The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in the matter of Qader -v- Esure (2016) EWCA Civ 1109.
This dealt with a situation where a case starts by going through the Portal but the case is subsequently allocated to the Multi Track. CPR 45 Section III A deals with claims which no longer continue under the RTA or EL/PL Pre Action Protocols. CPR Rule 45.29 did not expressly limit fixed recoverable costs to the Fast Track or even mention Multi Track at all. The wording of the rule appeared to apply the fixed recoverable costs scheme to any claim which commenced within the portal but subsequently exited the portal process.
In the Qader decision, the modest value claim was allocated to the Multi Track in view of fraud allegations. Initially a District Judge held that CPR Part 45 Section III A meant that only fixed costs were recoverable, despite the Multi Track allocation and the fact that the trial was expected to last more than 1 day. This was also upheld by the Circuit Judge on the first appeal.
The Court of Appeal has now determined that CPR Part 45 Section III A does not apply if the case is allocated to the Multi Track.
Subsequently CPR Part 45.29 B has been amended. It now states that “and for so long as the claim is not allocated to the Multi Track, if, in a claim started under the RTA Protocol, the claim notification form is submitted on or after 31st July 2013, the only costs allowed are ….”.
In the circumstances, this provides much needed clarity for Claimant’s solicitors.