COSTS ON PARTIAL ADMISSION IN THE FAST TRACK
District Judge Brett held that where a claim is properly brought in the fast track and the defendant then admits part of the claim, causing the amount still in dispute to bring the claim within the small claims track limit, the court may award fast track costs up to the date of entry of judgment on the admission.
Practice Direction 46.7.1(3) reads:-
“(3) Where a claim, issued for a sum in excess of the normal financial scope of the small claims track, is allocated to that track only because an admission of part of the claim by the defendant reduces the amount in dispute to a sum within the normal scope of that track; on entering judgment for the admitted part before allocation of the balance of the claim the court may allow costs in respect of the proceedings down to that date.”
The defendant argued that the claimant should only be allowed fast track costs up to the date of the admission and not the date of judgment.
That submission was rejected.
Here the claim was for just over £10,000.00 and included credit hire and vehicle damage. In the defence the defendant admitted £4,787.47, meaning that the balance in dispute would be allocated to the small claims track.
Thus a defendant who pays off or admits part of the sum claimed and thus reduces the balance to a small claim is still potentially liable for costs up to the date that judgment is entered.
How the courts exercise what is clearly a discretion under this Practice Direction may become of considerable significance as and when the personal injury small claims limit is raised from £1,000.00 to £5,000.00.