Legal Cost Specialists

Costs Only Proceedings

Part 44.12A Costs Only Proceedings is one of the costs rules that, after some initial teething problems, works very well. That hasn’t stopped the rules committee deciding to tinker. It’s not remotely clear why.

Gone is the old CPR 44.12A(2):

“Either party to the agreement may start proceedings under this rule…”


Does this mean paying parties can no longer get things going? If this was a deliberate decision, why was it taken? Are paying parties now unable to take any positive step to progress matters where a receiving party drags their heels?

17 thoughts on “Costs Only Proceedings”

  1. Truly Eminent Costs Professional

    Lets be honest about this: ‘paying parties’ want to keep hold of their money for as long as possible (they probably iron their bank notes they like it so much), and so they DELAY in the hope that receiving parties might forget that they are entitled to costs….

    In short this rule was probably hardly ever used!

  2. I work for a major defendant firm and we used to issue P8 proceedings several times a week when claimants were dragging their feet.

  3. Tired Costs Draftsman

    Typical Claimant clap-trap from TECP. Claimant has three months to draw a bill and the Defendant has three weeks to respond. If the Claimant was given six months, the file would still sit on the floor until month 5.5 before the Claimant costs draftsman bothered to do anything with it.

  4. Truly Eminent Costs Professional

    Dear Tired: You may take 6 months to draw a bill but I stick to a 10 day turnaround, as solicitors, strange as it may seem, want the costs settled ASAP to help with something called ‘cash flow’.

    The 3 month time limit to draw the bill is only relevant where proceedings were issued in the substantive case re judgement debt interest.

  5. Truly Eminent Costs Professional

    @ ”Monkey tail” that is extremely good news, if only I could attract client’s that claim their costs from this major firm. It would save me a lot of work!

  6. Well said, some of us do a good job! As for Tired features, do us a favour a go to sleep if your not already. I bet you’ve got tons of DCC’s against you.

  7. Whilst i think that both TCD and TECP need to take a chill pill, is it not slightly daft that a receiving party has three months to prepare a bill and very few are served on time, yet a paying party has 3 weeks and certain firms of cd’s refuse to grant extensions (i can think of one firm in particular beginning MER) ? As for the point about insurers wanting to hold onto money and hope that the claim goes away, as a Defendant man, that is not my experience as it means that the insurer has to hold an open reserve on the file. Insurers want to close files – that is often why costs claims are over-settled.

  8. It’s only superfluous if there is still a right for either party to issue. Is there? This was an unusual provision allowing a defendant to the original claim to issue proceedings.

  9. I don’t see how 46.14 precludes a Defendant from issuing under Part 8. There is no language which limits the provision to “claimant” or “receiving party” but there is use of “a party” and “parties”. However, the practice direction is certainly worded with claimants in mind.

  10. Shame on you all. This blog saddens me SG.

    I’ve been involved in costs for over 8 years and I firmly believe that if we all pull together, Defendants and Claimants alike, there is no reason why all facets of these elaborate reforms can’t work brilliantly. It needs only one opening act of kindness as the catalyst to costs utopia.

    I’m stepping up. On 31st March 2013, I shall be holding a ‘costs armistice’ in my kitchenette and you’re all invited! (address and snack list to follow). There’s no talking ‘shop’ just wholesome costs fun –

    1. Charades (Provisional Assessment)
    2. Pass the Precedent H
    3. 200 questions (PODS)

    and my personal fave….

    4. Spin the costs practice direction.

    PS. HMCTS staff are welcome if available.

  11. Nothing wrong with the present Part 8??????

    How about the one defendant firm, who oppose Part 8 knowing it will be automatically dismissed, just because they/their clients can’t be bothered dealing with claims in a reasonable timeframe??

    Thankfully, that automatic dismissal seems to be gone

  12. “How about the one defendant firm, who oppose Part 8 knowing it will be automatically dismissed”

    I work on the claimant side – not seen that – Intrigued as to who it is!!

    Surely if they do that you then Sue again for Breach of Contract and that’s a whole lot more expensive??

  13. @Annon couldn’t possibly mention names, but if you stab hard(s) you might get it.

    Yes, sue that way after, by which time you have a sensible offer and lost the wasted Part 8 costs and 70 days work/interest

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