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Budgen v Andrew Gardner Partnership, Court of Appeal

30 August 2002
The issues

Costs – split Orders.

The facts

The Claimant started a civil action for damages following injuries suffered in a road traffic accident. As a result of the admitted negligence of the Defendant firm, the claim was struck out. The Claimant then began proceedings against the Andrew Gardner Partnership. In that action, the Claimant was awarded damages of over £300,000.00. However, the Claimant failed on one issue which had taken up a substantial part of the Trial. The Defendant argued that they should be entitled to an issue-based Costs Order following Civil Procedure Rules 44.3(6)(f). The Judge however decided to make a percentage based award of costs (Civil Procedure Rules 44.3(6)(a)) and accordingly awarded the Claimant only 75% of his costs. The Defendant appealed.

The decision

Judges should be readier to make Costs Orders that reflected the outcome of particular issues and not merely the overall outcome of proceedings. If a party unreasonably pursued a losing issue within a winning case, there should be a costs sanction. However, the Judge was perfectly entitled to make a percentage Costs Order. The Court of Appeal would not interfere with the Judge’s exercise of discretion with regard to the figure of 25%.

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