Kerry Underwood


with 12 comments

Look here for Kerry’s new course on this subject. 

Relatively few lawyers are aware that there has for some time been fixed trial costs for all Fast-Track matters except those covered by Fixed Recoverable Costs, which are subject to a separate Fixed Trial Costs Regime.

The Fixed Recoverable Costs Scheme covers all ex-portal claims, whether allocated to the Fast-Track or the Multi-Track but do not cover cases which would be allocated to the Small-Claims Track.

Broadly the extent of the portals is all claims up to £25,000.00 in value arising out of road traffic accidents or employers’ liability or public liability cases, although there are some exceptions.

Any Fast-Track trial not covered by Fixed Recoverable Costs is covered by a separate regime of Fast-Track Trial costs. This will cover claims which are employers’ liability claims but which do not go into the portal, for example industrial disease claims where there is more than one defendant. There is far more flexibility in this scheme.

The Fast –Track fixed costs cover all non-personal injury cases without exception, and some personal injury cases.

The Fixed Recoverable Costs Scheme is dealt with in table 6 – see my blog FIXED COSTS, ALL THE PORTALS & FIXED RECOVERABLE COSTS.

Other Fast-Track trial costs covered by Table 9 which is contained in CPR 45.38.

The Fixed Fast-Track Trial Costs are as follows:-

Value of the claim Amount of costs
No more than £3,000.00 £485.00
More than £3,000.00 but not more than £10,000.00 £690.00
More than £10,000.00 but not more than £15,000.00 £1,035.00
Over £15,000.00 where proceedings issued on or after 6th April 2009 £1,650.00

These are very slightly below the Table 6 Recoverable Costs advocacy fees.

However CPR 45.37(1) makes it clear that these Fast-Track trial costs cover the cost of preparing for the hearing as well as appearing at the trial of the matter where as in Fixed Recoverable Costs under Table 6 the advocacy fee is an add-on to the previous fixed costs. No doubt it is intended to reflect that there is preparation for a trial but the two are not directly comparable and Table 6 Fixed Recoverable Costs is clearly more generous than Table 9.

In all cases VAT may be added on to the fees, both in Table 6 and Table 9.

In Fast-Track trial matters CPR 45.37 states that:-

“‘trial’ includes a hearing where the court decides an amount of money or the value of goods following a judgment under Part 12 (default judgment) or Part 14 (admissions) but does not include –

  • the hearing of an application for summary judgment under Part 24; or
  • the court’s approval of a settlement or other compromise under rule 21.10.”

CPR 45.38(2) makes it clear that the figures are fixed and that a court may award neither more nor less unless it makes a decision to award no costs at all or CPR 45.39 applies.

The court is free to apportion the amount awarded between the parties to reflect their respective degrees of success on the issues at trial.

Lost claims

Where the claim is lost then for the purposes of quantifying the cost to be awarded to the successful defendant the value of the claim is deemed to be the amount specified in the Claim Form, excluding interest and costs.

Non-monetary and hybrid claims

By CPR 45.38(4) where the claim is only for a remedy other than the payment of money the claim is deemed to be £3,001.00 to £10,000.00 giving a fixed advocacy fee of £690.00.

Where there is a hybrid claim, that is a claim seeking a remedy other than the payment of money as well as the payment of money, then the value of the claim is deemed to be £3,001.00 to £10,000.00 or the value of the money claimed, whichever is higher.


Under CPR 45.38(6) where a defendant makes a counterclaim against the claimant and that has a higher value than the claim and the claimant succeeds on both matters then the value of the claim is deemed to be the value of the defendant’s counterclaim.


CPR 45.39 sets out the circumstances where the court is allowed to depart from the fixed costs set out in Table 9 in CPR 45.38(1).

Legal representative in addition to advocate

Where a party’s legal representative attends the trial in addition to the advocate and the court considers that that was necessary to assist the advocate and the court awards Fast-Track trial costs to that party, the court may award an additional £345.00 in respect of the legal representative’s attendance at the trial (CPR 45.39(2)).

Separate trials

If the court orders a separate trial of an issue, for example a spit trial on liability and quantum, then it may award an additional amount not exceeding two thirds of the amount of the fixed advocacy costs but subject to a minimum award of £485.00 (CPR 45.39(3) and (4)).

Litigants in person

In relation to litigants in person the court may award costs in their favour, provided that they can prove financial loss, up to two thirds of the fixed advocacy costs.

If a litigant in person cannot prove financial loss then the court may award to that person an amount in respect of the time spent reasonably doing the work at the rate specified in Practice Direction 46, currently £19 an hour.( CPR 45.39 (5)).

Mixed result cases

Where a defendant makes a counter-claim against the claimant and the claimant succeeds on that claim and the defendant also succeeds on the counter-claim then the court looks at each sum separately and makes an award of the difference of fixed advocacy costs, if any, to the party entitled to the higher award of costs.

Thus if a claimant got say £12,000.00 and the counter-claimant £9,000.00 then the calculation is as follows:-

Claimant’s costs                                £1,035.00
Defendant’s costs                           £  690.00

The defendant will be ordered to pay the claimant the difference, that is £345.00 (CPR 45.39(6)).

Improper or unreasonable conduct at trial

Where the court considers that the recipient of Fast-Track trial costs has behaved unreasonably or improperly during the trial, it may award that party less than the fixed costs sum.

Likewise where the paying party has behaved improperly during the trial the court may award extra costs.

The conduct of the receiving party qualifies for a reduction if it is either unreasonable or improper but the paying party can only be penalised if its behaviour is improper and not simply unreasonable.

The figures in those circumstances are entirely within the discretion of the court.

The reduction or addition can only be made for conduct at trial and not during the life of the claim.


Written by kerryunderwood

November 18, 2015 at 7:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. Under the fixed fast track trial costs regime, PD 45 para 2.7 makes specific provision when there are multiple claimants. The fixed recoverable costs regime where a claim is issued part 7 after leaving the portal does not. What costs do you think should be recoverable after trial in such cases (issued part 7 after exiting portal) where the same solicitor represents multiple parties or where claims issued separately are consolidated (resulting in the same situation)?

    R Davies

    November 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    • One advocacy fee calculated by adding up total damages awarded – CPR 45.40.


      November 19, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      • Thanks. I should have been more specific, I was meaning are there one or two lots of the solicitors base costs?

        R Davies

        November 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm

  2. Do you mean Table 6 Fixed Recoverable Costs ? If so, one for each client – has to be that way as individual client matters will not necessarily settle at same point in the matrix. Solicitors’ base costs are solicitor and own client costs, that is the private retainer between solicitor and client which is not directly related to fixed recoverable costs.


    November 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm

  3. Dear sir, I am Lip Claimant, there are 2 defendant. 2nd defendant is legal representative. If I lose the case £10,000 fast track, do I have to pay legal fee for 2nd defendant. Thanks


    December 12, 2017 at 12:10 am

    • Ivy

      Thank you for your query.

      Without very much more information I cannot advise.

      There are different small claims limits for different types of work and there are different rules for paying costs in different types of work. For example generally, in personal injury work, a losing Claimant does not have to pay a winning Defendant’s costs, but that is subject to a lot of exceptions.

      To put this in context my book dealing with just costs in low value personal injury claims runs to over 1,300 pages and three volumes.

      If you wish to instruct me privately to advise you on this matter, then I can do so and my email address is and my telephone number is 01442 430 900.

      We do offer an initial advice session on any aspect of English law for a fee of £100.00 including VAT.

      If you wish to take advantage of this offer please contact me.

      Kind regards

      Kerry Underwood


      December 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

  4. I would like to know if the rules on Fixed Recoverable Cost for Fast track claims apply to all Fast Track claim and concern the cost of the solicitors and the cost of the counsel

    Lorenzo Garcia

    September 3, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    • No, fixed recoverable costs do not apply to all fast-track claims, but apply only to personal injury claims, and not all personal injury claims. Fixed advocacy costs apply in all fast-track claims. All of this is dealt with in my book – Personal Injury Small Claims, Portals and Fixed Costs, 3 Volumes, 1300 pages and costing £50 and available from Amazon here or from me here.



      September 13, 2018 at 10:26 am

  5. There is a PI claim where the matter is allocated to fast track but claim is potentially worth around £40-£60k. Would costs be fixed in this matter?


    October 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    • Mistry

      I presume that you have my book – Personal Injury Small Claims, Portals and Fixed Costs.

      This is dealt with generally in Chapters 41 to 50 running from pages 845 to 1075.

      If you have not got the book, which runs to three volumes and 1,300 pages, then you can purchase it here for £50, including P&P.



      November 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

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