Court Attendance

At TCF, we stand firmly behind our evidence and therefore we are more than happy to assist our clients and the courts in any way possible to fully understand our report and the process behind it.

Our team of experienced rates collators are fully versed in the process of attending court hearings and giving evidence under oath having assisted courts nationwide on over 40 occasions in the past year alone.

Some significant cases in which TCF gave oral evidence include:

• Lawson vs Mullen – Newcastle County Court (June 2015) • District judge awarded the BHR rate on the basis that there was a “gross disparity” between the credit hire rate and the Basic Hire Rate debunking the claimants argument that they were entitled to a Zero excess: • “In my judgment, a claimant, as a matter of legal principle does not have an inalienable right to hire a vehicle with a full waiver excess. In many situations it may be reasonable for a claimant to obtain a replacement vehicle with a nil excess, but where, as here, there is a gross disparity between what the credit hire company charged and the basic hire rate, with the only additional advantage being the waiver of a £500 excess, it may well be unreasonable for the claimant to incur that additional cost.”

Taj vs Islan – Birminghan County Court (July 2015) • Case was originally awarded on basis of credit hire rate as TCF’s BHR evidence was not contemporaneous to the date of hire. This was overturned on appeal. The appeal judge stated as follows: • “The heart of [the trial judge’s] reasoning is that evidence of the position at a somewhat later date than that of the hire is irrelevant. With respect, that was a mistake. Very often when one is assessing valuation evidence in all sorts of fields, one has evidence of prices of the same or similar things at different dates and has to make appropriate adjustments. Working with comparables and making adjustments is the daily diet of judges concerned with valuation in all sorts of fields. Clearly evidence of the spot rate a year or so later than the relevant date is likely to throw considerable light on what the spot rate would have been at the time.”

Grice vs Atos Origin IT services - Bradford County Court (August 2016) • Case was originally awarded based on TCF’s Avis Prestige rate, however, this was appealed on three grounds. Firstly that the district judge had erred in preventing the cross-examination of our rates collator, secondly in terms of locality of the rate used and lastly that any comparable evidence should have adduced evidence of the cost of hiring at nil excess. The appeal judge stated as follows: • 'Insofar as they relate to cross-examination and restrictions imposed thereon, only apply to situations in which cross-examination is available as part of the forensic process. A witness must first be called in chief or tendered for cross-examination. Party A cannot compel party B to call a witness that B does not wish to call simply to provide an advantage to A. The duties imposed by the CPR are to promote the over-riding objective; but they fall short of requiring one side to help out the other once the trial has commenced; that distorts the meaning of cooperation.' 'It had been open to the Claimant at all times to adduce a short survey of countervailing spot hire rates in his locality; that he failed to do so cannot be the responsibility of the Defendant.' • 'In an era when the internet is the first resort for anyone researching anything, the concept of locality is immediately enlarged; this is further exemplified by the preparedness of organisations to win commerce by offering delivery and collection services (whether at a cost or at no cost).' • Recorder Smith rejected the final ground of appeal noting that: “'This was precisely the ground of appeal in the County Court case of Lawson v Mullen, for the avoidance of doubt, had I been hearing this case at first instance I would probably have made the same finding.'

Chatterton vs AXA Corporate Solutions – Stoke County Court (2016) • TCF attended the hearing having provided two separate reports for each of the two vehicles damaged, which combined, totalled 360 days worth of hire. • The claimant was eventually only awarded 6 days worth of hire at a rate in line with TCF’s BHR evidence. • Our client noted of TCF’s Rob stone’s evidence under cross-examination: “Rob was excellent giving evidence – unfortunately for him this means I will have fewer reservations in calling him to give evidence (a victim of his own success!).” • (Write up of the case sourced from “2.1 Chatterton, an English county court judgement, was a timely reminder of the standard arguments advanced in credit hire claims. • 2.2 The ultimate judgement was balanced and clear, setting out where the burdens of proof lie. For example, per Bent ([2011] EWCA Civ 1384), it was for the defendant, AXA, to prove there was a difference between the credit hire rate and the basic hire rate. • 2.3 It was argued by the credit hire organisation (CHO) that AXA’s evidence was lacking. The CHO argued that the rates evidence should be ignored because: (i) the terms and conditions were not provided; (ii) it was based on pricelists rather than firm quotes; and (iii) it was obtained three and a half years after the hire had begun. These submissions were all rejected...”

TCF charge a standard court fee per day plus reasonable travel expenses, please contact us for further details.

Our Standards

  • Rigorous training programme.
  • TCF operate a 100% audit system whereby members of the senior management team audit every report before it is sent to our instructing client.
  • All screen grabs are time and date stamped with no member of the credit hire team including senior management having the ability to alter their work stations time and date settings.
  • Instructing clients are free to audit TCF as often as they require and also by whatever means suits them best whether that be by a site visit, a remote audit or collating the information to be audited by a third party of their choice.