Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2014] All ER (D) 265 (Feb)
Neutral Citation: [2014] EWHC 219 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Mr Justice Andrews

Representation Michael James (instructed by Berlad Graham LLP) for the claimant.
  Peter Kirby QC (instructed by Just Costs Ltd) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 30 January 2014


Costs - Assessment - Bill of costs - One fifth rule - Claimant applying for detailed assessment of bills of costs - Parties agreeing one-fifth reduction - Master ordering claimant to pay defendant 70% of its costs due to 'special circumstances' - The claimant applying for permission to appeal - Whether claimant entitled to permission to appeal - Whether appeal should be allowed - .

The Case

Costs Assessment. The claimant applied for the detailed assessment of 15 bills of costs for which the parties eventually agreed a reduction of one fifth. Despite that, the costs master held that there were special circumstances under of the Solicitors Act 1974. Instead of awarding the claimant its costs, he ordered the claimant to pay the defendant 70% of its costs of the assessment. The claimant applied for permission to appeal. The Queen's Bench Division granted permission and allowed the appeal on the basis that the judge had used the incorrect approach. The effect of that error was that the normal one-fifth rule had to apply and it followed that the claimant was entitled to the costs of the assessment.

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