All articles by Kerry Underwood

  • Counting money

    A close eye on costs updates


    Kerry Underwood explains the solicitor’s obligations relating to costs updates

  • Contract agreement tick-box and pen

    How to get your retainer right


    Kerry Underwood provides an update on getting your client retainer right, including how to avoid challenges under the Solicitors Act 1974, notice of the right to cancel, and explaining the funding agreement.

  • kerry underwood new

    Insolvency: practice direction makes perfect


    On 4 July 2018, a new Practice Direction – Insolvency Proceedings (PDIP) came into force, replacing the most recent practice direction, which itself only came into force on 25 April 2018. Kerry Underwood summarises the new requirements.

  • Claim - empty hand gesture

    How to make a derivative claim


    A derivative claim allows an aggrieved shareholder to use the company’s name and funds to pursue directors for breaches of fiduciary duty. Kerry Underwood explains the process and considers relevant case law in this important area, focusing on the impact on charities.

  • supreme court

    Litigants in person: the new hardline approach


    Kerry Underwood explains the string of recent case law which suggests the courts are taking a much tougher approach to litigants in person.

  • 36 white on red background

    Kerry Underwood's part 36 update


    Kerry Underwood looks at where we stand with part 36 in light of recent judgments and Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals on fixed recoverable costs.

  • padlock

    BTE insurance: Absolute right to own solicitor at all times


    A European court has ruled that a legal expenses insurer’s terms and conditions were incompatible with the Solvency II Directive, and that the claimant had a free choice of lawyer under a contract of legal expense insurance. Kerry Underwood’s response? Don’t take no for an answer from BTE insurers.

  • kerry underwood new

    Intermediate track: scope and procedure


    Kerry Underwood sets out the scope and procedure of the new intermediate track recommended by Lord Justice Jackson to deal with civil litigation.

  • time

    Hourly rates in retainers: Kerry Underwood on Vilvarajah


    Kerry Underwood discusses Vilvarajah v West London Law Limited [2017] EWHC 23, in which a senior costs judge slashed costs after deeming a CFA unreasonable and unfair to the client.

  • money2

    Kerry Underwood on Jackson and fixed costs


    Lord Justice Jackson’s report on fixed costs was published on 31 July, recommending that fixed recoverable costs should apply to claims valued up to £25k. While this is a significant scaling back of his earlier proposals to apply fixed costs for all claims up to £250k, Kerry Underwood says Jackson’s ...

  • chess pieces

    Bad news for third party funders: has the tide turned?


    Kerry Underwood looks at two recent decisions from the English and Irish courts, which could signify a turning of the tide for third party funding.

  • pound coin on dark background

    Kerry Underwood's proposals for the extension of the fixed costs regime


    Kerry Underwood, at the request of Lord Justice Jackson, sets out his proposals for the extension of fixed recoverable costs to all civil work of all kinds up to a maximum value of £250,000, but with the ability to be extended to all claims without a limit on value. 

  • arbitration text ipad

    Has the High Court just reintroduced recoverability of success fees?


    In Essar Oilfield Services v Norscot Rig Management the High Court upheld the decision of the arbitrator in an ICC arbitration to allow the recovery of the costs of third party funding in addition to the award of costs and damages. 

  • Jackson LJ

    Extending fixed recoverable costs: change is coming for litigators


    The government is consulting until 17 January on extending fixed recoverable costs across civil litigation. If implemented, they will represent some of the greatest changes for civil litigators since the 19th century, says Kerry Underwood.

  • meeting-talking-client

    Silver service


    Clients are rarely able to judge you on how well you know the law, but they can judge you on how well you look after them: your opening hours, how your reception looks, the clarity of your communications. Kerry Underwood offers his tips for top-quality client service

  • Crossed fingers

    Fundamental dishonesty: where are we now?


    What constitutes fundamental dishonesty has been left to the discretion of the court with no definition provided within the CPR. Kerry Underwood suggests this could all change very soon, with a decision by the Supreme Court imminent. 

  • kerry underwood 140x96

    Silver service


    Clients are rarely able to judge you on how well you know the law, but they can judge you on how well you look after them: your opening hours, how your reception looks, the clarity of your communications. Kerry Underwood offers his tips for top-quality client service

  • calculator and coins

    Costs budgeting, proportionality and hourly rates in high value cases


    Kerry Underwood discusses a recent High Court judgment which makes some thorough comments on proportionality, guideline hourly rates and other issues in assessing costs budgets. What could it mean for costs management?

  • skyscraper

    It's a fix


    Fixed costs for absolutely every civil action in England and Wales may soon be a reality, proclaims Kerry Underwood.

  • Lady justice statue

    Kerry Underwood: 'our legal system is now a tax-raising commercial venture'


    ‘For the first time in any society as far as I am aware, a state’s legal system has gone from being a core part of the central inalienable duties of the state to a tax-raising commercial venture.’