“…in contrast to the position in X v Hull, there have been early Part 36 offers in this case. If the approach I have set out above … is the correct approach to the second stage of the determination then I could not with an appropriate degree of certainty, bearing in mind also potential deductions for contributory negligence, conclude that there is sufficient security for the Defendant’s costs in an immediate award of damages or otherwise as proposed by Mr. Reddiford. Put another way, if I were persuaded that the underlying costs orders sought should be made, the effect of making an interim payment would be to diminish the security which is to be found in those costs orders. In all the circumstances even if I were persuaded to have made the final costs orders, I would not therefore have been satisfied that it was appropriate to make an order for interim payment of costs.”
Master Cook has endorsed the approach taken by HHJ Robinson in I v Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust where overturned the refusal of DJ Batchelor to award the claimant in a long running clinical negligence matter a substantial payment on account of quantum costs.
The Court was tasked with determining costs following a hard fought piece of commercial litigation in which the claimant was awarded US$5,388,312.08 of a US$63.5 million claim. Mrs Justice O’Farrell considered the various authorities and relevant principles to be applied when determining whether to make an issues based or proportional costs order before determining that the defendant should pay 85% of the claimant’s costs.
We previously reported on the decision of HHJ Robinson on appeal in the County Court at Northampton where he overturned District Judge Batchelor’s refusal to allow a second interim payment in a long running clinical negligence matter where 90% liability had been admitted and it was agreed that determination of quantum would not be possible until 2022, commenting that “Failure to ensure adequate cash flow during the period of inevitable delay may lead to the perverse and undesirable consequence that solicitors are unwilling to take on case [sic] such as this at an early stage.”
The defendant has been refused permission to appeal this decision by the Court of Appeal.
The Claimant successfully appealed a decision to refuse a further interim payment on account of costs in a case where liability had been admitted and it was agreed that determination of quantum will not be possible until 2022.