Discontinuance of a claim
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...

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.

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

Where proceedings are brought to an end without an order or judgment from a court, eg where a claim is settled or stayed or an application is adjourned, this is not discontinuance and will not be treated as such for costs purposes. For an example of a case where the court was required to determine on the facts whether it was dealing with discontinuance for costs purposes or not, see Dainford Navigation v PDVDS Petroleo.

Given that, in most circumstances, it is tantamount to an admission or complete concession, the claimant is usually required to pay all parties' costs—see: Costs on discontinuance.

In most circumstances, the defendant will make at least some contribution to the claimant's costs so it is more usual for the parties to reach a settlement setting out who will pay what costs. Frequently, this will be in the form of a Tomlin Order (see Practice Notes: Tomlin orders and Consent orders and judgments).

A defendant who wishes to stop defending a claim should admit liability and judgment will be entered with costs (see Practice Note: After a claim has been served—issues for the

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