been notified of a claim by solicitors through the RTA claims portal.The insurer then settled claims directly with the claimants on terms which did not provide for their solicitors to be paid their fixed costs under the portal scheme.




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