Part 36 offers can be made at any time, including before the commencement of proceedings and, if accepted within the relevant period, the claimant is entitled to the costs of the proceedings up to the date on which notice of acceptance is served.
In this first instance decision it was held that where a Part 36 offer is made by the Defendant and accepted by the Claimant before proceedings are commenced the Claimant is unable to claim costs on the standard basis in accordance with CPR 36.10 as there are no proceedings.
It was appropriate to follow the principle in Lockley v National Blood Transfusion Service (1992) 1 WLR 492 and set off a costs order made against a publicly-funded claimant against costs and damages recoverable elsewhere in the action. That was so even though the financial burden on the Legal Services Commission would be less if a Lockley order was not made; the Commission had decided to fund the action and the successful defendant was entitled to enforce the costs order in its favour.
An appeal concerning the interpretation of disbursements for the purposes of VAT
Under the terms of a Tomlin order which provided that one of three Defendants was only to pay the Claimant's costs which related exclusively to the action against it, and not those incurred by the Dlaimant in respect of the dispute with the other two Defendants, that Defendant was liable for any common costs which could be attributed to it by division, rather than apportionment.
A Master had been correct to dismiss an application for an assessment of costs brought under Paragraphs 10(2) and 10(3)(c) of the Community Legal Service (Costs Protection) Regulations 2000 as it was out of time.
The master had been entitled to take into account the claimant's age and the urgency of his case when deciding that it had been reasonable for him to instruct solicitors in central London in respect of his personal injury claim against the Ministry of Defence.
A master had erred in assessing costs awarded on a preliminary issue at nil on the ground that the receiving party had ultimately failed very badly in its case. The costs order had been intended to deal with the costs of the preliminary issue as a discrete set of costs, irrespective of the overall fate of the action.
A firm of solicitors was entitled to assess a claim for clinical negligence that was accepted under a conditional fee agreement as having a 50% chance of success, which allowed it to charge a 100% success fee. The claim was of a kind that had uncertain prospects, and based on what the solicitors knew when the fee agreement was made, the claim could easily have been assessed as having chances of success lower than 50%.
Where family had funded a claimant's litigation, there was a reasonable prospect of success in obtaining a third party costs order where the family were directly concerned with the facts of the claim, had taken an active role and gained a benefit from the litigation, and had sought to control its course.
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