Costs-only proceedings (Part 8)
Costs-only proceedings (Part 8)

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

  • Costs-only proceedings (Part 8)
  • Purpose of costs only Part 8 proceedings
  • When to use the procedure
  • What costs are recoverable?
  • Procedure—general
  • Procedure—claimant
  • Procedure—defendant
  • Court hearing
  • Court order
  • Offers to settle
  • more

This Practice Note explains costs only proceedings which are brought as Part 8 claims and are used to obtain a court order that there should be an assessment of costs, the amount of costs is not decided. The costs-only procedure is set out in Section IV of CPR 46 at CPR 46.14. The rule sets out a list of requirement which need to be met prior to commencing a costs only procedure. This includes settlement of all issues in dispute except for the costs incurred pre-action. The procedure cannot be used if the costs are payable pursuant to a contract (CPR 44.5).

Purpose of costs only Part 8 proceedings

The intention is that the costs only Part 8 procedure provides a simple and convenient means of resolving a costs dispute and is brought with the consent of both parties. Costs only Part 8 proceedings are used by a party to recover pre-action costs where the parties have agreed to settle the dispute before the commencement of proceedings but they have been unable to agree costs. In 2001, when this was a new process, the court in Bensusan v Freedman explained that when seeking to recover costs using this procedure there are two distinct steps:

  1. step 1—obtaining a costs order. The Part 8 application requests that the court makes the court