Cost News

Avi Dolties

Hadley -v- Przybylo [2024] EWCA Civ 250

The proceedings related to a personal injury claim. The Defendant drove into the back of the Claimant’s car, shunting it into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The claimant suffered catastrophic injuries. He was transferred to a series of rehabilitation centres following which on 4 August 2022, following an order made by the Court of Protection, he was discharged into the community. He has a team of carers that provide 24 hour care. Proceedings were commenced on 5 November 2020. In the defence, liability was admitted. The relevant cost budgeting hearing before the Master took place on 29 March 2023. The Master’s judgment was dated 22 June 2023 following which the claim was compromised subject to the approval of the court.

During the cost budgeting hearing, the Defendant challenged the estimated future costs, namely £52,000.00 for case management. Master McLoud held that such costs in her judgment did not ‘progress litigation in this case’. She went on to say ‘Note that I am not here saying that these costs are ‘unreasonable’ or ‘disproportionate’: those would be the tests I would apply if I were accepting that in principle they were ‘costs’ for the purposes of a budget in the first place. If I had decided that these sums of proposed expenditure in principle would progress the litigation then I would indeed have next to consider whether the proposed extent of attendance was reasonable and proportionate.’

This was appealed and the Court was required to determine the following:

  1. Did Master McCloud make the finding that to be recoverable the costs must be progressive?
  2. Are costs associated with the claimant’s rehabilitation recoverable?

The Court of Appeal resolved that there was no dispute regarding whether the Claimant’s rehabilitation recoverable. The Defendant accepted that recoverable costs could include interim remedies, and this may include funds for rehabilitation. Indeed, the real issue between them was the Defendant’s challenge to the Claimant’s level of costs in relation to case management.

It was held that the Master’s tender that costs needed to be progressive to be recoverable was “unhelpful” and if this was the case, there would undoubtedly be some items of cost which would inevitably not meet this test, but which do fall within under the wider words of s.51 Supreme Court Act 1981.

The Court of Appeal held that costs associated with attendance at rehabilitation meetings may be recoverable, subject to reasonableness and proportionality. The Court referenced The Serious Injury Guide and the Rehabilitation Code which envisioned the possible involvement of a solicitor in ongoing rehabilitation meetings, in concluding that, by way of principle, this is a recoverable class of costs.

However, the Court stated that ‘it would be wrong to decide that the costs of the solicitors’ attendance at rehabilitation case management meetings are always recoverable’ rather it is case-specific.


  • Whilst the appeal was granted, this is not carte blanche for Claimant solicitors to attend all routine MDT meetings and incur significant cost.