I am grateful to Anton Smith of Ashton Bond Gigg Solicitors for sending me details of the decision of Mr Registrar Jones In Brooks & Willetts (liquidators or Robin Hood Centre Plc) -v- Armstrong 2015 EWHC 2289 (Ch) a copy of which is attached to the blog Approved Judgment Robin Hood 6.10.15 (2)
“If an Applicant presents a largely misconceived claim with an unattainable quantum, it can be unfair to criticise the Respondent for failing to settle and for adopting an intransigent approach.”
“A wholly different approach might have been adopted if the claim had originally been drawn to its proper scale with regard to the bases for the amount claimed, the quantum and the costs involved. It is to be borne in mind when considering conduct that the Respondents were facing a claim with costs on a conditional fee basis which would be potentially ruinous”
- The applicant liquidators claimed £701,000 in damages.
- They received £35,000 at trial.
- The losses claimed were found to be “wrong and wholly unrealistic”.
- The liquidators had incurred an ATE premium of £106,000 and third party funding of £20,000.
- There was a 100% mark up on all fees and the total costs claimed by the applicant was approximately £1.1 million.
- The liquidators sought their costs on an indemnity basis.
- In fact no costs were awarded to either party.
The Registrar made no order for costs. He declined to make an issue based order.
“16. Based upon all the matters above, I do not think it right or indeed proportionate to order assessment based upon issues won and lost. I therefore reach my decision adopting an overview of the case as a whole taking into account and balancing all the specific points dealt with above. In my judgment there should be “no order” as to costs to reflect the outcome and approach of the parties and to achieve justice. That decision applies the overriding objective and reaches a proportionate result.”
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