(1) No order for costs in respect of the costs of the determination on meaning:
Although the Defendant had applied for a determination on capability of the Chase level 1 meaning, the Judge did not have to, and did not, make a ruling that the words complained of were not capable of bearing the meaning attributed to them by the Claimants. What was in fact determined was the actual meaning of the words; a court of action agreed by the parties on the suggestion of the Tugendhat J. Thus, the issue of costs was to be approached as if the hearing had been a trial of meaning as a preliminary issue from the start.
There were benefits to both parties to meaning being determined as a preliminary issue.
Tugendhat J accepted the Defendant’s submission that there was a public interest in discouraging parties from exaggerating their claims, particularly in libel claims where to do so is an interference with defendants’ rights to freedom of expression (as per John v Guardian  EWHC 3066 (QB)). Such discouragement may take the form of a costs order. It would unjust if a defendant who was unsuccessful in a libel claim had to pay the costs of a preliminary issue in which it had successfully obtained a ruling that the claimant has exaggerated his or her claim by overstating the seriousness of the attributed meaning.
An order for costs in the case might also be appropriate in some cases, but to do so in this case would not reflect the fact that the Claimants exaggerated their claims.
Thus no order for costs was the right order in respect of both.
(2) From the handing down of the meaning judgment to the open offer, no order for costs. From the open offer, the Claimants to pay the Defendant’s costs:
As the court had determined that the appropriate order was no order for costs, the Claimants were to pay the Defendant’s costs from the date at which the Defendant made an open offer of no order for costs.