27.07.2016Novus Aviation Ltd. v Alubaf Arab International Bank BSC(C)  EWHC 1937 (Comm)
Key areas: Basis of assessment; Part 36 offer; High Court
This was a ruling on issues arising from a judgment in the Claimant’s favour, including costs. At trial, the Claimant had been awarded US$5,430,924 (£4,117,114).
In October 2014, the Claimant made a Part 36 offer to settle for £3,775,272 (including interest), and so the Claimant submitted that it was entitled to Indemnity Basis costs from the date the offer expired, along with enhanced interest and the additional sum of £75,000.
The Defendant submitted that the offer was not beat because it referred to it being 75% of the claim. The Court rejected this stating that this was simply to advertise the value of the offer.
The Defendant also submitted that the offer was only “beat” due to the change in exchange rates since the offer was made. The Court noted that at the time the US$/£ rate was £1:US$1.68, while it is currently £1:US$1.31, a 22% drop. At the time the offer was made, it was equivalent to US$6,342,457, which is more than the offer. The Court noted that the drop was due to the effect of the UK’s referendum on whether it should be a member of the EU, and had judgment been handed down before then the Claimant would have beaten its offer.
As a result, the Claimant was only awarded costs on the Standard Basis.
25.07.2016Various Claimants v MGN Ltd.  EWHC 1894 (Ch)
Key areas: CFA; ATE; success fee; costs budgets; High Court
This was a ruling in a Costs Management Hearing in a privacy case.
The Defendant’s Budget had been agreed, but the Claimants’ had not. The parties had agreed that there should be separate budget for “common costs” and those specific to the individual Claimants.
The ruling itself related to claims for additional liabilities. The Defendant submitted that they should form part of the Budgeting, the Claimants that they should fall outside.
The Defendant submitted that as they will form part of any ruling on proportionality, they should also be taken into account when dealing with budgeting.
The Defendant also submitted that the Claimants had conceded this point in a previous interim hearing, and so there was an estopple argument. The Court rejected this stating that there was no force behind the statements.
The Court held that the Practice Direction was clear as to what should be excluded from Budgets, and the exclusions specified additional liabilities. It also held that there were practical issues in determining additional liabilities at the Budgeting stage.
As a result, the Court held that additional liabilities do not form of costs budgeting.
07.07.2016Merchant International Company Ltd. v Natsionalna Aktsionerna Kompaniia Naftogaz Ukrainy (Rev 1)  EWCA Civ 710
Key areas: security for costs; Court of Appeal
This was an application for a condition that permission to appeal only be granted if security for costs was made.
In 2011 the Respondent was ordered to pay US$24.7 million. The ruling is under appeal.
The Court held that it would be difficult to enforce a judgment against the Respondent; that it has failed to comply with the terms of an order; it had been previously held it would “delay meeting its dues”; and that it would seek to dispose of its assets.
As a result the Respondent was ordered to pay US$28.5 million to be able to proceed with its appeal.
01.07.2016Purrunsing v A’Court & Co (a firm); House Owners Conveyancers Ltd.  EWHC 1528 (Ch)
Key areas: Part 36 offer; Basis of assessment; High Court
This was a ruling on costs issues arising from a trial. The Claimant won against both Defendants.
The First Defendant submitted that there should be a reduction in the costs due to issues being abandoned a week before trial. The Court dismissed this saying that it made very little overall difference.
The Claimant then submitted that he should be entitled to Indemnity Basis costs as he made a Part 36 offer for £516,000 including interest and was awarded a total of £518,983.01. The Court held that interest should be excluded from the judgment sum, and as there were no other factors, costs were to be assessed on the Standard Basis.
01.07.2016Surrey v Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC 1598 (QB)
Key areas: ATE; CFA; success fee; Simmons v Castle; High Court
This appeal was to determine 3 separate cases where the funding changed from legal aid to CFA & ATE shortly before the Jackson Report reforms came into effect.
In each case the Claimant was inadvertently not advised that they would lose the Simmons v Castle 10% damages increase if they changed funding.
After considering the facts of the respective cases, the Court held that it was wrong to disallow the ATE and success fees, and the Simmons bonus was only a minor factor in the overall settlement.
The Court also that in future cases involving the Simmons bonus, it should only look into the funding where there is a genuine issue.
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