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Another decision illustrating the result of refusing to mediate. In this case the Claimants lost their case on every substantive issue, but argued that there should be no order for costs. The Defendant had not responded to the letter of claim and concentrated on preparing for trial, ignoring offers to mediate. The Judge applied the Halsey principles, decided that there was a reasonable chance that ADR would have succeeded and only awarded 2/3 of the defendants’ costs. This is yet another decision indicating that if mediation is refused then a costs penalty may be applied.

Coventry v Lawrence (No 2) [2014] UKSC 46

This nuisance claim got completely out of hand , leaving the defendants who operated a speedway track to pay 60% of the trial costs, totalling £640,000. The argument has now moved on to the question of the recoverability of the CFA uplift under the old costs rules. The case was recently heard in the Court of Appeal, involving over 20 barristers and 7 judges, arguing about the legitimacy of the old costs rules under EU human rights legislation. Clearly, all of this could have been avoided if the parties had not racked up such a high level of costs in the first place.