26.03.2014Newland Shipping & Forwarding Ltd. v Toba Trading FZC  EWHC 864 (Comm)
Key areas: Part 36 offer; Basis of assessment; High Court
In the main action, the Claimant was awarded US$334,967.44, and the Defendant was awarded US$2,495,592.60 for its counter-claim.
The Defendant submitted that it was entitled to all of its costs in both actions, less 15%. The Claimant submitted that it was entitled to all of its costs in both actions, and because it beat its own CPR 36 offer – which also covered a separate action – was entitled to Indemnity Basis from its expiry.
The Court noted that the Claimant’s claim was more complex and involved more work than the Defendant’s counter-claim, and stated that if not for the Part 36 offer the Claimant would be ordered to pay 50% of the Defendant’s costs.
The Court held that it was “impossible” to say if the Claimant beat its own offer, and noted that CPR 36.14 didn’t cover this situation, and in any event it would be unjust to award Indemnity Basis costs from the date it expired to the end. However, the Court did hold that it was a valid offer and ordered the Defendant to pay the Claimant’s costs on the Indemnity Basis to apply until the date that the Claimant obtained a (subsequently-overturned) default judgment.
21.03.2014Xhosa Office Rentals Ltd. v Multi High Tech PCB Ltd.; Hortsmann; Hortsmann  EWHC 1286 (QB)
Key areas: third party contribution; High Court
This was an application to add a third party to proceedings for costs purposes.
The third party was the sole shareholder of the Claimant, which had been ordered to pay the Defendants’ costs. He also funded the claim, and gave the Claimant’s only evidence.
The Defendants submitted that the Claimant was the third party, and the claim was for his own personal benefit.
The Court agreed and ordered the third party to be added to the claim.
20.03.2014Lakatamia Shipping Co Ltd. v Su  EWHC 796 (Comm)
Key areas: party’s conduct; High Court
This hearing was to determine costs from an application.
The Defendant had disclosed documents, albeit the Court noted “15 minutes” late.
The Claimant then resisted the application for relief from sanction, which led to a half-day hearing.
The Court held that the Defendant was to pay the costs of issuing the application and preparing witness statements, as well as some of the costs of the hearing itself, but the “bulk” of the costs were to be paid by the Claimant.
19.03.2014Apex Global Management Ltd.; Almhairat v FI Call Ltd.; Global Torch Ltd.; Prince Abdulaziz Al Saud; Abu-Ayshih; Prince Mishal Al Saud  EWHC 779 (Ch)
Key areas: security for costs; High Court
The Second and Fourth Defendants applied for security for costs against the Claimants of £2 million, and would be willing to pay security too. The Claimants made a cross-application that no party should have to make a security.
The Court held that the First Claimant had removed assets from jurisdiction to prevent an order being made; and that the Second Claimant had also done this, on the basis that he was the sole shareholder.
The Claimants submitted that the Second Claimant was simply a nominal claimant, and the cross-claim makes security inappropriate.
The Court agreed that the Second Claimant was a claimant in name only, and so no costs were now being incurred due to him.
On the facts, given the close-nature of the claim and counter-claim, the Court held that it was not appropriate to order a security.
10.03.2014Haynes v Department for Business Innovation And Skills  EWHC 643_2 (QB)
Key areas: apportionment of costs; High Court
This was an appeal against a ruling that the Eight Defendant only be liable for costs relating to them and one-tenth of the common costs.
The Claimant made a Part 36 offer for £18,000 to the Eighth Defendant (out of a total claim of £195,000), which was accepted. Given the nature of the claim, liability could only be several, not joint.
The claims against the other Defendants were abandoned, before proceedings were served.
The Claimant served a bill for £58,097.31 and submitted that she was entitled to all of her incurred costs, and that they should not be split-up between the various Defendants. The Defendant submitted that it should only be liable for costs relating to it, because of the servable nature of the claim.
On a Provisional Assessment, the Court agreed with the Eighth Defendant. This was upheld at an oral hearing. The Court also rejected an application for a Detailed Assessment, given the value of the Bill.
On appeal, the Claimant submitted that the Part 36 offer was to settle the whole claim, and so costs could be claimed in relation to all Defendants. The Defendant submitted that the offer did not comply with CPR 36.
The Court held that the Claimant’s offer “probably did not comply” with Part 36, but the Defendant did not raise an issue at the time, and cannot use it as an argument at this stage.
However, it agreed that if the claim was a multi-party claim, a Defendant would not realistically be ordered to pay costs relating to other Defendants.
On the non-specific costs, the Claimant submitted that costs which would have been incurred no matter what, e.g. court fees, should be payable by the Eighth Defendant. The Eighth Defendant submitted that these too should usually be split. The Court agreed with the Claimant on this issue, and remitted the case back to determine the non-specific costs, which the Eighth Defendant was to pay in full.
The Claimant was also awarded one-third of costs of the appeal and hearings below.
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