The dangers of incorrectly identifying a defendant or failing to add or substitute a defendant were highlighted in Engeham v London and Quadrant Housing Trust and Another. Originally it was thought that London and Quadrant were likely to be the negligent party and a CFA was entered into that covered the claim against them as defendant. Subsequently another party named APL was identified and the proceedings settled with APL agreeing to pay damages and costs.

When a bill was served APL took two points of principle, one of which was that the retainer was limited to the action against London & Quadrant. The court below had held that the wording of the CFA “Your claim against the defendants London & Quadrant” could not include an action against anybody else. The claimant did not challenge this on appeal, a decision of which Floyd LJ said “I consider she was right to do so”. It followed that nothing could be recovered in costs in so far as her claim against APL was concerned and the only costs which could be payable were those relating to her action against London & Quadrant.