Simcoe v Jacuzzi UK Group plc
Yesterday the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of Simcoe v Jacuzzi UK Group plc  EWCA Civ 137 and gave us a clear answer to the question of whether interest on costs runs from the date of the costs order (the incipitur rule) or the date costs are assessed (the allocator rule).
Although the route by which the decision was reached is rather unusual, it was ultimately held that the incipitur rule rules and interest runs from the earlier date when the costs order is made. Further, the fact that a claim is funded by way of a CFA is not a good reason to depart from the normal rule.
Now we have a definitive answer. Unless the matter goes to the Supreme Court…
It is also worth mentioning the footnote in the Master of the Rolls’ leading judgment:
“I cannot end this judgment without referring back to the actual figures in this case. The claimant was seeking damages for significant, but relatively minor and straightforward, personal injury suffered while at work. The claim was presumably worth around £12,750, the agreed damages. The claimant’s costs of pursuing that claim, which did not go to trial, were nearly £75,000. Unless this is an exceptional case, the fact that, without even incurring the cost of as trial, it cost the claimant nearly six times as much to pursue the claim as it was actually worth suggests that something is out of kilter in at least some parts of the civil justice system. Both my own experience in this court and the evidence contained in Sir Rupert Jackson’s report on Civil Costs suggest that this is not a particularly exceptional case. It is therefore to be hoped that the changes which are in the process of being enacted and implemented in relation to civil costs and civil procedure will help ensure that costs become more proportionate. And that applies both to costs as between lawyer and client and to recoverable costs as between the parties to litigation.”
Given how this decision was reported in The Telegraph, this judgment may ultimately go down as being something of an own-goal for claimant lawyers. They may have won this particular battle but are rapidly losing the war.