Costs orders in multi-party proceedings
Produced in partnership with Alice Nash of Hailsham Chambers
Costs orders in multi-party proceedings

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Alice Nash of Hailsham Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs orders in multi-party proceedings
  • What is a multi-party costs order?
  • Multi-party costs recovery—general principles
  • Severability of costs liabilities
  • Common forms of costs order in multi-party proceedings
  • Bullock and Sanderson orders
  • Costs following settlement in multi-party proceedings
  • Assessment and attribution of costs
  • Costs budgeting and costs management in multi-party cases
  • Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) and multi-party claims

What is a multi-party costs order?

A multi-party costs order means simply an order in a claim where there are more parties than just one claimant and one defendant. It may include, therefore:

  1. a claim in which there are Part 20 proceedings (see: The defendant and additional claims—overview)

  2. a claim where the claimant alleges that two or more defendants are liable to him or her, either jointly or severally (see Practice Notes: Multiple defendants, Adding (joinder) and substituting parties and Multiple tortfeasors—liability issues and contribution claims), or

  3. ‘class action’ type litigation where a claim is brought by a large number of claimants, whether or not it is formally managed as group litigation (see Practice Note: Group Litigation Orders—introduction)

Multi-party costs recovery—general principles

The principles which the court will apply in deciding whether and by whom costs are to be paid are the same as in any other litigation. The starting point is ‘loser pays’ but the court may make a different order. It can, however, be challenging in multi-party litigation to determine who has ‘won’. It is not uncommon for a party to succeed against one party but fail against another. Questions can arise as to where liability for the costs of the successful party should lie. Where liability for costs is shared between a number of parties,