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High Court Rules Officer Time and Pre-Permission Costs Recoverable

Charles Streeten

The High Court (Supperstone J) has handed down judgment in R (Spragge) v Westminster City Council [2018] EWHC 2058 (Admin).


The case establishes two important propositions:


Firstly, it establishes that where a claim for judicial review is withdrawn following the grant of permission, the defendant is entitled to recover all of its costs, including those incurred prior to the grant of permission (judgment paragraphs 13-15). 


This is notwithstanding CPR 44.10(2)(b) which deems that there will be an order for applicant’s costs in the case (ie an order that the Defendant will not be entitled to recover those costs even if the claim is dismissed) and the decision in Dar Al Arkan Estate Company v Al Refai [2015] EWHC 1793 (Comm) in which Andrew Smith J held that interlocutory costa orders were not superseded by the deemed order for costs on withdrawal under CPR 38.6.


Secondly, Supperstone J held that a defendant in a claim for judicial review may recover the costs of officer time incurred as a result of defending the claim, such time falling within the definition of costs under CPR 44.1 (see judgment paragraph 17).


The judgment was handed down following full argument and is curable. A copy is available here.


Charles Streeten acted for the successful defendant, Westminster City Council.