By Rebecca Livesey

In County Courts around the country over the past year, it has become ‘fashionable’ to argue over the meaning of the word “proceedings” in CPR r.44.13. The essential question is whether a Defendant, by virtue of bringing a counterclaim including personal injury, is afforded QOCS protection against the Claimant such that any orders for costs made against him cannot be enforced. There are currently two contradictory cases on this point.

The first case in time is Ketchion v McEwan, which came before Judge Freedman in Newcastle, where the Claimant sought to appeal against a District Judge’s refusal of permission to enforce a costs order against the Defendant. The District Judge held that the word “proceedings” in CPR r.44.13 referred to the whole of the matter before him, claim and counterclaim.