Kerry Underwood analyses conflicting costs rulings on interest

Costs are always in the discretion of the court; and interest on those costs is an extra layer of discretion. In three decisions this summer, the High Court has come to different conclusions as to how that discretion should be exercised.

In Marbrow v Sharpes Garden Services Ltd [2020] EWHC B26 (Costs), the Senior Courts Costs Office held that the losing defendant in a personal injury case should not be liable for interest on a disbursement funding loan taken out by the claimant.

The agreed rate of interest was 5 per cent and the total interest was £2,484.48, which the claimant sought as an item of costs; and alternatively, by way of allowing interest to run from an earlier period – that is to award pre-judg...

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