Discontinuance of a claim

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

  • Discontinuance of a claim
  • What is 'discontinuance'?
  • Reasons for discontinuing
  • Discontinuance of part of a claim
  • Is the court's permission required to discontinue?—CPR 38.2(2)(a)
  • Attaching conditions to the discontinuance
  • Interim payments—CPR 38.2(2)(b)
  • Where there is more than one claimant
  • Where there is more than one defendant
  • How to discontinue a claim
  • More...

Discontinuance of a claim

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.

A claimant has a right to discontinue all or part of a claim at any time (CPR 38.2(1)).

Discontinuance has specific cost consequences and therefore it may be important to determine on specific facts whether or not a claim has been discontinued. For an example of a case where the court held that a claimant had not discontinued a claim for costs purposes, see Dainford Navigation v PDVDS Petroleo SA. In this case the owners of two vessels had sought an application for the sale of cargo in a charterparty dispute, with the application for sale in the English court ultimately being adjourned, since the cargo was sold pursuant to the order of another court outside the jurisdiction. On this basis the English court held that the owners’ application had therefore succeeded; this was not a case where the owners had ‘given up’ but had essentially won, and should be awarded their costs. It was also of significance that there had been no formal notice of discontinuance.

For more information on how the court will assess costs on the discontinuance of a claim, see Practice Notes: Costs of discontinuing a claim—the general rule

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