23.09.2010Fearns (t/a “Autopaint International”) v Anglo-Dutch Paint & Chemical Company Ltd & Ors  EWHC 2366 (Ch)
Key issues: High Court, insolvency of party, set-off costs vs damages
This case was concerned with an attempt to set-off costs against damages.
The Claimant won the main action, but had to pay 75% of the Defendant’s costs. However, the Claimant was insolvent and so the Defendant wanted to set off its own payment of damages against its claim for costs. Otherwise, they would not receive any money for their costs.
It was held that such a set-off was allowed under equitable rules of set-off where the awards are closely linked and under what the Court considered was just in the circumstances.
02.09.2010YA(F) v A Local Authority; YA(M); A NHS Trust & A PCT  EWHC 2770 (CoP)
Key areas: Jurisdiction; Human Rights Act; Court of Protection; High Court
This was a claim brought under s. 7(1)(b) Human Rights Act 1998 against the First, Second and Third Defendants in the Court of Protection under s. 15(1)(c) Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The First, Second and Third Defendants submitted that the Court of Protection had no jurisdiction to hear arguments and grant remedies under s. 8(1) HRA 1998, and instead it should be struck out. The Court noted that effect of such a ruling would be that the Claimant would then issue a separate claim in the Queen’s Bench Division on the same facts. The Fourth Defendant did not take part because the hearing id not concern them.
However, the Court rejected such submissions and held that it was correct for the Court of Protection to deal with the matter.
In relation to the costs issues, the Court noted that while the Third Defendant did not take part in the First Defendant’s Application, it would have benefited from it had it been successful.
The Second Defendant’s costs were to be reserved on the basis that he was not directly involved with the Application, and just dealt with legal issues arising therefrom.
The Court then dealt with the issue of who was liable for the Claimant’s costs: was it the First and/or the Third Defendant? It noted that there were competing arguments: the jurisdiction arguments concerned with budgets from different public bodies, but the Defendants’ attempts to have the claim struck out apparently considering what would have happened had the claim been struck out.
As a result, the First and Third Defendants were ordered to pay half of the Claimant’s costs of the Applications with the other half reserved.
Thomas Legal Costs
12 Token House Yard
DX 138752 CHEAPSIDE
18 Park Street
T: 020 7073 2600
F: 020 7073 2955