Costs cap

CPR 45.43 | Arrhus Convention Costs Caps And VAT

The Claimant brought a judicial review to quash the grant of planning permission for the use of lodges, static caravans and touring caravans at Ruda Holiday Park, Croyde, Braunton Devon.

After procedural orders had been made early in the proceedings, the parties agreed a consent order on 19 November 2020 in the following terms:

“Any liability of the Defendant and Interested Party to pay costs in this action to the Claimant is capped at £35,000 + VAT (£42,000).” The reasons for this were set out in the recitals namely “AND UPON the Claimant applying, in its claim form and within its statement of facts and grounds, for an Aarhus Protective Costs Order within the meaning of 45.43 of the Civil Procedure Rules AND UPON the parties not contesting that this is an Aarhus claim”.

Do The Aarhus Convention Costs Caps Include VAT? | Court Of Appeal Decision

“…there is no authority at the level of this Court in which the issue which now arises before us has been authoritatively considered… Accordingly, we must address the issue on first principles and, in particular, as a matter of interpretation. On that issue, we have reached the conclusion that the caps which are set out in CPR 45.43, in particular at (2) and (3), are inclusive of VAT.”

Elan-Cane, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor

Costs Capping Orders And The Court’s Discretion As To Costs In Public Interest Judicial Review Proceedings

Prior to commencement of these public interest judicial review proceedings the parties had agreed that they recoverable costs on each side would be limited to the sum of £3,000. The proceedings were ultimately dismissed and the Appellant was ordered to pay 67% of the SSHD’s capped costs i.e. £2,000.

The Appellant appealed the substantive decision, unsuccessfully, to the Court of Appeal.

The SSHD cross appealed the order for costs on grounds that the judge erred in law by applying the reduction of 33% to the capped rather than the “much higher” actual costs of the SSHD, when calculating the amount of costs to be paid.