Civil Costs provides a thorough and authoritative survey of the current costs regime under the Civil Procedure Rules, helping practitioners understand the technicalities of the law and how it has been affected by the Jackson reforms and LAPSO (the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012) and developed under ensuing recent key case law. It deals with all areas of civil costs, from the basic principles of entitlement to the practical details of how costs are actually assessed.
Civil Costs is going into its sixth edition since 1995 and was last published in 2013. This is a complex area and one that is subject to extensive change. There has been a considerable surge in the number of costs cases over the past decade, and it has shown no sign of abating, with many influential cases having appeared in the last year (see "New to this edition" below).
The book is written by the recently retired Chief Master of the Senior Courts Costs Office, Peter Hurst. For many years, as the Senior Costs Judge for England and Wales, he has been the leading authority on the subject in Britain. The New Law Journal summed up Peter Hurst’s standing in the field of costs when reviewing a previous edition, “It would be hard to imagine a guide to civil costs written by a more knowledgeable author.”
The highly publicized Jackson Report on Civil Litigation Costs was issued in 2010, and its recommendations led to extensive and controversial costs reforms in civil litigation – which is central to the subject area of this title – and the previous edition of Civil Costs described the new regime then unfolding from the legislative adoption of the reforms then in process. Lord Justice Jackson had concluded that many civil litigation costs were disproportionate and impeded access to justice, and his package of reforms was designed to control costs and promote access to justice. The ensuing legislation was mainly embodied in “LASPO”, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, introduced in April 2013.
This edition provides a thorough and authoritative survey of the of the current costs regime as it has now settled in and developed via recent case law and will be an invaluable addition to the library of those involved in civil litigation.
New to this edition
Civil Costs, 6th Edition covers recent key cases, elucidating issues related to such concepts and subjects as Proportionality, QOCS, Part 36, CFAs, Equitable Lien and Litigants in Person. For example:
- (Proportionality) May v. Wavell Group Plc  3 Costs LO 455, Master Rowley. This decision was reversed on appeal and the figure of £75,000 allowed. May v. Wavell Group, Central London County Court 22 December 2017 HHJ Dight. Unreported. It is understood that the claimant is appealing.
- (QOCS) Corstorphine (A Child) v Liverpool City Council,  EWCA Civ 270. The Court of Appeal held that the purpose of the QOCS regime was to protect personal injury claimants from adverse costs orders.
- (Part 36) Application in Private,  EWHC 3606 (Comm); Sir Jeremy Cooke. The court would hold the offeror to the terms of its Part 36 offer unless there had been such a change of circumstances since the making of the offer that it would be unjust to do so.
- (Part 36) Gemma Ballard v Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust,  EWHC 370 (QB), Foskett J. Where two Part 36 offers had been made by the defendant, the Judge stated that he did not think that the second offer had any relevance. He awarded the Defendant the costs from the end of the relevant period of the first offer and the Claimant was awarded her costs up to that date. On appeal the Court held that it was difficult to see how the second offer could be regarded as irrelevant. It had the effect of the more or less automatic right of the Defendant to its costs of the trial: CPR 36.17(3) (a). Whatever the relevance of the first offer, it could not have that effect: CPR 36.17(7) (a).
- (Part 36) Gamal v Synergy Lifestyle Ltd,  EWCA Civ 210. The Court of Appeal has explained that any payment on account after a Part 36 offer will, unless the appropriate notice is given, reduce the Part 36 offer by the amount of the payment
- (Part 36) Briggs v CEF Holdings Ltd,  EWCA Civ 2363. The Court of Appeal stated that the general rule under Part 36 was that if an offer was not accepted in time, the offeree bore the costs of the offeror until the offer was accepted. If the offeree could show that that would cause injustice, that was different; it was up to the offeree to demonstrate it.
- (CFAs) Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 1980, where the Court of Appeal dealt with the assignment of CFAs.
- (CFAs) Herbert v HH Law Ltd,  EWHC 558 (TCC); Soole J. The Court held that the LASPO changes did not remove risk assessment as a relevant factor when considering the success fee percentage increase on a solicitor-client assessment. For a costs judge faced with a r.46.9(4) application for a reduction of the percentage increase, the level of risk was likely to be the primary consideration.
- (CFAs) Surrey (A Child) v Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust; AH v Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust; Yesil (A Child) v Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;  EWCA Civ 451. If a receiving party switched to a funding method that was far more disadvantageous to a paying party, the paying party was entitled to ask why it had switched. That entailed examining the reasons for the choice. While the judge had rightly held that the advice could be relevant to the reasonableness of the decision, the real issue was not the advice, but the reasons why the receiving party had made its choice.
- (Litigants in Person) Barton v Wright Hassall LLP  UKSC 12. The Court held that “Unless the rules and practice directions are particularly inaccessible or obscure, it is reasonable to expect a litigant in person to familiarise himself with the rules which apply to any step which he is about to take.”
- (Equitable Lien) Gavin Edmondson Soli
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