From 1st June we will only be issuing a weekly update, save for any exceptional issues arising that merit an urgent announcement like, for example, the transcript in Bunting v Zurich Insurance when it is available.
In the last week, the following News items were posted:
Under a heading of ‘DAC Beachcroft 0 v Credit Hire 2’, a note on two first instance decisions where the judge either dismissed or considered the rate evidence served by DAC Beachcroft insufficient to meet their burden of proof. More will follow;
‘Quindell and the SFO’ provided an update on the Serious Fraud Office investigation probably of interest to those that remember the impact that Quindell had on the PI and credit hire market;
In ‘Brewis v Robles’, HHJ Bloom held that a deputy district judge was wrong to conclude that no damages for credit hire were recoverable on the basis of misrepresentations from a hire company about the claimant's liability to pay hire charges;
There was a post highlighting that Keoghs had held a seminar for their insurer credit hire clients to discuss future litigation strategies post the Coronavirus pandemic;
We published a note about DAC Beachcroft and their deployment of Which Rate evidence and some useful intelligence for those litigating hire rate claims;
An update from CAPS about a 14% increase in reported claim volumes, and
Finally, we introduced Lifeline – a new facility on the website for CHOs or claimant solicitors seeking assistance, whatever the issue.
Updates were also made in a number of discussions in the Forum (access for which requires membership rather than just the free subscription). They included:
‘The Forum – building on our strategic plan’ which gives an outline of our strategic objectives together with a call for five solicitors and one CHO to join the Steering Committee who will help monitor and drive the Forum initiatives. We currently have four people that have agreed to assist;
A discussion relating to Keogh’s recent aggressive strategy of making applications against a third party (the CHO) to obtain copies of call recordings. Three firms of claimant solicitors that I am aware of have seen this approach and the industry should be debating the response;
‘Keoghs – mitigation and buying a car during lockdown’ is a topic becoming increasingly relevant as Keoghs also start to argue about reasonable mitigation for those that have suffered a total loss of their own vehicle, have incurred hire charges during lockdown because they were unable to replace their car yet. The discussion offers access to a 12-page rebuttal to help respond to most of the false assertions and fallacious suggestions made by Keoghs.
In addition, there are several other topics that are still being debated:
‘Keoghs – Alert’ pre-dated the discussion topic at point 2 above. It was first posted when the challenge was novel and only impacted one CHO;
‘Practice Direction 16’ is an increasingly important discussion point since several solicitors received standard templated letters from Keoghs. An 8-page background paper has been published and is available to members;
‘Prestige Hire – need and mitigation’ is a discussion as to whether the pandemic has altered the position as regards the hire of a prestige replacement vehicle;
‘Intervention and GDPR’ considers current insurer tactics and debates whether the time is right to consider if the defendants have pushed the boundaries too far and how GDPR might offer assistance to the credit hire industry;
‘BHR post Bunting’ is a topic that will continue when the transcript of the judgment is published, and
‘Impecuniosity – are the authorities still persuasive’ is something that members will hear more of this week.
The Feedback Loop
As well as these resources, a number of updates have been posted to the Feedback Loop.
Insurers - two posts relating to the actions of esure and Aviva and their apparent instructions to Keoghs;
Solicitors - one piece of intelligence relating to DAC Beachcroft and four further posts relating to Keoghs, and
Other - a piece of Feedback intelligence relating to Which Rate.
On behalf of all members can I thank those solicitors and CHOs that have shared information. If you review the content, you will see it can only improve the ability of the credit hire community to be aware of and respond to current and future challenges. Further intelligence or information can be shared with the Forum by emailing email@example.com
Know your Opponent:
There have also been some updates posted in the Know Your Opponent section of the website.
Insurer - Some intelligence relating to Hastings/Advantage;
Solicitor - Five background notes plus a separate report on DAC Beachcroft have been added;
Basic Hire Rate – Three background notes have been added for Pinnacle CCS, Which Rate and SurveyorShip;
Courts - Reports have been added about Clerkenwell, Romford and Croydon County Courts;
Counsel - There is one entry in the defendant counsel section relating to Steven Turner. (I don’t want to elevate defendant counsel, especially Steven Turner, to a level they don’t deserve but, if anyone has the name of recurring opponent counsel that they wish to highlight for the benefit of the wider community, together with a reason why, please provide a name and we will do the rest, and
Other – We have added a background note relating to Validus.
Because of what they are meant to do, both the Feedback Loop and Know your Opponent are permanent work in progress and all the better for your input and suggestions. Please continue to support our initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.