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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
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Cite as:  EWHC 999 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
MANCHESTER DISTRICT REGISTRY
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| BRIAN JOHN MORROW
|- and -
|SHREWSBURY RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED
Geoffrey Brown (instructed by Plexus Law) for the Defendant
Hearing date: 13 March 2020
Crown Copyright ©
Covid-19 Protocol: This judgment was handed down remotely by circulation to the parties' representatives by email, release to BAILII and publication on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website. The date and time for hand-down is deemed to be 10:00am on Thursday 30 April 2020.
Mrs Justice Farbey :
"(a) the conduct of all the parties;
(b) whether a party has succeeded on part of its case, even if that party has not been wholly successful; and
(c) any admissible offer to settle made by a party which is drawn to the court's attention, and which is not an offer to which costs consequences under Part 36 apply."
(a) conduct before as well as during the proceedings;
(b) whether it was reasonable for a party to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue;
(c) the manner in which a party has pursued or defended the case or a particular allegation or issue; and
(d) whether a claimant who has succeeded in the claim, in whole or in part, exaggerated its claim.
"Defendants are…used to having to cope with false or exaggerated claims. Defendants have a means of protecting themselves. Part 36 is that shield. The court may not now always attach the same significance to a defendant's failure to beat his payment into court as applied in the days before the CPR. Coming close can now sometimes have an impact on costs. But the rule remains that a defendant has this ability to win outright by making an offer which the claimant fails to beat and where, as here, the facts were well-known to this defendant from the time of Mr Karpinski's report, the fact that it did not make a sufficiently high Part 36 offer counts against it. The basic rule is that the claimant gets his (or her) costs if the defendant fails to make a good enough Part 36 offer so that goes to the claimant's credit on the balance sheet."
"46. A not uncommon scenario is that both parties turn out to have been over-optimistic in their Part 36 offers. The claimant recovers more than the defendant has previously offered to pay, but less than the claimant has previously offered to accept. In such a case the claimant should normally be regarded as "the successful party" within rule 44.3 (2). The claimant has been forced to bring proceedings in order to recover the sum awarded. He has done so and his claim has been vindicated to that extent.
47. In that situation the starting point is that the successful party should recover its costs from the other side: see rule 44.3 (2) (a). The next stage is to consider whether any adjustment should be made to reflect issues on which the successful party has lost or other circumstances. An adjustment may be required to reflect the costs referable to a discrete issue which the successful party has lost. An adjustment may also be required to compensate the unsuccessful party for costs which it was caused to incur by reason of unreasonable conduct on the part of the successful party."
"41. In addition to looking at it in terms of costs consequences, the court is entitled in an appropriate case to say that the misconduct is so egregious that a penalty should be imposed upon the offending party. One can, therefore, deprive a party of costs by way of punitive sanction. Given the judge's findings of dishonesty in this case, that may be appropriate here. I sound a word of caution: lies are told in litigation every day up and down the country and quite rightly do not lead to a penalty being imposed in respect of them. There is a considerable difference between a concocted claim and an exaggerated claim and judges must be astute to measure how reprehensible the conduct is."
The parties' submissions
Analysis and conclusions