Costs of discontinuing a claim—the general rule
Costs of discontinuing a claim—the general rule

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

  • Costs of discontinuing a claim—the general rule
  • What is discontinuance?
  • General rule for discontinued claims—the claimant pays defendant's costs
  • Small claims track
  • When the presumption in CPR 38.6 will be displaced
  • Effect of the discontinuance costs order on previous costs orders
  • Discontinuance and cost management orders (CMOs)
  • Discontinuance—standard or indemnity costs?
  • Practical considerations
  • Discontinuing a claim prior to service
  • More...

What is discontinuance?

Discontinuance is the means by which a claimant can bring all or part of the proceedings it has instigated to an end by serving a formal notice of discontinuance. This has specific costs consequences which are set out in CPR 38.

For information on the process of discontinuance, which is when a claimant brings all or part of the proceedings to an end, see Practice Note: Discontinuance of a claim.

It is important to be aware that there is a difference between the formal discontinuance of proceedings and the amendment of a claim such that part of the claim is abandoned during the proceedings. A discrete cause of action can be abandoned by way of an amendment to a statement of case, in such cases the costs consequences under CPR 38 will not apply as this will not amount to formal discontinuance. However, it should be noted that where the abandoned part of the claim is a substantial amount of the total claim and the defendant has already incurred a considerable sum in defending it, the court may consider that this amounts to discontinuance such that the claimant is ordered to pay not only the defendant’s costs of and caused by the amendment but also the defendant’s costs of the issue itself. An example can be seen in RG Carter Projects Ltd v CUA

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