O’Beirne v Hudson  EWCA Civ 52
The Claimant was injured in a minor RTA. Proceedings were issued and a disposal hearing date was fixed. However, the matter settled for £400 general damages and £719.06 for hire charges. The consent order provided for costs to be assessed on the standard basis.
At assessment, the Defendant argued that the matter would have been allocated to the small claims track and therefore costs should be assessed as so. This claim was rejected by the District Judge.
On appeal the decision was reversed with it being inferred that the District Judge could assess costs by reference to the small claims track regime.
The Claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal. It was held that in making an assessment, the Costs Judge was entitled to take into account all the circumstances including the fact that the case would almost certainly have been allocated to a small claims track had the matter been allocated. The test was whether it was reasonable for the paying party to pay more than would have been recoverable in a case that should have been allocated to the small claims track. The appeal was dismissed.