FIXED COSTS WHEN A PERSONAL INJURY ACTION SETTLES FOR MORE THAN £25,000: “NEW RULES” TO BE APPLIED AND FIXED COSTS APPLY
I am grateful to Matthew Hoe from Taylor Rose TTKW for sending me a copy of the judgment of HHJ Sephton QC in Lovatt -v- Lew Diecastings Ltd (County Court in Manchester, 4th December 2018). Lovatt v LEW Diecastings Ltd 
The judgment considers the issue of what rules apply when a court is considering whether fixed costs apply. The judge preferring the view that the “new” rules apply and fixed costs should be paid. (Otherwise, ironically, there was an argument that the claimant should recover no costs at all).
The claimant was injured at work. He submitted a claim on the Employers’ Liability Protocol. The action fell out of the Protocol because the defendant did not admit liability. The action settled for £29,000.
THE ISSUE AS TO COSTS: THE DECISION OF THE DISTRICT JUDGE
The parties could not agree whether the claimant was entitled to fixed costs or costs to be assessed. Part 8 proceedings were issued in relation to costs. The District Judge held that because the figure exceeded £25,000 the Protocol ceased to apply and there should be an assessment of costs. The defendant appealed.
THE JUDGMENT ON APPEAL
There had been a change of rules between the “old” rules, which meant the claimant was entitled to an assessment of costs and the “new” rules which meant the claimant was entitled to fixed costs. The defendant contended the court should apply the rules on the date which the decision was made.