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FOIL calls for fixed costs in costs-only cases
Did nobody think to point out that the costs of assessment are limited (unless the costs escape provisional assessment) to £1,500 plus court fees in any event?

The costs consequences of issuing "costs only" proceedings are not, as apparently argued by FOIL, "very significant". The court fee is £50 and the procedure is straightforward - simply a mechanism to get an Order for payment of costs pursuant to which a Notice of Commencement can be served, and ought to take no more than 30 minutes of anybody's time. They should add no more than about £150 per case to the costs of assessment, at most.

The most significant submission made by FOIL in my opinion is this : "data provided by defendant firm Taylor Rose TTKW showed that 18% of otherwise unlitigated claims in the last year attracted costs-only proceedings. Of them, nearly half (46%) settled at that stage".

"Costs only" proceedings become necessary when the parties have arrived at an impasse which can only be resolved by the court. But if nearly half of the claims where "costs only" proceedings are issued settle "at that stage", it would suggest that the defendants are making pre issue offers that are not quite as "final" as they might lead you to believe!
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