Senior Courts Costs Office
No.3 of 2005
Atack v Lee & Anor; Ellerton v Harris
16 December 2004
Court of Appeal (Brooke, Mance and LongmoreLJJ)
In these two appeals, heard together, the Court of Appeal revisited the vexed issue of the appropriate level of success fee in RTA cases financed by a CFA, such cases pre dating the fixed costs regime now applying to cases of that size.
After stating the general principles in relation to such success fees and the earlier authorities, their Lordships turned to the facts of the particular cases. In the first case (Atack v Lee) refused to interfere with a success fee of 50% allowed by both the Deputy District and Circuit Judges, but considered that a success fee of up to 67% might have been found to have been reasonable by some Judges for a single stage success fee. In the Ellerton v Harris case, unlike the Atack v Lee case. The case was settled after a defence had been filed. The Claimant, an elderly lady, was knocked down and injured by a reversing car in a supermarket car park. The Court of Appeal upheld the 20% success fee awarded below, applying Callery v Gray even though this was a multi track case.