Another Failure To Mediate And An Award Of Indemnity Costs

DSN v Blackpool Football Club Ltd (Rev 1) [2020] EWHC 670 (QB)

Having beaten his own offer at trial the Claimant was awarded indemnity costs under CPR 36.17(4)(b) from expiry of the relevant period.

He also sought indemnity costs on a broader basis and for a longer period by reason of the Defendant’s failure to engage in settlement discussions or contemplate any form of ADR.

HHJ Griffiths was persuaded that such a failure was indeed sufficient to have taken the Defendant’s conduct “out of the norm” and to justify an award of indemnity costs, which he allowed from one month after an implied rejection of a direction from Master McCloud to “at all stages … consider settling this litigation by any means of Alternative Dispute Resolution”

“The reasons given for refusing to engage in mediation were inadequate. They were, simply, and repeatedly, that the Defendant “continues to believe that it has a strong defence. No defence, however strong, by itself justifies a failure to engage in any kind of alternative dispute resolution. Experience has shown that disputes may often be resolved in a way satisfactory to all parties, including parties who find themselves able to resolve claims against them which they consider not to be well founded. Settlement allows solutions which are potentially limitless in their ingenuity and flexibility, and they do not necessarily require any admission of liability, or even a payment of money.”