In Handley and another v Lake Jackson Solicitors & others  EWCA Civ 465, the Court of Appeal considered the correct destination for an appeal where (1) there had been an appeal to the County Court which had been determined or withdrawn, (2) the County Court had made or refused to make a costs order in respect of the appeal and (3) what was sought to be appealed included the order in respect of costs.
In summary, the Court provided this guidance:
- If the County Court judge has heard the appeal and ruled on the issues determined by the district judge (including the validity or otherwise of the claims, the relief to be granted and the costs of the hearing before the district judge), any appeal will lie only to the Court of Appeal. Permission must be sought from the Court of Appeal and the second appeal test will apply.
- In respect of the costs of the appeal to the County Court, any appeal will lie to the Court of Appeal.
- It would be open to the County Court judge to grant permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of the costs of the appeal to the County Court and the normal test for permission will apply. It would also be open to the Court of Appeal to grant permission applying the same test.
- If there has not been what can properly be regarded as a hearing of the appeal, any appeal (which is almost certainly to be one on costs) is to the High Court judge and the normal test will apply.