Appeals against cost orders
Appeals against cost orders

The following Dispute Resolution guidance 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
  • 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
  • Settlement and requirement for manifest injustice
  • Appeals where the substantive proceedings were withdrawn
  • Time limits for appealing a costs order
  • Obtaining permission to appeal a cost order
  • more

This Practice Note considers appeals against cost orders and other preliminary decisions taken in respect of costs orders, such as, whether to order costs on an indemnity basis. It does not consider 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.

For further information, see Practice Note: Indemnity costs orders.

Sometimes, where the appeal lies against the costs order alone, this may also be called a costs only appeal.

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 this:

‘This is an appeal…in relation to costs. As such, it is overcast, from start to finish, by the heavy burden faced by any appellant in establishing that the judge's decision falls outside the discretion in relation to costs conferred upon him under CPR 44.3(1). For reasons of general policy, namely that it is undesirable for further costs to be incurred in arguing about costs, this court discourages such appeals by interpreting such discretion very widely.’

Blindley Health Investments Ltd v Dixon, where the court said this:

‘127. Appeals