Proportionality is at the forefront of all litigation following the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). The aim is to achieve a just result with appropriate speed and expense. The overriding objective, covered under CPR 1.1 requires Courts to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost.  When working out proportionality, the Courts will consider the amount of money involved, the complexity of the issues, the importance of the case and the financial position of all parties.


Under CPR costs which are disproportionate may be disallowed or reduced even if they were reasonably or necessarily incurred.

Should a claim fall within the small claims track thereby amounting to the value of £10,000.00 or less, under CPR 27.14(2) legal costs may not be recoverable or limited in recoverability.  Such fees are limited under the CPR Part 45, unless it can be shown that the other party has behaved so unreasonably that it would be appropriate for the Court to do so (CPR Part 27.14(2)(g)) but note that the test for unreasonableness is subject to judicial discretion.  You should, therefore, always consider the cost proportionality before considering issuing Court proceedings.  It may be that mediation may be a more cost-effective way of recovering monies owed whilst also maintaining a reasonable relationship with the other party.


We try to ensure that our clients’ costs are proportionate to the case in hand.


If you want to know more please call us on 01202 877400 or email

Fiona Pawsey
Article by Fiona Pawsey
Fiona has been practicing family law for over 12 years initially as a Legal Executive and then subsequently as a solicitor. Fiona is a trained collaborative solicitor, as well as a Resolution Panel Member. She is experienced in advising clients going through divorce or family breakdown, including financial settlements and disputes over children, in particular complex contact and residence issues. In addition to family law Fiona also deals with litigation, property transactions and residential Conveyancing

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