NOTE TO SOLICITORS – Reimbursement of Costs incurred under the vCJD Compensation Scheme
For Victim’s diagnosed as suffering from vCJD on or after 31 March 2010.
The Trustees of the vCJD Main Trust are only permitted to reimburse those costs which fall within the definition of clause 7.1 of the Fifth Schedule of the Trust Deed dated 12 February 2010.
This provides that the Trustees may pay out of the Main Fund such sums as they may in their discretion think fit, up to a maximum of £3,000 excluding VAT, to reimburse a Beneficiary where that Beneficiary has reasonably spent money or incurred liabilities after the date of the original Trust Deed (15/03/02) “in making representations to or in answering enquiries from the Trustees or in undergoing or arranging for medical or other inspections in relation to any actual or potential interest” under the Scheme.
The Trustees have no discretion to reimburse professional costs which do not fall within this definition or which were incurred before 15 March 2002.
If you or your solicitors believe that your legal costs might exceed £3,000, excluding VAT, it is important that you contact Jonathan Zimmern at Fieldfisher as the Trustees will not reimburse costs over this amount in the absence of exceptional circumstances and without prior approval.
The Trustees will therefore only in practice be able to reimburse legal fees which are incurred in submitting claims for compensation under the Scheme by using the standard application forms and providing evidence and information in support of the various heads of claim. This will not therefore include work done in advising your clients on other aspects of the matter for their own benefit, for example with regard to administration of their own financial or tax affairs and will not include the setting up of trusts on behalf of infants or fees of professional trustees.
You therefore should advise your clients that they will be liable to pay for any other work which you do on their behalf.
In the opinion of the Trustees, claimants do not normally need separate legal representation. Claimants should be able to complete the standard forms with the assistance of Fieldfisher as Secretariat. The Trustees will usually exercise their discretion to reimburse claimants for the costs of separate representation, provided that they are reasonable and proportionate, and provided detailed invoices are submitted.
Please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Zimmern at Fieldfisher if you have any questions. It is important that you do this before incurring costs.