CLAIMANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION TO RELY ON EXPERT EVIDENCE ON DEPUTYSHIP AND COURT OF PROTECTION COSTS: SUCCESSFUL APPEAL TO THE HIGH COURT
I am grateful to Daniel Slade from Express Solicitors for sending me a copy of the decision of Mr Justice Soole in AAA -v- BBB  EWHC 3103 (KB). It is a case where the claimant was successful in appealing a decision that he was not given permission to rely on a report from an expert on deputyship and Court of Protection costs.
The claimant brings an action for damages for personal injury. At a directions hearing he applied for permission to call an expert on the cost of deputyship issues. The claimant has capacity to litigate but not in relation to property and affairs, he is to be treated as a protected beneficiary. The claimant’s schedule for future costs of deputyship and Court of Protection costs amounted to £2.25 million. The defendant’s counter-schedule put these at £362,000 and argued there should be a nil award for deputyship costs.
THE DECISION OF THE MASTER
The Master gave the defendant permission to rely on the report of an expert in deputyship and Court of Protection costs. However it was held that the claimant could rely on the evidence of the actual case manager and the professional deputy appointed by the Court of Protection.
THE CLAIMANT’S SUCCESSFUL APPEAL
The defendant respondents took a neutral stance in relation to the appeal. Mr Justice Soole allowed the appeal. He held that this head of damages was a major element of the case. The issue either required expert evidence or it did not. Allowing the defendant to call expert evidence when the claimant could not adduce evidence in response.
THE JUDGMENT ON APPEAL
The judge considered the issues, including the very high burden on a party seeking to overturn a case management decision. However the inequality of the result meant that the appeal was allowed and the claimant given permission to rely on expert evidence.