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Watkins v Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

16 September 2004
The issues

Costs – detailed assessment – Part 8 Proceedings – Whether Paying Party should be given time to consider bill before commencement of Part 8 proceedings.

The facts

The Claimant had a claim for Personal Injuries. The Claim was never issued. The matter was settled amicably. The Claimant thereafter served a bill and issued Part 8 proceedings at the same time indicating to the Defendant that if costs were agreed with 21 days no claim for the Court or the costs of issuing Part 8 proceedings would be made. Negotiations followed and costs were finally agreed following an offer put by the Defendant on the 30 June. No offer was put in respect of the Part 8 proceedings however, the Defendant arguing that it had insufficient time to negotiate, and that Part 8 proceedings should never have been issued in those circumstances. The matter therefore proceeded to detailed assessment on the issue of the costs of the Part 8 and the detailed assessment proceedings only.

The decision

Bensusan v Freedman was authority for the principle that Part 8 proceedings should only be issued after a proper attempt at agreement. That requirement was also stated in the SCCO guide and was included in the guidance given by the Senior Costs Judge to the Designated Civil Judge’s Conference. In this case no proper attempt to agree costs had been made. The Claimant would not be entitled to any costs in respect of either the Part 8 proceedings or the detailed assessment proceedings.

For further information please contact John Allen on LCJDALLEN943@aol.com or Marie Macfarlane at mariemacfarlane@veitchpenny.co.uk

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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