Contract

Recovery Of Costs Pursuant To A Contractual Entitlement

In this short judgment Mr Christopher Hancock QC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) confirmed the position where a party has a contractual entitlement to costs. 

security for costs

Higher Level Of Security For Costs Based Upon A Potential Award Of Indemnity Costs Declined

The defendants in this anti-competition and breach of contract case sought security for costs against the claimant.

The claimant agreed with D4-D8 to provide security for 65% of their incurred and anticipated costs. However, D4-D8 sought security at a higher level than this based upon a potential award of indemnity costs given the “wide ranging and serious allegations of impropriety, which may include deceit”.

The defendants’ case was based largely on the decisions in Danilina v Chernukhin [2018] EWHC 2503 (Comm) (which we reported on here) and Re Ingenious Litigation [2020] EWHC 235 (Ch). In both cases the court awarded security at 75%.

BXB v (1) WATCH TOWER & BIBLE TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANNIA

Failure To Engage In ADR And Indemnity Costs, Again

Another decision on indemnity costs arising from a failure to mediate.

DSN v Blackpool Football Club Ltd (Rev 1) [2020] EWHC 670 (QB)

Another Failure To Mediate And An Award Of Indemnity Costs

Having beaten his own offer at trial the Claimant was awarded indemnity costs under CPR 36.17(4)(b) from 21 days after the date on which it was made.

The Claimant also claimed indemnity costs on a broader basis and for a longer period by reason of the Defendant’s failure to engage in settlement discussions. or contemplate any form of ADR.

Lejonvarn v Burgess & Anor [2020] EWCA Civ 114

Speculative Claims, Indemnity Costs And The Effect Of An Approved Costs Budget

Following the dismissal of all claims by the High Court in this construction dispute, and an award of costs on the standard basis to the appellant (defendant), the Court of Appeal had to determine three issues, namely:

a) Whether it was a case in which the respondents’ pursuit of what were said to be “speculative, weak, opportunistic or thin claims” could properly be described as out of the norm such as to warrant an order for indemnity costs.

b) Whether the respondents’ failures to accept and subsequently to beat the appellant’s Part 36 offer, made at a very early stage in the proceedings, also meant (either separately or taken cumulatively with the pursuit of these particular claims) that an order for indemnity costs was warranted.

c) The relevance, if any, of the fact that the appellant’s approved costs budget was said to be £415,000, but that any assessment on the indemnity basis would start at the appellant’s actual costs figure of not less than £724, 265.

Knight & Anor v Knight & Ors (Costs) [2019] EWHC 1545 (Ch)

A costs-inclusive “Part 36 Offer” is NOT a Part 36 Offer

This was another in a line of cases which confirms that a Part 36 Offer cannot contain any provision as to costs. Disagreeing with Hildyard J in Proctor & Gamble Co v Svenska Celluslosa HHJ Paul Matthewsheld that he was bound by the Court of Appeal decisions in Mitchell v James and French v Groupama, neither of which had been cited to Hildyard J, that no term as to costs should be included in a Part 36 offer, even if to the benefit of the offeror.

Mussell & Anor v Patience & Anor [2019] EWHC 1231 (Ch)

A short judgment looking at trust and estate costs principles

Following proceedings for an account by the claimants as executors of what they had done with the deceased’s estate HJJ Matthews ordered that defendant do pay 80% of the claimant’s costs. He was then asked to decide whether the claimants should be entitled to an indemnity for the remaining 20% balance from the estate. Concluding that whilst they had lost on some issues the claimants had not behaved improperly or unreasonably and in accordance with section 31 of the Trustee Act 2000 (applied to executors by section 35) and CPR Part 46 Practice Direction, paragraph 1 they were entitled to such an indemnity.

get your order right

Get Your Order Right!

On appeal against decisions made in the course of a in the Senior Courts Costs Office Mrs Justice Yip found (amongst other things) that the Deputy Master had been wrong to go behind the strict wording of the order for costs in order to give effect to what she believed the maker of the order had intended, rather than to what it actually said.