Can a party issue proceedings simply to recover costs?

high court of justice

A claimant was found to have been justified in issuing proceedings in order to recover his pre action costs. The defendant had argued that where claims settle under the pre-action protocol for professional negligence there is no obligation to pay costs. At first instance the Master had been led to accept this view and to conclude that if damages are no longer at large, a party is not entitled to issue proceedings to get a costs order. The High Court disagreed, finding that the only option left to a claimant in circumstances where a pre-action offer is made to pay damages but there is a persistent refusal to cover legal costs is to issue proceedings

AYTON v RMS BENTLEY JENNISON & ORS [2018] EWHC 2851 (QB)