When a claimant accepted that the value of his claim for past and future earnings was lower than pleaded this was not indicative of exaggeration within CPR 44.3(5)(d) (NB: which obliges the court to consider the parties’ conduct in this respect when ordering costs). For the purposes of this Rule, exaggeration indicated conduct which merited the court’s criticism and not the overestimation of a genuine claim.
This is a surprising decision given the background to the claim. The claimant admitted that he had done ‘cash jobs’ which were not entered into his company accounts. He also admitted routinely overstating the cost of material and understating the cost of labour to reduce tax liability. The effects of this were to understate the profi ts of his company. The claimant initially claimed £1.72m for past and future loss of earning but eventually accepted £365k for this element of his claim. Nevertheless, the court did not consider this activity reprehensible enough to warrant any sanction.