LIMITING CLAIM TO £10,000 DID NOT PREVENT COURT AWARDING £140,000: CPR 16.3(7) IN USE

Mediatelegal

In the judgment today in Harrath -v- Stand for Peace Ltd [2017] EWHC 653 (QB) Sir David Eady awarded £140,000 in a case where the claim form limited the claim to £10,000.  This is an interesting development in an environment where there is still much dispute court fees and the payment of court fee. It indicates that, in appropriate cases,  a higher sum can be awarded at trial as long as a claimant indicates a willingness to pay the additional court fee.

THE CASE

The judge was awarding damages for defamation following summary judgment being entered.

THE JUDGMENT ON THIS ISSUE

  1. The claim form indicated that the Claimant expected to recover no more than £10,000, but it seems clear from CPR 16.3(7) that this does not limit the power of the court to give judgment for the amount which it finds the claimant is entitled to recover. The Claimant made clear that he is quite willing to pay any additional fee if necessary. Mr Dean canvassed the alternative idea of an order that the judgment should not be enforced beyond £10,000 without leave of the court (having regard to the second Defendant’s claims that even that sum would not be recoverable), but his Client was concerned that this might lead to the outcome being “spun” or misrepresented.
  2. Having considered these matters, and taken into account the helpful and measured submissions from Mr Dean, it seems to me that the appropriate award is £140,000. That is a figure which appears to be proportionate and consistent with earlier awards, while leaving no doubt in the mind of a reasonable onlooker as to the Claimant’s entitlement to vindication.

 

CPR 16.3(7)

 

(7) The statement of value in the claim form does not limit the power of the court to give judgment for the amount which it finds the claimant is entitled to.

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