Small claims track (SCT)—costs recovery
Produced in partnership with David Willink of Lamb Chambers

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with David Willink of Lamb Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Small claims track (SCT)—costs recovery
  • Limit on the amount of recoverable costs
  • Recoverable costs under CPR 27.14(2)
  • Fixed commencement costs (CPR 27.14(2)(a))
  • Injunction costs
  • Court fees
  • Reasonable witness expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Expert’s fees
  • RTA and EL/PL Protocol costs
  • More...

Small claims track (SCT)—costs recovery

This Practice Note considers costs in the small claims track (SCT). For further information on case management in the SCT, see Practice Note: Small claims track—case management.

On the issues of costs generally, you may like to consider the following Practice Notes:

  1. Cost orders—the general rule and the court's discretion

  2. Costs orders—conduct and misconduct

  3. Commonly made costs orders, and

Limit on the amount of recoverable costs

CPR 27 sets out a self-contained set of rules for governing the procedure in the SCT, the track which deals with the lowest-value and most straightforward cases in the County Court. CPR 27.1(b) states that CPR 27 limits the amount of costs that can be recovered in respect of a claim that has been allocated to the SCT.

The power of the court to award costs in SCT cases is set out in CPR 27.14(2) and is permissive, not mandatory. It is expressed in negative terms:

‘The court may not order a party to pay a sum to another party in respect of that other party’s costs, fees and expenses, including those relating to an appeal, except…’

A list of exceptions is then provided. For guidance, see: Recoverable costs under CPR 27.14(2) below.

The general rule is that the court’s powers to award costs in a matter proceeding in the SCT is significantly restricted compared to the amount of costs

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