As a general rule, the court will consider whether to make a wasted costs order in two stages (Part 46 Practice Direction (para 5.7)):
Stage One – The Court must be satisfied that it has before it evidence or material, which, if unanswered, would be likely to lead to a wasted costs order being made, and that the wasted costs proceedings are justified notwithstanding the likely costs involved. If not so satisfied the Court will decide that further proceedings are not justified.
Stage Two – The Court will give the legal representative an opportunity to give reasons why a wasted costs order should not be made before deciding whether to do so.
If an application is made under Part 23 the Court can proceed direct to Stage Two if it is satisfied that the legal representative has already had a reasonable opportunity to make representations.