Wasted costs orders

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

  • Wasted costs orders
  • What is a wasted costs order?
  • Power of the court to make an order
  • Test and principles the court will apply
  • Test to be applied
  • Principles
  • What will the court look for?
  • Principles the court will apply—what is meant by improper, unreasonable, negligent
  • Who can a wasted costs orders be made against?
  • Legal representative
  • More...

Wasted costs orders

What is a wasted costs order?

A wasted costs order is defined in CPR PD 46, para 5.1 as an order:

  1. that a legal representative pay a sum in respect of the costs of a party; such sum to be specified or to be assessed, or

  2. for costs relating to a specified sum or items of work that are disallowed

Wasted costs orders are not available to satisfy a disgruntled party who has been unable to obtain an effective costs order, ie they cannot be used as a back door to recover costs not otherwise recoverable. This was clearly set out by the Court of Appeal in Ridehalgh v Horsefield.

Power of the court to make an order

The court has the power under the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981) to award wasted costs in the following courts:

  1. the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal

  2. the High Court, and

  3. the County Court

These powers are:

  1. SCA 1981, s 51(6)—in any proceedings mentioned in SCA 1981, s 1, the court may disallow, or (as the case may be) order the legal or other representative concerned to meet, the whole of any wasted costs or such part of them as may be determined in accordance with the rules of court

  2. SCA 1981, s 51(7)—sets out what is meant by wasted costs, ie costs incurred by a party:

Popular documents