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no liability for costs of pre-action letter

26 November 2013

In R (on the application of Cherkley Campaign Limited) v Mole Valley District Council [2013] EWHC 3558 (Admin) the judge, having allowed the claim, held that the cost of the pre-action letter written on behalf of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) was not recoverable. The circumstances were such that CPRE was not ultimately the claimant.

CPRE was not joined as a party to the proceedings (CPR 46.2). The claimant, Cherkley Campaign Limited, did not actually exist at the time the pre-action letter was sent and the indemnity principle applied.

This was a technical point, and whilst the point is itself something that both claimants and defendants can benefit from being alive to in future, on a wider view it displays very clearly the value to paying attention to each and every aspect of a claim. Non-parties incurring costs in relation to these proceedings should not expect to recover their costs.

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