Lord Justice Patten acknowledged, in his judgment, that this could stop solicitors taking on low value children’s claims in future.  In Tubridy, the issue was whether counsel’s fees for attending a hearing at which a judge was asked to approve the settlement of the damages claim could be recovered as a disbursement. This depended on whether they were “necessarily incurred by reason of [the claimant] being a child”.

Patten LJ allowed the claimant’s appeal for counsel’s costs in Tubridy, pointing out there must be “some complexity” in the case to justify counsel’s instruction.  Iain Stark, chair of the ACL, said: “Solicitors simply will not be in a financial position to conduct proceedings involving small claims as they will not be able to recover their costs.

“As for junior barristers, the likely impact of the Tubridy decision is that they will see a reduction in briefs because representation in court by counsel will not be necessary.”