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Lord Justice Coulson, Judge in the Court of Appeall of England and Wales

Key Point

Recoverability of disbursements in SIIIA cases

Cham (by their Litigation Friend Laura Martin) v Aldred
[2019] EWCA Civ 1780

The SIIIA fixed costs regime provides for an advice from counsel in infant cases in the sum of £150.   This seemingly untroubling disbursement was awarded at first instance and first tier appeal.  However, the Defendant appealed again, and argued it was not recoverable in addition to fixed profit costs. The matter came before LJs Coulson, McCombe and Davies on 8th October, and judgment was handed down on 25th October 2019.   LJ Coulson gave the lead judgment and found that the infant approval advice was required not because of a particular feature of the dispute, but because of a particular feature of the Claimant, namely that they were an infant.  Therefore it was not recoverable.


The court also considered the potential for overlap, claiming the same disbursement under the ‘catch all’ provision in CPR 45.29I(2)(h).  At [51] the court held that if an item was specifically within Table 6B, it would not be recoverable in addition to fixed costs.  The brief fee was the most obvious example. The court also churned out the oft repeated ‘swings and roundabouts’ argument mentioned in Sharp v Leeds City Council [2017] EWCA Civ 33.


Thus, the appeal was allowed.

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