Q&As

Is there any authority for a court purporting to make a costs order in instalments?

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Published on LexisPSL on 07/01/2016

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there any authority for a court purporting to make a costs order in instalments?
  • Statutory provisions
  • CPR provisions
  • Court guides
  • Case law

Is there any authority for a court purporting to make a costs order in instalments?

Statutory provisions

Section 71 of the County Courts Act 1984 (CCA 1984) explains that:

'Where a judgment is given or an order is made by [the county court] under which a sum of money of any amount is payable, whether by way of satisfaction of the claim or counterclaim in the proceedings or by way of costs or otherwise, the court may, as it thinks fit, order the money to be paid either—

(a) in one sum, whether forthwith or within such period as the court may fix; or

(b) by such instalments payable at such times as the court may fix.' [our emphasis]

There is no specific provision for payment of costs in the Senior Courts Act 1981 which covers the High Court.

CPR provisions

CPR 44 contains provisions dealing with the court’s general discretion as to costs.

Specifically, CPR 44.2(1)(c) provides that the court has a discretion as to when the costs are to be paid. This broad discretion could encompass making an order that costs can be paid in instalments, although there is no direct authority on this matter.

CPR 44.7, which sets out provisions for the Time for complying with an order for costs, states:

'(1) A party must comply with an order for the payment of costs within 14 days of–

(a) the date of the

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