We have received intelligence that a small number of defendant solicitors, in particular DAC Beachcroft, have determined that WhichRate evidence now enjoys some superior status as if it were ‘Court approved’.
As a consequence, it appears that their reliance on the as yet unpublished judgment in Bunting v Zurich is leading them to cut evidential corners. The direct omissions in the Which Rate report should make their hire rate evidence easier to challenge.
CHOs and claimant solicitors should specifically look out for poorly evidenced rates reports e.g. where statements are made in the witness report which only an expert could make or, more significantly, statements made about individual hire rate quotations which are not supported by empirical evidence that WhichRate previously would append to their evidence.
Our previous suggestion about challenging the rate witness applies, particularly if the evidence is so weak as to merit such a challenge, especially where the statement is supported by a revised statement of truth.
The inference from the intelligence is that certain documents, including terms and conditions that might impact the validity of the rates proffered, and which were previously appended to those statements, are no longer appended.
Subscribers are invited to be alert to this development but not to publicise the intelligence widely on the basis that it may alert those solicitors of the potential deficiency.