31.07.2012AAA v Associated Newspapers Ltd.  EWHC 2224 (QB)
Key areas: both parties win some issues; High Court
This was a claim for costs arising from a libel claim.
The Claimant had been awarded £15,000.00 – beating the Defendant’s offer of £2,500.00 – but had failed in an application for an injunction, as well as failing to obtain damages in two of three claims, which took up the majority of the case.
Overall, the court held that the Defendant had managed to win the majority of the case, as so was awarded 80% of its costs.
20.07.2012Mengi v Hermitage  EWHC 2045 (QB)
Key areas: security for costs; success fee; CFA; High Court
This was an application by the Defendant against an Order that the Claimant – who lives outside of jurisdiction – had to give security of £610,500.00.
The Defendant had previously estimated costs at £1.04 million + VAT + success fee; the Claimant’s were estimated at £1.24 million.
The Defendant acted on a CFA with a 100% success fee and submitted that the Judge should have taken this into account when determining the amount of security. The Court agreed, given the amount which the Claimant’s own non-CFA costs totalled.
It also ordered that security for the Claimant’s full budget be paid.
19.07.2012Hawksford Trustees Jersey Ltd. v Stella Global UK Ltd. & Anor  EWCA Civ 987
Key areas: ATE; Court of Appeal
This was a decision to determine costs resulting from an unsuccessful appeal.
The Appellants accepted that they were liable for the Respondent’s costs, but disputed the use of ATE, because it was obtained 1 day before trial.
The ATE premium was £394,638 against Respondent’s costs of £63,650 and Appellants’ costs of £68,502.
The Appellant submitted that the ATE was irrecoverable because it covered costs in both the appeal and below, but was only taken out for the appeal.
The Respondent submitted that s. 29 Access to Justice Act 1999 should be given a flexible meaning, because a party may end up being liable for the costs of the appeal and below. In addition, it submitted that ATE could not be obtained for the original trial, and in any event is not a reason for it to be awarded its costs of successfully defeating an appeal.
LJ Patten held that the Respondent was entitled to claim the costs of the ATE in principle.
However, LJ Rix and LJ Etherton agreed with the Appellant because the premium covered costs from the main action as well as those from the appeal.
17.07.2012Eagle Ltd. v Falcon Ltd.  EWHC 2261 (TCC)
Key areas: security for costs; High Court
This was an application by the Defendant for security for costs. Originally £295,000 was requested, then £610,000, which finally increased to £757,108.45.
The Defendant submitted that it was justified due to the Claimant’s financial status. The Claimant submitted that while it may look insolvent if its assets are looked at, in cash-flow terms it was solvent, and that it would be able to call on its own debtors should it need to satisfy any costs order.
The Court held that the Claimant would be unable to fulfil any costs order. In addition, it held that the guarantee from its parent company was of no real help given the status of the other related companies.
However, the Court did not that the Defendant’s costs figures were “exaggerated”, and that its figures had been “wildly fluctuating”.
In the circumstances, the Court held that security of £295,000 should be allowed.
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