18.09.2014Marley v Rawlings & Anor (Rev 1)  UKSC 51
Key areas: costs indemnified by a third party; Probate; Supreme Court
This was a hearing to determine costs arising from a dispute over two Wills.
The dispute arose over the fact that the solicitors who prepared the Wills had mistakenly had each Will signed by the wrong person. The Supreme Court held that the intention was that the Wills were to be validly signed, and so allowed the appeal.
The Appellant submitted that the Respondent should therefore pay his costs. The Solicitors agreed with this submission. The Respondent stated that the costs should come out of the Estate, or be paid by the Solicitors.
The Court noted that both costs arguments were entirely justified: that the loser pays; or that costs from a Will dispute are generally paid by the Estate.
It also stated that the litigation arose from the solicitors’ negligence, but noted the Insurers’ position that they had not duty to the Respondents, who, in any event, chose to fight the case.
However, the Court rejected this saying that the solicitors’ actions led to the case, and ordered the solicitors to pay all of the Appellant’s costs. the Solicitors were also ordered to pay the Respondent’s profit costs up to the Court of Appeal; as well as all disbursements, and Counsel’s base fees for the Supreme Court.
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