In Hall and others v Stone – Butterworths Law Direct 18.12.07 the court considered to what extent a defendant can be considered the victor for costs purposes where the claimant was unsuccessful in part of its claim.

It held that it is possible for an exaggeration by a claimant to be taken into account as conduct under CPR 44.3(4) (a), but for a defendant to regard himself as a winner or even partial winner on an issue of exaggeration, the exaggeration had to be an important feature of the claim with costs consequences – ie gross exaggeration on the part of the claimant.

What amounts to partial success under CPR 44.3(4) is a matter of fact and degree and will vary in each case. The judge is also required to take into account relevant conduct of the parties.