Security for costs—what is it, its use and the court's discretion

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

  • Security for costs—what is it, its use and the court's discretion
  • What are security for costs?
  • Who security for costs can be ordered against
  • Is it chance which party is the claimant?—Crabtree principle
  • Test to be applied
  • Application of the Crabtree principle
  • Defeating the Crabtree principle
  • When security for costs will not normally be ordered
  • Court’s general discretion
  • Principles the court will apply
  • More...

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day, ie Friday 31 January 2020, has implications for practitioners considering security for costs. For guidance, see: Cross border considerations—checklist—Brexit—impact on CPR.

This Practice Note sets out the principles underlying the use of security for costs under CPR 25. It is one of a series of Practice Notes which considers issues relating to security for costs under CPR 25. The other Practice Notes are:

  1. Security for costs—requirements and conditions (CPR 25.13)

  2. Security for costs—making an application

  3. Security for costs—counterclaims and set offs

  4. Security for costs—level of security

  5. Security for costs—ATE insurance

  6. Security for costs—after an order is made

  7. Security for costs—additional security

  8. Security for costs—payment into and out of court

  9. Security for costs—equivalent orders

There are also other Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) provisions which provide for orders which are equivalent to a security for costs order. For more information, see Practice Note: Security for costs—equivalent orders.

When considering making an application for security for costs, you may also wish to consider whether to make an application for summary judgment or strike out at the same time. See: Summary judgment and strike out—overview.

What are security for costs?

In litigation, the usual position in relation to costs is that the losing party will be ordered to pay the other side's recoverable costs. Such costs may be substantial, especially when dealing with

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