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two recent costs decisions in the Patents County Court

18 April 2013

The Patents County Court has a special costs regime, and costs are only normally recoverable if (a) they would normally be recoverable, (b) they fall within the stage limits, and (c) they fall beneath the cost cap, which for liability trials is £50,000.

Two recent decisions elucidate on this.

In Henderson v All Around the World, the judge said that the £50,000 costs cap can only be departed from in truly exceptional circumstances. Although costs has been assessed below £50,000 in accordance with the stage limits, a CFA uplift and an ATE insurance premium could be claimed above the stage limits and brought the recoverable costs up to the £50,000 cap.

In Azzurri Communications v International Telecommunications, the £25,000 cost cap for a damages enquiry could not be added to the £50,000 liability trial cap if a case concerned liability and quantum.

In short, the £50,000 costs cap is very difficult to avoid, unless there has been an abuse of the court’s process.

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