In Morgan v UPS Ltd – Butterworths Law Direct 13.11.08 the Court of Appeal showed the issues it will consider when determining who should pay the costs of an action where the Claimant fractionally beats the Defendant’s payment into court.
In this case the Defendant had made a payment into court of £43,550.14 pursuant to CPR Part 36. By the judgment given, the Claimant beat the payment into court by £629.10. When the judge came to deal with issue of costs he gave consideration to the fact that the Claimant had been untruthful during the proceedings and that the Defendant had pursued an argument that was wholly without merit. The judge commented that the Claimant had only beaten the payment into court 'by a whisker', but nonetheless ordered that the Claimant would be awarded costs on the standard basis.
The Court of Appeal upheld that decision, holding that the judge was entitled, in the exercise of his discretion to make order that he had because the Defendant's payment had been insufficient.