CPR 8 and Part 8 Issue Costs
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What is CPR Part 8?
This particular section of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out the procedure and requirements relating to Part 8 issue proceedings, a Court procedure that is often used in dispute resolution (such as for costs only proceedings). Within the CPR 8 guidelines, there are rules regarding evidence and the filing and serving of written evidence alongside information relating to the types of claims in which Part 8 procedure can be utilized.
When Should I Issue Part 8 Proceedings?
Part 7 proceedings are typically utilised for the majority of disputes when a resolution cannot be reached however, Part 8 proceedings are to be utilised in certain situations in which there is “unlikely to involve a substantial dispute or fact.” Furthermore, specific rules or practice directions may require or allow the use of the Part 8 procedure (8.1).
Examples include the issuance of Part 8 proceedings in costs-only proceedings (where only the quantum of costs is in dispute), or when a damages settlement has been reached for a vulnerable individual/infant, and an approval hearing is required.
How do you Commence Part 8 Proceedings?
In order for Part 8 procedure to be initiated, a CPR 8 Claim Form (N208) must be prepared and filed, with supporting evidence, and on with payment of the relevant Court fee (£55 at the time of writing). The Claimant should “ensure that this document states the question which the Claimant would like the Court to decide. It should also contain details of the remedy which the Claimant is seeking and the legal basis for the claim to that remedy. If the claim is being made under an enactment, the document should also provide information regarding the enactment itself. Moreover, if the Claimant is claiming in a representative capacity, the capacity should be stated. This should also be stated if the Defendant is being sued in a representative capacity.” (8.2)
When issuing Part 8 proceedings, the Defendant does not always have to be named. Within a practice direction, “the circumstances in which a claim form may be issued without naming a Defendant are set out. This practice direction may also set out cases in which an application for permission must be made by application notice prior to the issuing of the claim form. The aforementioned application notice for permission needs not to be served on any other person and must be appended by a copy of the claim form that the applicant proposes to issue. Finally, where the Court may give permission, directions will be provided regarding the future management of the claim.” (8.2A)
What are the Next Steps After Service of the Part 8 Claim Form?
Following service of the Claim Form, the Defendant must provide an Acknowledgement of Service. This must be in the relevant practice form and must not be submitted more than 14 days after service of the Claim Form. Additionally, this document must be “served on the Claimant alongside any other parties. “
The Acknowledgement of Service must state whether the Defendant disputes the claim and whether they wish to pursue an alternative remedy from that set out in the Claim Form. “If so, their desired remedy needs to be declared.” (8.3)
What Happens if the Defendant does not File an Acknowledgement of Service?
If the Defendant fails to file an Acknowledgement of Service, then they will face consequences from the Court. For example, “the Defendant may attend the hearing of the claim; however, they will not be able to take part in the hearing unless the Court grants permission.” (8.4)
The Judge in the recent High Court case of Hanson & Ors v Carlino & Anor  awarded the Claimant with a default judgment against the Defendant following the Defendant’s failure to file an Acknowledgement of Service within the allocated 14 days. Eventually, the Defendant did file the document and also made an application to extend the time for the submission of the Acknowledgement of Service and the Defence. However, the Judge refused this application and took the decision that the failure had been significant and had caused disruption for the Claimant and to the litigation as a whole. Ultimately, the Judge granted judgment in favour of the Claimant. This case demonstrates how harsh consequences can be placed on parties if they fail to comply with the guidelines of the CPR and highlights how applications for extensions of time should be prepared as early as possible if relief from sanctions is sought; otherwise, they are likely to be without merit under the Denton Test.
How do the Guidelines in CPR 8 Relate to Other Civil Procedure Rules?
In costs proceedings, the Rules set out in CPR 8 are related to those stated in CPR 46.14, an area of the Civil Procedure Rules which outlines the procedure for costs-only proceedings.
These are proceedings that can commence when the parties to a dispute have reached an agreement on all issues; however, costs are still to be negotiated. If the parties have agreed in writing on who is liable for the costs but have not settled on the amount of the costs and not started proceedings, then costs-only proceedings can be commenced. This can be done by issuing a Part 8 claim form. However, “this rule does not apply to a dispute to which the procedure under Section 10 of Practice Direction 27B applies.” (46.14)
How can ARC Costs Assist in Matters Involving CPR 8?
We regularly assist our clients with Part 8 issue and procedure in relation to costs-only disputes. In any pre-issue costs dispute, if settlement cannot be reached within 14 days we take steps to issue Part 8 proceedings as it allows us to: enforce deadlines to move matters towards detailed assessment; obtain interim payments on account, and; also to seek the best recovery for the client in respect of their Bill of Costs.
If the matter does proceed to detailed assessment, our team can be relied upon to propose effective arguments, for either the paying or receiving party, through preparation of Points of Dispute or Points of Reply, and during any detailed assessment hearing, to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you require assistance with any costs dispute, or have a query concerning Part 8 proceedings, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts on the live chat facility. Alternatively you can contact one of the team by phone on 01204 397302, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.