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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am the defendant in a county court case over a dispute over

Resolved Question:

I am the defendant in a county court case over a dispute over money. The directions of the court are for me to resubmit my defense and the date for trial is set approximately 4 weeks from now.
I dispute the details of the claim however I have now to paid the defendant the disputed money as I want the matter to be over with.
What should do next to bring this to an end?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

If you have paid the Claimant then you should write and inform the Court of when you did this.

Alex Watts :

The Claimant should then write to the court and say that the matter has been settled.

Alex Watts :

At this point the claim will be dismissed and you should receive notification through the pist

Alex Watts :

* post *

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

What form should I use to write to the court?

Customer:

Is this a motion to dimiss

Customer:

Can the claimant still proceed to court?

Alex Watts :

No, a motion to dismiss is in the USA

Alex Watts :

You are asking that the claim be formally dismissed.

Alex Watts :

No, the claimant can not still proceed because you have paid.

Alex Watts :

Therefore the Claimant must inform the Court that you have paid

Customer:

Can the claimant still proceed to court and try to recover his expenses

Alex Watts :

The proceedings will then be ended.

Alex Watts :

If you have paid the debt and the fixed Court fees then the claim must end.

Alex Watts :

If you have not paid the Court fees then the Court can consider at the trial, just the issue of costs

Customer:

I have not paid the court fees because I dispute the claim

Alex Watts :

Ok - well you will still need to attend Court.

Alex Watts :

BUT - the Court will ONLY consider the issue of the Court fees

Alex Watts :

Or the claimant may just be happy with payment and not worry about Court fees

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

Thinking

Alex Watts :

Sure

Customer:

If I pay the original court fees (220) can the claimant come back and try to claim for further legal costs?

Alex Watts :

What is the value of the original claim?

Customer:

15K

Alex Watts :

Was it a fast track matter?

Customer:

Yes

Alex Watts :

Or small claim?

Customer:

fast track

Alex Watts :

Ok - in theory you are liable for fees up to the date you paid.

Alex Watts :

But the claimant may take a view depending on if they want the matter to end.

Customer:

such as the claimants solicitors?

Alex Watts :

If they do not then the only argument at Court will be legal costs

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

So let me get this straight, I just write to the court (no forms) and show them that I paid the total amount, that's it right?

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

ok, thanks, ***** ***** do that .

Alex Watts :

Then the Claimant may take a view on costs and stop the claim

Alex Watts :

If not then the only issue would be costs at Court and not the principal Judgment.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Ok thanks

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

Well not sure about the last bit, if I still dispute the claim and the claimant wants further costs and want to got o court, then won't the court need to consider the issues the wider case rather than just the costs

Customer:

By paying I am not accepting the claimants claim, I just want him to go away

Alex Watts :

Not necessarily.

Alex Watts :

The issue would be whether the claimant is entitled to his costs

Customer:

Surely he would need to proove his original claim first

Customer:

Does it not depend on the judge awarding the case is the claimants favour

Alex Watts :

That is right. You can say you paid for commercial reasons and why the original claim was not justified.

Customer:

Not sure that answers the question "Does it (costs) not depend on the judge awarding the case in the claimants favour?"

Alex Watts :

Not necessarily.

Customer:

please explain

Alex Watts :

The Judge will look at the conduct of the parties etc.

Alex Watts :

The rules state:

Alex Watts :


Contents of this Part


























































































TitleNumber
I GENERAL
Interpretation and applicationRule 44.1
Court’s discretion as to costsRule 44.2
Basis of assessmentRule 44.3
Factors to be taken into account in deciding the amount of costsRule 44.4
Amount of costs where costs are payable under a contractRule 44.5
Procedure for assessing costsRule 44.6
Time for complying with an order for costsRule 44.7
Legal representative’s duty to notify the partyRule 44.8
Cases where costs orders deemed to have been madeRule 44.9
Where the court makes no order for costsRule 44.10
Court’s powers in relation to misconductRule 44.11
Set OffRule 44.12
II QUALIFIED ONE-WAY COSTS SHIFTING
Qualified one-way costs shifting: scope and interpretationRule 44.13
Effect of qualified one-way costs shiftingRule 44.14
Exceptions to qualified one-way costs shifting where permission not requiredRule 44.15
Exceptions to qualified one-way costs shifting where permission requiredRule 44.16
Transitional provisionRule 44.17
III DAMAGES-BASED AGREEMENTS
Award of costs where there is a damages-based agreementRule 44.18

I GENERAL


Interpretation and application


44.1

(1) In Parts 44 to 47, unless the context otherwise requires –

‘authorised court officer’ means any officer of –

(i) the County Court;

(ii) a district registry;

(iii) the Family Court;

(iiia) the High Court; or

(iv) the Costs Office,

whom the Lord Chancellor has authorised to assess costs;

‘conditional fee agreement’ means an agreement enforceable under section 58 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 19901;

‘costs’ includes fees, charges, disbursements, expenses, remuneration, reimbursement allowed to a litigant in person under rule 46.5 and any fee or reward charged by a lay representative for acting on behalf of a party in proceedings allocated to the small claims track;

‘costs judge’ means a taxing master of the Senior Courts;

‘Costs Office’ means the Senior Courts Costs Office;

‘costs officer’ means –

(i) a costs judge;

(ii) a District Judge; or

(iii) an authorised court officer;

‘detailed assessment’ means the procedure by which the amount of costs is decided by a costs officer in accordance with Part 47;

‘the Director (legal aid)’ means the person designated as the Director of Legal Aid Casework pursuant to section 4 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 20122, or a person entitled to exercise the functions of the Director;

‘fixed costs’ means costs the amounts of which are fixed by these rules whether or not the court has a discretion to allow some other or no amount, and include –

(i) the amounts which are to be allowed in respect of legal representatives’ charges in the circumstances set out in Section I of Part 45;

(ii) fixed recoverable costs calculated in accordance with rule 45.11;

(iii) the additional costs allowed by rule 45.18;

(iv) fixed costs determined under rule 45.21;

(v) costs fixed by rules 45.37 and 45.38;

‘free of charge’ has the same meaning as in section 194(10) of the 2007 Act;

‘fund’ includes any estate or property held for the benefit of any person or class of person and any fund to which a trustee or personal representative is entitled in that capacity;

‘HMRC’ means HM Revenue and Customs;

‘legal aid’ means civil legal services made available under arrangements made for the purposes of Part 1of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012;

‘paying party’ means a party liable to pay costs;

‘the prescribed charity’ has the same meaning as in section 194(8) of the 2007 Act;

‘pro bono representation’ means legal representation provided free of charge;

‘receiving party’ means a party entitled to be paid costs;

‘summary assessment’ means the procedure whereby costs are assessed by the judge who has heard the case or application;

‘VAT’ means Value Added Tax;

‘the 2007 Act’ means the Legal Services Act 20073.

(‘Legal representative’ has the meaning given in rule 2.3).

(2) The costs to which Parts 44 to 47 apply include –

(a) the following costs where those costs may be assessed by the court –

(i) costs of proceedings before an arbitrator or umpire;

(ii) costs of proceedings before a tribunal or other statutory body; and

(iii) costs payable by a client to their legal representative; and

(b) costs which are payable by one party to another party under the terms of a contract, where the court makes an order for an assessment of those costs.

(3) Where advocacy or litigation services are provided to a client under a conditional fee agreement, costs are recoverable under Parts 44 to 47 notwithstanding that the client is liable to pay the legal representative’s fees and expenses only to the extent that sums are recovered in respect of the proceedings, whether by way of costs or otherwise.

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Court’s discretion as to costs


44.2

(1) The court has discretion as to –

(a) whether costs are payable by one party to another;

(b) the amount of those costs; and

(c) when they are to be paid.

Alex Watts :

(4) In deciding what order (if any) to make about costs, the court will have regard to all the circumstances, including –

(a) the conduct of all the parties;

(b) whether a party has succeeded on part of its case, even if that party has not been wholly successful; and

(c) any admissible offer to settle made by a party which is drawn to the court’s attention, and which is not an offer to which costs consequences under Part 36 apply.

(5) The conduct of the parties includes –

(a) conduct before, as well as during, the proceedings and in particular the extent to which the parties followed the Practice Direction – Pre-Action Conduct or any relevant pre-action protocol;

(b) whether it was reasonable for a party to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue;

(c) the manner in which a party has pursued or defended its case or a particular allegation or issue; and

(d) whether a claimant who has succeeded in the claim, in whole or in part, exaggerated its claim.

Alex Watts :

Therefore the Judge does not have to consider the substnative claim.

Alex Watts :

But if you want the matter to be gone away as a whole then you should pay the Claimants costs

Alex Watts :

But as I said the Claimant may take a view given if they have recovered the substantive claim

Customer:

thankyou

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

Yes, the amount was never disputed, however I was unable to pay because the claimant was insisting on a payment method which I felt put me at risk. At a hearing about directions the judge tried to argue that the person owed the money can make any demands that he felt like in terms of how the money was paid. I stood my ground and the Judge respected that but he said my case was weak. Specifically there was an transfer between the claimant and I in an offshore bank, no UK tax implications. When the claimant asked for the money back he insisted I pay it into a UK bank account. I objected as I felt it could expose me to an accusation of assisting the claimant with tax avoidance and I requested the claimant provide an offshore bankaccount in his name to recieve the return payment

Alex Watts :

Ok -

Customer:

the claimant has tried numerous times to coerce me into paying to offshore banks in other peoples names (not his own) and I objected again because I was not paying the money to the claimant and didn;t know these people and couldnt be expected to trust them

Alex Watts :

Ok -

Alex Watts :

So you agreed you owed it but disagreed on how it was to be paid.

Customer:

The claimants claim is that I am refusing to pay, my defence is that I have offered to pay, I have never refused to pay however I don't agree that putting myself at risk is part of my responsibility

Customer:

Correct

Alex Watts :

Well as I have indicated above if you have paid the principle debt then the only issue is going to be that of costs.

Alex Watts :

The Judge can take conduct into consideration

Customer:

What I need advice on is, did I have defense?

Alex Watts :

No

Alex Watts :

If you accept you owed the money then it makes no difference (Unless it was a contractual term otherwise) whether you wanted to pay over time

Alex Watts :

If there was a contract that stated you could pay over time that is different.

Customer:

Can the claimant insist that pay to whoever, whereever (country) he likes, irrespective of my interests

Customer:

There was no contract

Alex Watts :

If there is not then the default position is that it is owed immediately.

Customer:

timing wasnt the issue

Alex Watts :

Yes, if the debt was owing and no agreement to pay by installments was agreed

Customer:

are you saying "yes" to the question "Can the claimant insist that I pay to whoever, whereever (country) he likes, irrespective of my interests or risks to me?"

Alex Watts :

Give me an example, because I don't understand how someone making a claim for payment can put you at risk

Alex Watts :

You accept you owe the money, is that right?

Customer:

I accept I owe the money , right.

Alex Watts :

Ok. So what is the risk?

Customer:

Example, If I pay the money into the UK and the Claimant does not declare the income, the inland revenue might find the claimant guilty of tax evasion and come after me as an accomplice

Customer:

complicit

Alex Watts :

Well I don't necessarily see that point.

Alex Watts :

But what was the situation in THIS case.

Customer:

I dont understand the last question

Alex Watts :

You gave an example. I am asking what was the reason for refusing to pay in THIS case

Customer:

That was one of them.

Alex Watts :

So because he wanted you to pay money abroad you were worried that he was evading tax?

Alex Watts :

Did you know he would be evading tax?

Customer:

Sort of , because he was repartiating the money I suspected he was evading tax, but I didnt know it, my worry was that if he was accused that I could be also implicated. I felt it was concern with merit and not unreasonable to ask for a safer method

Customer:

He was coercing me to repatriate the money

Alex Watts :

Did you inform HMRC?

Customer:

No

Alex Watts :

Why not, if you suspected he was evading?

Customer:

Its not that he was evading previous, I didn't trust him not to do it with the money from the transaction I was dealing with.

Alex Watts :

Well you wouldnt be implicated.

Customer:

Why

Alex Watts :

So I dont think the argument he may not be paying tax in the UK so that is why I did not pay him, would really be a defence.

Alex Watts :

Because its a matter between HMRC and the claimant. Not you

Customer:

Thats what the judge said

Alex Watts :

There you go then

Customer:

Bother

Alex Watts :

So sadly you need to see if the Claimant takes a view that you have paid and therefore stops the claim

Customer:

Right, thanks

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No, you have been very helpful, thankyou

Alex Watts :

I am sorry its not better news

Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else today?

Customer:

Don't worry about the "sorry", I'd rather have it straight and true

Customer:

No, we're all good thankyou

Alex Watts :

Thank you. If I could invite you to rate my service before you go - the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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