Just a short update today as the weekend approaches after what has been a busy week behind the scenes. As a result, on Monday, we will be adding the Library content to the Credit Hire Forum website. It will be available to all paying subscribers and will be accessible on the desktop and iPad version of the website. There is too much data for the facility to be shown easily on a mobile phone.
The Library was constructed to give all those working in Credit Hire the easiest possible access to the leading credit hire authorities plus other cases of significance or particular importance. It focuses on all of the key challenges - rate, impecuniosity, intervention, measure of damages, diminution, sham etc - and was built from the ground up using the following steps:
Using Kevan and Ellis on Credit Hire as a reference point, all bar four or five of the unreported cases cited by the authors were researched, located and included;
In addition, a list of other important cases recommended by MASS was used to add to the repository;
Further, a number of key appellate and High Court cases from Northern Ireland were then identified and added;
In addition, a number of cases that I had direct knowledge of and that were either helpful or, in some cases not helpful, were added;
In a number of leading cases (like Bent 2), transcripts from the proceedings were available and so they have also been included in the Library, and finally,
Because some of the evolution of authorities in Australia relies so much on UK authorities, and because some more recent decisions are starting to extend the argument about reasonableness, as in the issue of need and like for like, a number of appellate authorities are also included.
The cases are listed alphabetically and can be searched by name or keyword. The listing includes the venue, details of either the judge hearing the case or giving the judgment in the case of judgments of the Court of Appeal, the date of the hearing and some keywords, like Rate, Signature, Misrepresentation, Impecuniosity or Mitigation so that cases can also be searched in that way. There is also a Dropbox link to the Source which displays either the full judgment, the relevant copy of the Law Report (for older cases) and, in respect of a few unreported cases, a summary of the judgment. There are over 250 references in the library and I genuinely believe there to be no better resource available for the claimant credit hire community. However, if anyone identifies any gaps or wishes to provide any other case reports or judgments to add to the library, has more recent cases of interest or wants to suggest other keywords to make the search opportunity of the recorded cases more usable then all suggestions will be welcomed.
Finally, having completed one exercise aimed at providing better accessible intelligence for the credit hire community, next week we will be building a further resource called “Know your Opponent”. This is something every FOIL member does in order to strengthen their approach to resisting claims from individual CHOs and solicitors. It is also something that some CHOs do but the ability to share intelligence to craft a strategic response from initiatives from the likes of Keoghs is always disjointed and not as effective as it could be. As a result, Know your Opponent (“KYO”) will include a searchable database allowing intelligence specific to an insurer, a defendant solicitor or even a particular court or circuit, in order that subscribers can add intelligence about their opponents in a manner that can be presented anonymously, or with an identified contributor, to alert all subscribers what those who strive to hobble the credit hire industry are doing next. More details will follow next week but if anyone has any such material - the response of insurers or defendant solicitors to the Covid crisis, details of how things are at Hastings, AXA’s behaviour visiting claimants to persuade them to end their hire claim or allegations about the source of a credit hire referral and the effect of pre-contract representations, for example, or anything that appears novel, threatening or of concern, KYO is the place for it to be shared.
For those that have not subscribed (either as a free visitor to the site or as a paying member of the Forum) you can do so at www.credithire.org.uk. Access to the Forum, the Library, KYO and other resources in the pipeline are only available to subscribers but, for clarity, the subscription fee for a business entitles unlimited access for as many employees in each organisation that choose to subscribe. For a CHO, the cost is under £3 a day with free access until June 1st, irrespective of how many employees you have. Finally, and I know that every day feels the same in lockdown, enjoy the weekend.