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Huck v Robson, Court of Appeal

25 March 2002
The issues

Costs – indemnity costs – Part 36 Offers.

The facts

The Claimant offered to split liability on a 95/5 basis, the Claimant conceding 5%. At Trial, the Claimant succeeded completely. The Claimant asked for indemnity costs and interest at an enhanced rate. The Judge refused the Application on the basis that the offer was “illusory” in that no Judge ever apportioned liability on such a split.

The decision

1. Costs were discretionary. It was open therefore to a Judge to ignore offers that were purely tactical.

2. The Claimant might well have made the offer in order to achieve a speedy outcome to the claim.

3. Even though no Judge would in reality be likely to order such a split, the offer had been an opportunity to settle. It was not unjust that the Defendant should suffer the consequences of his failure to settle.

Appeal allowed.

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