Costs of High Court Appeal: Recovering Your Costs

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What is a High Court Appeal?

There is usually a “right of appeal” for those who do not win their case in the High Court, depending on the outcome of the case. If a party is unhappy with the Judge’s decision made in a High Court Case, they can request permission to appeal the decision in a higher Court. Appeals against the outcome of a County Court or a High Court decision are usually dealt with by the Court of Appeal Civil Division. The only more senior Court within England and Wales is the Supreme Court.

Costs of High Court Appeal

Making a High Court appeal will inevitably lead to increased costs of litigation and the requirement to pay further Court fees. Although Costs Orders can be set by the High Court, the Court of Appeal has the power the previous costs ordered set aside, and to make alternative Orders for costs.

Recovering Your Costs of High Court Appeal

In cases where the appeal is short and on a particular point of law, the Court of Appeal will usually grant a summary assessment of the costs which have arisen as a result of the appeal.

In the case of Lownds, Lord Woolf CJ set out a two-stage approach for the Court to take in relation to the summary assessment of costs. At paragraph 31, he stated:

“In other words, what is required is a two-stage approach. There has to be a global approach and an item by item approach. The global approach will indicate whether the total sum claimed is or appears to be disproportionate having particular regard to the considerations which CPR r 44.5(3) states are relevant. If the costs as a whole are not disproportionate according to that test, then all that is normally required is that each item should have been reasonably incurred and the cost for that item should be reasonable. If on the other hand, the costs as a whole appear disproportionate then the Court will want to be satisfied that the work in relation to each item was necessary and, if necessary, that the cost of the item is reasonable.”

The Court will assess the costs item by item to ensure they are reasonable and necessary if they appear disproportionate.

If the costs of the High Court appeal cannot be agreed, they will proceed to detailed assessment.

If the Court of Appeal uses their power to set aside costs ordered by the High Court, the costs paid pursuant to the Order made by the High Court must be repaid, and interest may also be ordered on those costs.

How can ARC Costs Assist?


ARC Costs are a team of specialist Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen who can assist in the recovery of your Costs of a High Court appeal. We can assist in preparing a Bill of Costs for costs incurred following any costs orders made by the Courts. We can also dispute Bills of Costs which have been served by the receiving party following a Costs Order, and prepare Points of Dispute to reduce the amount payable. We can assist in representing either receiving or paying parties at detailed assessment and through the full costs recovery process. Should you require any further information or our assistance, please contact us on 01204 397302, via email at, or via the live chat facility below.

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