A claimant whose case settled on the day of trial is entitled to recover advocacy fees, the High Court has ruled.

In Mendes v Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd, Mr Justice Coulson said a recorder had been wrong to say the claim had been settled before it was called on for trial hearing.

The personal injury case had settled for damages of £20,000 plus costs. The parties had attended for trial on 11 December, both represented by counsel, but indicated that a settlement might be possible if they were granted a little more time.

The recorder refused to award the fixed trial advocacy fee, saying the case was settled before the final contested hearing had commenced, and so no sum was recoverable.