Gage slams lawyers for high costs

Claimant lawyers acting in the organ retention litigation were slammed in the High Court last week for overestimating the number of hours they would spend in preparation and during the trial.

Lawyers led by David Harris of Alexander Harris, who are acting for the 2,100 claimants who have claims arising out of the alleged organ retention of hospitals throughout England and Wales, had estimated that the firms would spend 3,410 hours in preparation, but Mr Justice Gage found a reasonable estimate would be 1,750 hours.

“On strictly generic issues [the claimants’] figure represents a substantial over-estimate of what is fair, reasonable and proportionate,” Gage ruled, capping the 0lawyers’ costs at £506,000.

Lead cases, due to be heard later this year in an estimated six-week trial, relate to Sheffield, Oxford, Nottingham and Southampton hospitals.