Nick reckons that this is a bit of gamesmanship by Renault, as Costs Hearings usually
involve at least some form of token reduction in the amount awarded, perhaps even
a drop of ten or fifteen percent or so even on an Indemnity basis. On
the standard basis it could have been twenty five or more percent and Andrew
Bruce had asked for a fifty percent reduction.
So Renault has made an offer to pay about eighty five percent of my costs, give or
take, which Nick thinks is probably about what I would get from a Judge at a Costs
Good. Time for more fun. Because
I am starting the negotiations from no worse a position than if I go to Court over
the costs, I can now play some games
with Renault. The only potential fly
in the ointment is a rule that, if we go to a Hearing and the Costs Judge doesn’t
award me any more than Renault has offered, I will be liable to pay Renault’s costs
for the Hearing as well as my own. Well,
I’m in no mood to either accept Renault’s offer of eighty five percent, or pay any
of their legal costs. Not one bloody
Nick has suggested that we leave Renault’s offer on the back-burner over Christmas,
have a think about it all, then get back to them in the New Year with proposals of
our own. That seems to me to be both sensible and a nice way to prolong their discomfort,
so that’s what we will do. I’ve wished
Nick a Merry Christmas, pledged to forget all about Renault for the festive season
and thoroughly enjoy myself.
And what a difference a year has made. The
black cloud of despair that had hung over the holiday celebrations a year ago have
gone, to be replaced with a rainbow and the prospect of sunnier skies ahead. So,
as the New Year arrives, I’m putting my mind back to the matter of legal costs. As
I contemplate the offer made by Renault, it strikes me that it is yet another bout
of farcical case strategy.
You see, Renault has opened with an offer which is probably no worse than I would
get going into a Costs Hearing, perhaps in the hope of a quick settlement.
But now I know that I can haggle for as long as I want, running up the costs completely
unnecessarily for Renault as solicitor Paul Kite at IBB
Law goes to and fro with offer and counter offer, and I can continue to do this right
up until the Costs Hearing. Then, just
before the Hearing, if I have to, I can accept their eighty five percent offer and
leave Renault with an even bigger legal bill for all the additional work. Boy,
am I going to enjoy this.
So I have instructed Nick to send back a counter-proposal which leaves Renault
in no doubt about who commands the high ground now. There’s
not much that Renault can do but increase their offer.
And in a rather dumb attempt at gamesmanship they have now done just that, but Renault
is still adrift by a sufficient amount to make it worth my while to reject their second
offer as well. So I have.
This time I have dropped my demand by a measly five hundred pounds, calculating that
every time that solicitor Paul Kite at IBB Law gets an
e-mail from Nick Taylor it will probably cost Renault at least that much in legal
fees for the response to be transmitted to Simon Tippet, the in-house lawyer and company
Secretary at Renault, and then for a reply with a further counter-proposal to be drafted
by the lawyers (unless, of course, they really are making Paul
Kite do the work for free to make up for the Court fiasco!).
So Renault must either accept my second offer or waste another five hundred quid or
so in making a further increased counter offer, which I can decline, and I can
keep up the game of 'Costs Ping-Pong' for months until the case is listed for a Hearing,
by which time Renault will have spent more on legal fees replying to me than they
will ever save at the Costs Hearing.
But sadly this morning it looks like Renault has cottoned on to my strategy, as my
Costs proposal has been accepted. Shame. But
I’m nonetheless delighted to cash the cheque. Renault
has ended up paying virtually all of my costs, plus all of its own. I
wonder if it is all coming out of someone’s pay packet at Renault? I
sincerely hope that there have been a few cancelled Christmas bonuses.
So now, against all odds, it’s game, set and match to me. Well,
well, well. Time to plan my revenge then. Oh