Optical Express Ltd and others v Associated Newspapers Ltd

Costs – Order for costs. In all the circumstances of the claimants' libel claim, it would be unjust to make the normal orders upon the claimants' late acceptance of a Pt 36 offer. The Queen's Bench Division held, amongst other things, that the claimants' delay in providing an elaboration of their case on quantum had led to the defendants submitting the Pt 36 offer on a date significantly later than could have been the case had the claimants not delayed. It was legitimate to describe the claimants' conduct as highly unreasonable and such as to justify an order for assessment on the indemnity basis and the claimants had forfeited their right to the benefit of a proportionate assessment of the defendant's costs. The parties' costs would be set off against one another. However, a delay in the payment of the damages would not be delayed.

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