“In my judgment there were, in this case, factors which would entitle the Deputy District Judge to find that there are exceptional circumstances making it appropriate to effectively award costs higher than the fixed costs regime, and the Deputy District Judge took those matters properly into consideration. No guidance is given in the notes to the White Book in relation to the applicability of this test. However, I find that the Deputy District Judge looked at all relevant matters and, in reference to those matters which he referred to in his judgment, particularly considering the correspondence between the parties, it was appropriate for him to reach the conclusion that there were exceptional circumstances here, making it appropriate to consider a claim for a higher amount of costs. Those factors as stated were not only the value of the claim, but also the permanent disability and the Ogden calculation. All of those factors are in my judgment capable of being exceptional circumstances in the context of CPR45.12, i.e. within a fixed costs regime.”
I am satisfied that on reviewing the facts of this case, bearing in mind an accident in 2015, a letter of claim on 26 May 2017, coupled with the fact that the second medical evidence does not appear to have been obtained until 15 January 2018, less than three months before the expiry of limitation, to proceed with the claim outside the EL/PL Protocol was unreasonable. In my judgment, the reason for the issue of proceedings on 19 March 2018 was conditioned by the expiry of the limitation period without thought to the benefits of the Protocol and its undoubted relevance in these proceedings.
“If a claimant wishes to benefit from the provisions of paragraph 7.13 to 7.22 (and by doing so be paid an interim payment), he or she must obtain a stay under paragraph 7.12. This, to my mind, is the natural reading of the Protocol. It is also entirely understandable why the drafters of the Protocol would wish to restrict a claimant’s ability to seek interim payments under paragraphs 7.13 and 7.18 to certain defined circumstances (namely, those that are set out in paragraph 7.12)…. it must follow that the Claimant wrongly exited the Portal.”
Where a person gives notification of a claim under the Protocol but thereafter dies before its conclusion and the notified claim then settles on behalf his Estate pre-issue, are the costs and disbursements payable by the defendant to be calculated by reference to Section IIIA (or III) of CPR 45? Or are they to be calculated by reference to the generally more favourable Section II of CPR 45?
The Court of Appeal determined the following costs issues following a successful second appeal:
(1) Do the rules governing fixed costs in CPR r.45.17 to 19 apply to the costs of the appeal?
(2) If not, does CPR r.52.19 apply?
(3) If CPR r.52.19 does apply, what order for costs should we make?
(4) Does the Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting regime in CPR Part 44 apply to the costs of the appeal so as to limit the extent to which any order may be enforced against the respondent?
An employers liability claim which settled outside the EL/PL Protocol for £15,000 was not restricted to the fixed costs that would have been allowed had the EL/PL Protocol been applied.
Overturning a first appeal decision of His Honour Judge Wulwik in the High Court, Lord Justice Newey determined that acceptance of a Part 36 Offer which referred to CPR 36.13 and offered to pay “costs to be subject to detailed assessment if not agreed” did not amount to contracting out of fixed costs, which continued to apply.
On this appeal from Costs Officer Martin in the Senior Courts Costs Office, the Defendant contended that the Claimant had no entitlement to payment of Counsel’s fee for an advice.
This was the latest in a series of unsuccessful attempts to escape fixed costs as governed by Section IIIA of CPR 45 by reason of exceptional circumstances under CPR 45.29J. The claimant’s solicitors argued that it had been the claimant’s intention from the outset to pursue the claim outside the Portal. They had initially sent the defendant a letter of claim and only later added the claim to the Portal at the defendant’s insistence in order to progress matters, saying that “the Defendant refused to consider the matter unless a Portal submission was made”.
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.