Following the making of a wasted costs order against them, the Claimants’ solicitors, Kesar, agreed via their principal Mr Kesar “to accept service by email as [long as] this is reciprocated”. Mr Donnelly, for the Defendant replied “No problem. Yes I’m happy to agree that moving forwards service of documents by email between us is accepted”.
The second to fifth defendants (“the defendants”) in this case applied to set aside a default costs certificate which the claimant had obtained in the sum of US$3,730,290.
Master Leonard (costs judge) rejected an application to set aside a default costs certificate in the sum of £363,695.28.
The defendant’s costs draftsmen had failed to serve Points of Dispute within the agreed extended time period for doing so as a result of, on their evidence, pressures of work exacerbated by the country going into lockdown in March 2020.
Following service of a default costs certificate four months after the extended deadline had been missed the Defendant applied to set it aside.
The judge found that the Denton criteria applied. It was accepted that the default was both significant and serious. The remaining question to be decided was whether in all the circumstances it would be just, bearing in mind all the circumstances of the case, to set the DCC aside.
The judge found that it was not.
Lionel Persey QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court granted the Defendants relief from sanctions following the late filing of their costs budget by 13 days. It was accepted that the breach had been inadvertent and understandable given that the Defendants had been relying on an agreed table of procedural steps to be completed before the CCMC, which made no mention of costs budgeting. It was found that the Defendants had “dropped the ball” but that their default was not egregious in the particular circumstances of the case.
Relief from sanctions was granted in a case where the appellant had failed to meet the deadline for payment of a sum which had been a condition for setting aside a Default Costs Certificate. After ruling on the principles of appropriation it was held that payment deadline had been missed by just a few hours. This had “made no practical difference whatever” and “it would be disproportionate and unjust to deprive the appellant of an opportunity to challenge the Default Costs Certificate”.
In another case involving the late filing of a costs budget the High Court refused the defendant relief from the sanction of CPR 3.14, thus deeming them to have filed a budget comprising applicable court fees only. The defendant had filed their budget two weeks after the deadline and did not apply for relief from sanctions until the morning of the costs and case management conference. The Hon. Mr Justice Bryan found that the breach was both serious and significant, there was no good reason for it and the application for relief had not been made promptly.