CPR 45.1 – Exceptions to Fixed Costs


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Following the introduction of expanded fixed recoverable costs regime to civil litigation on 1 October 2023, CPR 45.1 sets out the scope of what is impacted in civil litigation.

On 1 April 2013, the first stage of the Jackson reforms introduced an expanded application of CPR 45 fixed costs to personal injury claims with a value up to £25,000. The initial phase of the Jackson reforms applied to Road Traffic Accident (RTA), Employer’s Liability (EL) and Public Liability (PL) claims.

The further expansion of fixed costs on 1 October 2023 has been blanket applied to all types of case in civil litigation valued at up to £100,000, and does not only apply to claims that include a claim for personal injury. The further reforms have introduced the Intermediate Track to apply to claims generally valued between £25,000 – £100,000, to sit in between the fast and multi tracks.


CPR 45.1 & Exclusions from Fixed Costs

CPR 45.1(4) does however, outline some exclusions from the October 2023 reforms, specifically any claim or counterclaim that includes a residential property dispute concerning an element of:

·        Possessions;

·        Housing disrepair, or;

·        Unlawful eviction.

These claims, whilst they can still be allocated to the Fast or Intermediate Track, will not have fixed costs applied to them, and costs payable will be on an hourly rate basis.

Any other claim by default, as long as it is not valued in excess of £100,000, will likely be allocated to the Fast or Intermediate Track, and according to a band of complexity, to determine the amount of fixed costs that will apply. These tables can be found in Practice Direction 45.


Exclusions Pursuant to CPR 26

It should also be noted that CPR 45.1 is not the only aspect of the Civil Procedure Rules which outlines exceptions to the new application of extended fixed costs.

CPR 26 on Case Management outlines cases which must be allocated to the Multi Track, and therefore, cannot be subject to fixed costs. CPR 26.9(10) specifically states that the following types of cases must be allocated to the Multi-Track, irrespective of value:

·        Mesothelioma or asbestos lung disease claims;

·        Clinical negligence disputes in which either breach of duty or causation are in dispute;

·        Allegations in relation to harm, abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult;

·        Any claim to be tried by jury;

·        A claim against the Police, as long as it involves an element of an intentional or reckless tort, or breach of Humans Rights Act 1998 claim. For the avoidance of doubt, this will not involve any claims for a negligent driving RTA type dispute, employer’s liability type dispute, or involving an accidental fall on Police premises.


Scope of Fast and Intermediate Tracks

Fixed costs generally applies to Fast and Intermediate Track type disputes, save for where CPR 45.1 excludes a claim from fixed costs. As such, it is important to understand the scope of these tracks.

The scope of the Fast Track remains as per prior to 1 October 2023, in that it is the usual track for claims valued at less than £25,000 and for which Trial is likely to be limited to a single day, and only a single expert per party is required.

The Intermediate Track has only been introduced since 1 October 2023, and pursuant to CPR 26.9(7) applies to cases up to £100,000 in value, the trial will last no longer than 3 days, and for which expert evidence will be confined to no more than 2 experts per party. 

Guidance also stipulates that the Intermediate Track will also be the normal track for cases involving 1 Claimant and 2 Defendants, or 2 Claimants and 1 Defendant. It is therefore assumed that 4 or more parties involved in litigation could arguably be allocated to the Multi Track.

If a Fast or Intermediate Track type claim, a complexity band will also need to be assigned, and this is set out in the Tables detailed in CPR 26.14, which set out the applicable FRC that will apply (as found in Table 12 and Table 14 of Practice Direction 45).

Nevertheless, the Court retains discretion to allocate a dispute to any track they see fit as long as they consider it in the interests of justice. 

As such, a typically Fast or Intermediate Track type claim may be allocated to the Multi Track in view of serious allegations or complexities, or a £100,000+ type claim may be allocated to the Fast or Intermediate Track if a Judge considers the dispute very straight-forward.


How Can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs are a team of experienced Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers who, as independent experts, can assist either a Paying or Receiving Party in any legal costs dispute.

Concerning any claims that fall outside the scope of CPR 45.1 or fixed costs, on behalf of a Receiving Party, ARC Costs can assist in the preparation and forecasting of future costs in any Costs Budget, and on conclusion of a case (whether by Court Order or an offer made pursuant to Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules), the preparation of the electronic Bill of Costs. 

We can also conduct detailed assessment proceedings on your behalf to ensure that you recover the maximum level of reasonable costs, which may involve settling of Points of Reply or providing representation at any detailed assessment hearing.

For Paying Parties, we can settle Points of Dispute and also negotiate to ensure the maximum reductions possible are achieved on assessment.

In respect of any claims which fall subject to fixed costs, if you are involved in a dispute as to what fixed costs should apply, and/or in relation to the recoverability of disbursements, ARC Costs can assist in resolving these disputes, whether via the Part 8 procedure or via an application.

To get in touch with our expert costs team, complete one of our contact forms, or contact the team directly either via live chat, by email at info@arccosts.co.uk, or via telephone on 01204 397302.

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