Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2011] All ER (D) 198 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2011] EWHC 26 (TCC)
Court: Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court

Coulson J

Representation Nicholas Davidson QC (instructed by Systech Solicitors) for the claimant.
  David Hart QC (instructed by Beachcroft LLP) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 17 January 2011


Costs - Order for costs - Indemnity costs - Circumstances in which refusal of offer to settle would attract indemnity costs under court's general discretion on costs - Claimant company commencing proceedings against defendant firm in respect of five allegations of negligence - Claimant subsequently refusing defendant's settlement offer - Claimant succeeding on only one ground of negligence - Whether claimant entitled to reduction in costs payable to defendant - Whether defendant entitled to indemnity costs - CPR Pt 36.

The Case

Costs Order for costs. The Chancery Division of the High Court allowed the claim by the defendant solicitors' firm for indemnity costs against the claimant company on the basis that whilst the refusal by the claimant of the defendant's CPR Pt 36 offer, and its subsequent failure to beat it, could not on its own justify an order for indemnity costs, the refusal of that offer, when considered against the background of the speculative nature of the claim against the defendant, did warrant such a finding. That conclusion was borne out by the wholly unsatisfactory and unreliable nature of the claimant's principal witness.

Practice Areas

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