Amin involved a road traffic accident where the First Claimant (C1) and First Defendant (D1) blamed each other for the accident and both brought a claim for damages, with both parties having entered into CFA agreements.
On the day of the trial all matters were settled between the parties except for D1’s counterclaim for hire charges. C1 did not dispute the order to pay D1’s costs of the counterclaim with a 100% uplift. The issue between the parties was what percentage uplift, pursuant to CPR 45 Pt III, should be given for C1’s additional liabilities because the claim was settled at the doors of the Court. The Recorder found that the definition of “at trial” for the purposes of CPR 45 included settlement at the doors of the Court and that the uplift was 100%; Slade J disagreed.
In her judgment, “at trial” meant following a contested hearing, and the rules drew a distinction between a trial and a date fixed for commencement. The trigger for entitlement to 100% uplift was not settlement on a particular date, but settlement or conclusion after a hearing has commenced. The determination of the counterclaim at trial did not mean that the claim should be considered as having been determined at trial; the counterclaim was a different claim from the Claimant’s. The appropriate uplift was 12.5% for the Solicitors and 50% for Counsel.
/ 1st Mar 2011
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