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Soliman v Islington London Borough Council

8 November 2001
The issues

Costs at interim awards after judgment.

The facts

The Defendant settle the Claimants case for £50,000 plus costs to be assessed if not agreed. Claimant asked for a payment on account. The Defendant Insurer’s did not immediately agree but asked for details as to the amount of their costs instead. These were provided. Insurer’s considered that the costs were high, failed to concede that a payment on account was appropriate. The trial date had not been vacated and the parties appeared before the Judge on that day for argument on the costs issue. The Judge awarded a payment on account and the issue raised as to the cost of the Hearing. The Claimant sought indemnity costs.

The decision

Ordinarily a payment on account of costs would follow where a claim had been settled on terms and where there was no risk of appeal and where the Defendant was not impecunious. It was unreasonable therefore to have refused to concede the principal. That refusal had made the Hearing necessary. This was because had the principal been conceded it was highly likely that an agreement would have been reached as to a figure. Claimant should have his costs of the Hearing but not on the indemnity basis.

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