Hilary Meredith Solicitors has welcomed today’s High Court ruling that the fixed success fee regime should not apply to members of the armed forces injured at work.
Three members of the military brought claims against the Ministry of Defence after suffering an injury during training, in each case arguing that the fixed success fee regime does not apply because they were not an ‘employee’.
Prior to April 2013, civil procedure rules stipulated fixed success fees in certain employers’ liability claims.
Each had lost their case based on the civil procedure rules definition of an employee.
Mr Justice Supperstone ruled that the fixed success fee regime does not apply to each of the three claims and he allowed their appeals. The issue of the assessment of the success fee will now be referred to Master Howarth for determination.
Hilary Meredith said:
“This judgment is absolutely spot on and it is a good point to take to appeal as military personnel are not employees and their cases should not be classed as EL cases.
“Military cases face unique challenges to their claims such as combat immunity arguments which cost money to fight. Non military cases do not have to contend with these issues.
“To subject these cases to a fixed fee regime is tantamount to a breach of the military covenant and is not what was intended by the repeal of S10 of the Armed Forces Crown Proceedings Act back in 1987 – when its purpose was to place military personnel on an equal footing as civilians if they are injured. Subjecting them to fixed fees would prejudice access to justice for these very deserving claimant group.”