Blog - Tuesday 14 October 2014

Cooked on Costs: Interim Payments on Account of Costs

Astonleigh Residential Care Home Limited v Goldfarb (2014) raised the issue as to whether a written statement of costs was a pre-requisite to obtaining an Order for a payment on account of costs.

An order was made for an interim payment to be made in the sum of £20,000.00 against an estimate of costs in the region of £59,000.00 (plus a further £16,000.00 from an earlier order). 

As this Order was made without a written statement being provided the paying party contended that power to make such an order depended on the availability of a written statement otherwise it would be impossible to tell whether the Judge had properly exercised his discretion. 

Cook on Costs was cited in the context of the Part 36 settlement (which settled the substantive claim). It was submitted that Cook on Costs suggested that where a Part 36 offer had been accepted and there had been a CFA, there was no jurisdiction to grant an interim payment until there had been a detailed assessment. On this basis it was submitted that there was a powerful incentive to prepare a written statement.

In refusing permission to appeal, the reference to Cook on Costs was discounted in that there was no reference to the Court having no power to make an interim order and by virtue of the Part 36 agreement the provisions of CPR.r.44.2(8) applied as follows:

‘(8) Where the court orders a party to pay costs subject to detailed assessment, it will order that party to pay a reasonable sum on account of costs, unless there is good reason not to do so.'

By Nicholas J Browne, Solicitor