Litigation: Claims, costs and consequences
The Court of Appeal has provided a helpful explanation of the cost implications of the amended form of part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), in Lisa Carver v BAA , where a defendant's part 36 offer is rejected and beaten - but only by a small amount. Lord Justice Ward summarised the issue the court had to decide as follows: "...if a claimant beats a payment of money into court by a modest amount, even £1, has she obtained a judgment more advantageous than the defendant's part 36 offer or is the Court entitled to look at all the circumstances of the case in deciding where the balance of advantage lies?" Under the old rule 36.20, the costs consequences for a claimant applied where that claimant "failed to better" a part 36 payment. Under this rule, it was generally accepted that beating a part 36 payment by as little as £1 was doing better than the payment into court and the claimant therefore escaped the cost consequences of part 36, although the court retained its general discretion on costs under rule 44.3.
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