Appeals against cost orders

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Appeals against cost orders
  • Appeals as to costs are discouraged
  • Appeals against cost orders—the general approach
  • Approach of the appellate court to the costs order
  • Approach of the court in a successful appeal
  • Cases that settled before trial
  • Issue based costs orders
  • Basis for an appeal against a costs order—the test for appeal
  • To appeal or to set aside
  • Court of Appeal decisions in costs order appeals
  • More...

Appeals against cost orders

This Practice Notice looks at what you need to consider if appealing a costs order.

The starting point is that appeals of costs orders are discouraged. This Practice Note sets out the preliminary considerations and the basis for an appeal against a costs order (also known as a costs only appeal), which are governed by CPR 52. It explains the different approach of the costs where the costs order was made after the substantive dispute had been settled. It considers time limits for the appeal, obtaining permission to appeal, challenging a decision refusing permission to appeal, where the appeal should be made, the documents required to commence an appeal. It also covers the effect of an appeal.

This Practice Note does not consider:

  1. an appeal against the decision of a costs officer as such appeals are subject to special rules set out in CPR 47.21 to CPR 47.24. For further information, see Practice Note: Detailed assessment—appeals

  2. recovering the costs incurred in an appeal. For guidance, see Practice Note: Appeals—costs recovery

  3. appeals generally. For guidance, see: Civil appeals: general and preliminary considerations—overview

Appeals as to costs are discouraged

The general approach of the court to an appeal of a costs order is that they should be discouraged and this can be seen in a number of Court of Appeal decisions:

SCT Finance v Bolton, the court said

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