In deciding what order to make about costs the court is required to have regard to all the circumstances including the conduct of all the parties; whether a party’s case has been successful in part, even if not wholly successful; and whether or not there has been an offer of settlement (CPR 44.2(4)).
The court has complete discretion as to what order for costs to make but those orders may include an order that a party must pay:
(i) a proportion of another party’s costs;
(ii) a stated amount in respect of another party’s costs;
(iii) costs from or until a certain date;
(iv) costs incurred before proceedings have begun;
(v) costs relating to particular steps in the proceedings;
(vi) costs relating only to a distinct part of the proceedings; and
(vii) interest on costs from or until a certain date: (CPR 44.2(6)).
Where the court orders a party to pay costs subject to detailed assessment it will order that party to pay a reasonable sum on account unless there is good reason not to do so. (CPR 44.2(8)).
The Part 44 Practice Direction (para 4.2) lists the more common costs orders which the court may make in proceedings before trial and explains their effect.