Success Fees and Costs Draftsmen’s Fees

Crane v Canons Leisure [2007] EWCA Civ 1352


The Court of Appeal considered the SCCO judgment of Master Wright who ruled that costs draftsmen’s fees which fell squarely within the definition of a disbursement could only be recovered between the parties as a disbursement. No success fee could therefore be recovered on those fees.


The Court of Appeal disagreed. The CCFA provided for work done by the solicitors to be charged on an hourly rate and, in addition, a success fee applied to those fees. The work done by the costs draftsmen was clearly solicitors’ work. The solicitors still retained control and responsibility over that work. That was a key point.


 As to the amount of the success fee recoverable the Defendants sought to argue that a lower success fee should apply. The Court disagreed and followed KU v Liverpool City Council [2005] EWCA Civ 475. The Court did not have the power to rewrite the CCFA so as to provide for a lower or no success fee in respect of the costs-only proceedings. There was no reason for party who had entered into a CFA to have separately assessed the risks of costs proceedings at the outset.


Costs Monkey