|A peak (not to be|
confused with an IPEC)
Both the IPEC and STS offer streamlined procedure and a fixed term for trial. IPEC is only concerned with claims which have an IP element where the value is under £500,000 and the issues are sufficiently simple that they can be resolved within a two day trial. The STS is potentially available to all courts situated in the Rolls Building i.e. Chancery (which includes IP), Commercial, Technology and Construction, Admiralty and Mercantile courts. The STS does not have a damages cap but the case must be straightforward enough to be heard in four days (including reading time).
The streamlining process includes limiting the number of witnesses, amount of disclosure (i.e. discovery), docketing of judges and, where possible applications which are decided on the papers rather than at a hearing. In the IPEC, simpler claims can be decided without a hearing at all.
|New life can grow in court(yards)|
Meanwhile, the IPEC has a series of costs caps for each stage of the proceedings plus an overall costs cap of £50,000. There have been various attempts to allow for costs outside this £50,000, most notably in Henderson v All Around the World  EWPCC 19 (27 March 2013) re the ATE insurance premium (at that time recoverable from the other side) and OOO Abbott v Design & Display Limited  EWHC 3234 (IPEC) (10 October 2014) re costs on the indemnity basis from the period after the Relevant Period for the Part 36 offer has expired at .
In both instances, the court held that both ATE premiums and indemnity costs were subject to the costs cap. This reduced the value of Part 36 offers in the IPEC and, arguably, made it harder to settle cases.
|The other side of the|
Part 36 rainbow
- where fixed costs are intended to prevail over Part 36, the civil procedures explicitly say so ; and
- if there was any doubt, the court is entitled to refer to the Explanatory Memorandum which states that, if a claimant makes a successful Part 36 offer, "the claimant will not be limited to receiving his fixed costs, but will be entitled to costs assessed on the indemnity basis..." .