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The Cost of “Repeated & Brazen” Refusal!

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The Court has long encouraged parties to be sensible and deal with matters without proceedings being issued if possible.

In a case (Sportcal Global Communications and Another –v- Liflin) heard in January an employer was, unusually, granted the costs of an application for disclosure and delivery or property at an interim hearing, rather than those costs waiting until the outcome of the actual case (which can be many months if not longer later).

The High Court took note of the Defendant’s approach in correspondence before the application for an injunction was made. The Defendant had repeatedly refused to entertain all steps taken by the Claimant to avoid going to Court.  It was “obvious” that the Order would be given when the proceedings were ultimately heard and the Court was aware that the Defendant had not complied with several other Court Orders along the way.

The Defendant was criticised for “repeatedly and brazenly” refusing to get on and disclose the documents that he needed to and yet as soon as proceedings were issued he backed down really quickly and ultimately agreed to provide the information, and the argument went forward in relation to costs.

This is a lesson for litigants not to put off the inevitable, and to engage (as painful as it might be) with the other side to move the case forward, rather than any particularly battle along the way.

The Court will not hesitate to penalise what they consider to be inappropriate behaviour (especially at the current time when resources are so tight) and this is good news for sensible Claimants who give several opportunities to reluctant parties to comply with reasonable requests, because going to Court can be expensive and it can be encouraging to know that there is a greater chance of recovering costs incurred just to get information out of the other side that you are entitled to along the way.

In modern litigation knowing the area of costs is a huge part of the very real considerations that any party approaching a lawyer must be satisfied about.

Wilson Browne Solicitors have a proud history of advising on costs in technical commercial cases, in several jurisdictions, and are always ready to have a free chat to discuss various options.

Kevin Rogers

Posted:

Kevin Rogers

Partner

Kevin is a Partner in our Commercial Litigation Team, Chairman of our Board of Management and leads our Commercial Business Unit, with responsibility for the overall supervision of the Commercial Teams’ work. Having qualified as a Solicitor in 2001, he advises on complex commercial disputes…