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Alan v Whittle

7 August 2000
The issues

Costs – Payment into Court – subsequent attempt to reduce payment – effects on costs orders following judgment

The facts

The Claimant brought an action against the Defendant for damages following a road traffic accident including a claim for credit hire. The Defendants paid £5,500.00 in to Court prior to Dimond v Lovell. After Dimond v Lovell they indicated that they wished to retract their Payment In and indicated that the offer was reduced to £2,500.00. The Defendant’s solicitors did not apply for leave to reduce the Payment In.

At Trial the Claimant was awarded £5,498.00. The District Judge ordered the Claimant to pay the Defendant’s costs from the date of the Payment In. The Claimant appealed.

The decision

The District Judge’s exercise of the discretion was wrong in principle. The Defendant’s solicitors had represented that the money in Court should be regarded as having been reduced to £2,500.00 and although the Claimant did not apply to take the Payment out the Court was satisfied that had he done so, the Defendant would have objected and successfully reduced the Payment In. The correct order was for the Claimant to have his costs of the Trial save for that period of time during which the full Payment Into Court was available for acceptance in respect of which short period the Claimant would pay the Defendant’s costs.

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