ATE Premiums, Reasonableness And Proportionality: The Court Of Appeal Speaks

The long awaited and much anticipated judgment in these appeals has been handed down.
The appeals raised a number of specific issues arising out of the respondent’s successful challenge on an assessment of the claimant’s costs to the amount of the ATE insurance premium recoverable by the appellants.
They also raised a number of wider points relating to reasonableness and proportionality and the proper approach to the assessment of costs.

Admissibility (or not) of without prejudice offers on costs

Admissibility (or not) of without prejudice offers on costs

The Employment Tribunal was wrong to consider ‘without prejudice’ correspondence in its determination of costs following dismissal of a discrimination and harassment claim.

Fouladi v Darout Ltd & Ors [2019] EWHC 1674 (Ch)

Bullock order upheld on appeal

Mr Justice Henry Carr dismissed an appeal against the making of a Bullock order against three of four defendants to a noise nuisance claim finding that the judge was entitled, “and indeed obliged” to look at all the circumstances of the case including “the reasonableness of the initial decision by the Claimant to join the Fourth Defendant as a party to the action, but also the entire conduct of the proceedings.”

JLE v Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Trust Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1582 (QB)

High Court restores Claimant‘s ’additional amount’ under CPR 36.17(4)

This was an appeal against the decision of Master McCloud not to award the claimant a 10% ‘additional amount’ under CPR 36.17(4) on grounds that it would be disproportionate and unjust to do so where the claimant had beaten its own offer by just £7,000 on a bill assessed at £431,813.05.

HORNE v PRESCOT (NO.1) LTD [2019] EWHC 1322 (QB)

Interest exclusive Part 36 Offers in detailed assessment proceedings

Disagreeing with Judge Robert Owen QC in Potter v Sally Montague (Nottingham CC), HHJ Nicol found that a Part 36 Offer made in detailed assessment proceedings and expressed to be exclusive of interest was a valid Part 36 Offer.

MXX V UNITED LINCOLNSHIRE NHS TRUST [2018] EWHC B23

Costs budgeting and hourly rates: another case of miscertification

This was a decision regarding alleged mis-certification of a costs budget. The case bore similarities to the facts in Tucker v Griffiths and Hampshire University Hospitals NHS Trust, another decision of Master Rowley. Both parties were critical of Master Rowley’s decision in Tucker, the defendant complaining that it was too lenient and the claimant contending that it had been too harsh as a finding of misconduct under CPR 44.11 had not been warranted on the facts.

Knight & Anor v Knight & Ors (Costs) [2019] EWHC 1545 (Ch)

A costs-inclusive “Part 36 Offer” is NOT a Part 36 Offer

This was another in a line of cases which confirms that a Part 36 Offer cannot contain any provision as to costs. Disagreeing with Hildyard J in Proctor & Gamble Co v Svenska Celluslosa HHJ Paul Matthewsheld that he was bound by the Court of Appeal decisions in Mitchell v James and French v Groupama, neither of which had been cited to Hildyard J, that no term as to costs should be included in a Part 36 offer, even if to the benefit of the offeror.

Seekings & Ors v Moores & Ors [2019] EWHC 1476 (Comm)

Defendant fails to demonstrate significant developments under PD3E s7.6 to secure budget increase

The was an application by the defendant in a business dispute to upwardly revise his costs budget under PD3E s7.6 by reason of various ‘significant developments’ in the litigation including additional costs involved in answering a request for further information and an increase in the number of documents that had been required to review. The application was unsuccessful primarily due to the fact that the increased costs had, it was held, arisen due to the defendant’s own actions in failing to properly clarify his case, despite two court orders to do so. Furthermore, the extent to which his legal team were required to review disclosure documentation was something which should reasonably have been anticipated.