In the recent case of Mendes v Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd  [2016] EWHC 976 (QB), Mr Justice Coulson ruled that a Claimant could recover trial advocacy fees under Table 6B in CPR 45 when a claim settled on the day of the hearing, before the trial was heard.

At the initial hearing, the Recorder had allowed the Claimant £2,655 plus 20% of the damages, which was the applicable amount of fixed costs under either sections B (when the matter settles before trial) or C (when the matter settles at trial) of Table 6B, but ruled that the trial advocacy fee could not be claimed, because the claim had been settled before it was called and had, thus, been settled before a final contested hearing had begun.

Allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Coulson ruled that the matter has been disposed of at trial (albeit by way of a settlement) and therefore fixed costs should be awarded under section C of Table 6B, which made provision for the trial advocacy fee. In rejecting the Respondent’s argument that the trial advocacy fee was for advocacy alone, Mr Justice Coulson stated that this sought to make “an artificial distinction between preparation of advocacy and attendance at trial, on the one hand, and actual performance of advocacy, on the other”.