Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED March 14, 2003

Where a claim had been settled without proceedings being issued, but costs only proceedings had been issued to recover the claimant's costs, the claimant's offer to settle the costs of proceedings that had related to the assessment under CPR 47.19(1)(a) only covered the costs of settling the substantive claim.Appeal by the claimant ('C') from an order made by Judge Mackay in the Liverpool County Court dismissing his appeal against the district judge's order that an offer to settle the costs of a claim without detailed assessment, where no proceedings had been issued except costs-only proceedings, included the costs of costs only proceedings. The parties were involved in a road traffic accident in July 2000. C's claim was settled without the need for proceedings in 2001 for a little over ?1,500. C's solicitors served a bill of costs in the sum of £4,089.25 and when agreement was not forthcoming commenced costs-only proceedings under CPR 44.12A claiming £5,310.84. The defendant's solicitors made an offer under CPR 47.19 of £2,650. C's solicitors accepted the offer and sought their costs of the costs-only proceedings. The district judge held that the offer to settle included the costs of the costs-only proceedings. Judge Mackay upheld the decision finding that there was an all inclusive offer which encompassed all the costs in the matter.HELD: In the context of costs-only proceedings, the "proceedings" which gave rise to the assessment proceedings under CPR 47.19(1)(a) were in this case the dealings between the parties which led to the disposal by agreement of the substantive claim and, contrary to the defendant's submission, did not include the costs of the costs-only proceedings up to the making of the order for detailed assessment.Appeal allowed.

[2003] EWCA Civ 350