The Tipping Point: Rule 45.29E(4)(c)

Catherine Moran, Senior Costs Lawyer at PIC, asks: is a disposal hearing for quantification of damages a ‘trial’ within the meaning of Rule 45.29E(4)(c)?

Bird v Acorn Group Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 1096 Arden LJ, Underhill LJ, Briggs LJ

Catherine Moran 5 FINALFor those dealing with matters falling under the fixed costs regime, it is more important than ever that costs are maximised. In this matter the Court considered the definition of “trial” for the purpose of Employer Liability/Public Liability Protocol cases in CPR 45.29E(4)(c), and whether a disposal hearing listed for the quantification of damages payable after judgment is a trial within the meaning of CPR 45.29E(4)(c), in which case fixed costs are recoverable at a higher rate than would otherwise be the case where there is a settlement between the date of listing and the date fixed for the disposal hearing.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. Listing a case for a disposal hearing following judgment, pursuant to Part 26 PD12, is listing for trial, for the purpose of triggering column 3 in Table 6D part B, where a case which originated in the EL/PL protocol settles after listing.

This is good news for Claimant Solicitors. Whilst the amount of fixed costs involved is relatively low, for Practitioners dealing with many fixed costs cases, the overall impact of this Court of Appeal decision is potentially substantial.

For further information on any of the issues raised in this blog, please contact Catherine Moran, PIC.