-A decision by Senior Costs Judge Hurst now allows the recovery of medical agency fees as a disbursement in cases covered by the predictive costs regime.
-Both the defendant and judge cited HHJ Cook’s 2002 ruling in Stringer v Copley, in which he allowed the charges of the medical agency incurred in obtaining the report, but only so far as they did not exceed the reasonable and proportionate work if it were carried out by a solicitor.
-Solicitors who delegated the task of obtaining medical reports to medical agencies did not absolve themselves of the responsibility to assist the court to ascertain whether the costs incurred were reasonable and proportionate.
-Where a solicitor had invoked the services of a medical agency to obtain a report from an expert, it was neither reasonable nor proportionate within the meaning of CPR r.44.4(1) for the agency to charge VAT in respect of the report itself.
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