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Key Point

Fixed SIIIA costs

do not apply to

cases allocated

to the multi-track

Qadar v Esure Services Ltd

[2016] EWCA Civ 1109

This claim had started in the Portal then left, and was allocated to the multi-track and so, prima facie, fell into fixed costs under SIIIA of CPR 45.

The Claimant argued that these costs should not apply. They demonstrated a clear intention that fixed costs were intended to apply to claims allocated to the fast track, pointing out how this had been the stated intention from Jackson LJ's reports and consultations and replies to consultations. The Claimant was thus able to establish that the intention of Parliament had not been included in the CPRs by mere inadvertence. The Court of Appeal found authority in Inco Europe Ltd v First Choice Distribution [2000] 1 WLR 586 for correcting obvious drafting errors including omissions in rules. This was a clear case where the court should exercise that jurisdiction. The court, therefore, added in the words 'unless allocated to the multi-track' to the rules to achieve that end.

It is interesting to see that the Claimant demonstrated that the fixed costs were intended to apply only to fast-track cases. However, the Court of Appeal excluded cases unless allocated to the multi-track, rather than specify it was for cases allocated to the fast-track. They also made it clear there has to be that allocation. This gives certainty, removing arguments around whether a case would have been allocated to the multi-track, but arguably does not follow from the precise position which the Claimant established.

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