22.09.2011In the Matter of Annacott Holdings Ltd. (Attwood v Maidment; Maidment; Attwood); In the Matter of Tobian Properties Ltd. (Maidment v Attwood; Heard; Tobian Properties Ltd.)  EWHC 3180 (Ch)
Key areas: liability for costs; party’s conduct; High Court
In the main action, the first Petition was successful, but the second was unsuccessful.
As a result, it was held that Attwood (the Petitioner in the first case and Respondent in the second case), and Heard were entitled to their costs.
The unsuccessful party in each set of proceedings (Mr. Maidment) submitted that an order for costs at this stage would be too soon because the proceedings were on-going.
The Court dismissed these submissions, but accepted that it would not be possible to determine what costs related to which set of proceedings, and so one Order should be made in relation to both sets.
However, it accepted that Attwood was “an unreliable witness”, but so too was Mr. Maidment.
Mr. Maidment submitted that Attwood did not issue a Letter Before Action, but the Court held that it would not have made any difference.
As a result, of his conduct, while Attwood was awarded his costs in both sets of proceedings, the Court ordered that they be assessed on the Standard Basis.
It also held that Miss Maidment Heard was only involved in the proceedings due to being the only other shareholder, and her only significant involvement was to defend against accusations made by Attwood, and so she should not be liable for any of his costs.
16.09.2011R (on the application of B) v The Chief Constable of the Derbyshire Constabulary  EWHC 2362 (Admin)
Key areas: Judicial Review; High Court
This was a Judicial Review against the Defendant in relation to an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate.
The Review was unsuccessful and so the Defendant was entitled to its costs.
The Claimant submitted that they should only be liable for 50% of the costs because the Certificate was issued without the Claimant being able to make representations; and the Defendant contacted his employer without notice.
The Defendant submitted that these issues were not subject to the proceedings, as have human rights issues and challenges to the certificate itself.
The Court agreed with the Defendant, and held that costs should be awarded in the usual way, i.e. the Defendant is entitled to their costs on the Standard Basis.
13.09.2011Ashendon & Jones v UK – 35730/07  ECHR 1323
Key areas: Human Rights; defence costs; European Court of Human Rights
The Claimants in this matter had been found innocent of separate crimes but were refused their costs.
It was submitted that this was a violation of Art. 6.2 in relation to their presumption of innocence.
The First Claimant submitted that the Trial Judge did not give any reasons why he was not awarded his costs; that there was no suggestion that he had misled the Prosecution as to the strength of the case against him and, in fact, he had fully co-operated with them. He had been charged with burglary, rape (by penile penetration), rape (by digital penetration), and sexual assault. At trial, the Prosecution did not any evidence in relation to the first charge; while he has acquitted in relation to the other charges.
The Second Claimant had been unable to answer any questions when first interviewed but had been acquitted by the Jury.
In relation to the First Claimant, the UK submitted that the Judge’s comments suggested that he brought the proceedings upon himself, due to his conduct, and so the refusal of costs was justified.
As for the Second Claimant, the UK submitted that costs were refused because she had not co-operated at an early stage.
The Court agreed with the UK in relation to both Claimants that they had caused extra costs to be incurred due to their actions.
The Second Claimant also submitted that there had been a breach of Art. 8, over the right to privacy. This too was rejected as there was no connection between privacy and refusal of legal costs.
The First Claimant also submitted that there had been a breach of Art. 13, over a lack of a right of appeal. The Court stated that this was “manifestly ill-founded”, based on its previous case of Yassar Hussain v UK (8866/04, § 19, ECHR 2006 III).
08.09.2011Camertown Timber Merchants Ltd. and Bhullar v Sidhu and Kas & Co. Ltd.  EWCA Civ 1041
Key areas: party’s conduct; no order for costs; Court of Appeal
This was an appeal by the Claimants against a judgment in their favour of £16,378.02, against a claim of claimed approximately £71,000.00, but that there should be no order as to costs.
At first instance, the Judge held that “neither of the protagonists witnesses in whom I could repose great confidence”, which on appeal was held to be giving both parties “short shrift”.
On appeal it was held that the Judge’s refusal of costs – based on the parties’ conduct – was “unassailable” and that he was “fully entitled to say, in effect, ‘A plague on both your houses’”.
The Appeal was therefore dismissed.
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