Overturning a first appeal decision of His Honour Judge Wulwik in the High Court, Lord Justice Newey determined that acceptance of a Part 36 Offer which referred to CPR 36.13 and offered to pay “costs to be subject to detailed assessment if not agreed” did not amount to contracting out of fixed costs, which continued to apply.
Master Victoria McCloud (sitting as a Deputy Costs Judge in the SCCO) determined preliminary issues in the course of a detailed assessment proceeding under the Solicitors Act 1974, namely:
whether the entirety of the solicitors’ fees were incurred with the client’s consent in the sum claimed; or, alternatively
if not whether at least the level of success fee was incurred with consent.
In this landmark decision the Court of Appeal took a trawl through the relevant provisions of the fixed costs regime in CPR 45 in order to determine whether and in what circumstances Counsel’s fee for an advice on settlement might be recoverable in addition to the fixed recoverable costs provided for under CPR 45.29C and Table 6B.
In a short judgment following trial at which the claimant was awarded damages of £126,841 against a claim for £1.5 million Mr Justice Martin Spencer rejected calls from the defendant to disallow a proportion of the claimant’s costs on the basis that the claim was exaggerated, unsupported by the evidence and unsustainable.
In November last year we reported on the case of Finnegan v Frank Spiers  EWHC 3064 (Ch) in which Mr Justice Birss held that there is no jurisdiction to award a payment on account under CPR 44.2(8) in circumstances where a claim is settled by way of acceptance of a Part 36 Offer.
Master Cook has endorsed the approach taken by HHJ Robinson in I v Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust where overturned the refusal of DJ Batchelor to award the claimant in a long running clinical negligence matter a substantial payment on account of quantum costs.
The Court of Appeal has considered the correct approach to QOCS in “mixed” cases involving personal injury and non personal injury claims. Affirming the approaches taken in Jeffreys v Commissioner of the Metropolis  EWHC 1505 (QB) and Siddiqui v The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford  EWHC 536 (QB) and upholding the decision of Mrs Justice Whipple DBE in The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Brown  EWHC 2046 (Admin) Lord Justice Coulson rejected arguments that in order for the exception to QOCS at CPR 44.16(2)(b) to apply the personal injury claim and the non-personal injury claim must be “divisible”.
The Court was tasked with determining costs following a hard fought piece of commercial litigation in which the claimant was awarded US$5,388,312.08 of a US$63.5 million claim. Mrs Justice O’Farrell considered the various authorities and relevant principles to be applied when determining whether to make an issues based or proportional costs order before determining that the defendant should pay 85% of the claimant’s costs.
On a cross appeal arising out of this failed RTA claim Mr Justice Julian Knowles overturned the trial judge’s finding that the claimant had not been fundamentally dishonest in his claim against the defendant. Thus, it followed, QOCS was disapplied and the defendant became entitled to enforce the order for costs in its favour to its full extent.
On this appeal from Costs Officer Martin in the Senior Courts Costs Office, the Defendant contended that the Claimant had no entitlement to payment of Counsel’s fee for an advice.