image_pdfimage_print

Master wrong to set a low bar to escaping fixed costs

Ferri v Gill [2019] EWHC 952 (QB) (17 April 2019)

A Master (sitting as deputy costs judge) was wrong to set a “low bar” when determining whether a case had met the “exceptional circumstances” threshold in CPR 45.29J for the purpose of escaping fixed costs. The matter had started in the portal but later exited when it was discovered that the impact of the claimant’s injuries was greater than had been initially thought. It ultimately settled for £42,000. The Master determined that the case was “on balance outside the general run of such cases” that entered the portal and as such cleared the “low bar” of exceptionality. Mr Justice Stewart overturned this decision.

The setting of the policy reasons reiterated in the Fixed Costs regimes cases cited earlier in this judgment, while allowing for “exceptional circumstances” to depart from that regime, require a more strict, not a “low bar”, approach.

FERRI v GILL [2019] EWHC 952 (QB)