Allen v Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Another: ChD 18 Mar 2011

Further applications in defendant’s application for summary judgment and or security for costs in the claimant’s claim alleging copyright infringement.
Held: The claimant was ordered to pay a sum of andpound;50,000 as security for costs.
Kitchin J summarised the principles: ‘(i) the court has jurisdiction under rule 24.6 to make an order which is tantamount to an order for security for costs;
(ii) that jurisdiction extends to requiring someone advancing an unpromising claim to secure the defendant’s costs;
(iii) before ordering security for costs in any case, the court should be alert and sensitive to the risk that by making such an order it may be denying the party concerned a right of access to the court; whether or not the person concerned has raised or can raise the money will always be a prime consideration;
(iv) the court has a wide discretion to ensure that justice is done in any particular case;
(v) relevant considerations, besides the ability of the person to pay, include his conduct of the proceedings and the apparent strength of his case;
(vi) a party only becomes amenable to an adverse order for security under rule 3 once he can be seen either regularly to be flouting proper court procedures or orders or otherwise has demonstrated a want of good faith, that is to say a will to litigate a genuine claim or defence as economically as reasonably possible in accordance with the overriding objective;
(vii) likewise, an order for security for costs would not be appropriate in every case where a party appears to have a somewhat weak claim or defence;
(viii) exorbitant applications for summary judgment in misguided attempts to obtain conditional orders providing security for costs are not to be encouraged;
(ix) the occasions when security for costs is ordered solely because the case appears weak may be expected to be few and far between;
(x) it would be wrong to encourage litigants to regard rule 3.1 as providing a convenient means of circumventing the requirements of Part 25 and thereby providing a less demanding route to obtaining security for costs. When the court is asked to consider making an order under rule 3.1(3) or 3.1(5) which is or amounts to an order for security for costs or when it considers doing so of its own motion it should bear in mind the principles underlying rules 25.12 and 25.13. In my judgment the court should also bear this principle in mind when considering whether to make a conditional order under rule 24.6.’


Kitchin J


[2011] EWHC 770 (Ch), [2011] FSR 22, [2011] FSR 22




Civil Procedure Rules 3 24.6


England and Wales


See AlsoAllen v Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Another ChD 14-Oct-2010
The claimant sought damages alleging breach of copyright by the defendant author saying she had copied large parts of the claimant’s work in her book ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’. The defendant now sought summary judgment, saying the action . .
CitedOlakunle O Olatawura v Alexander O Abiloye CA 17-Jul-2002
The claimant challenged an order requiring him to give security for costs before proceeding. The judge had felt he was unreasonable in the way he was pursuing his claim. He appealed saying the order was made outside the scope of Part 25.
Held: . .
CitedHuscroft v P and O Ferries Ltd CA 21-Dec-2010
Second appeal against order requiring sum for security for costs to be paid into court and in default for the claim to be struck out.
Held: The Court considered its jurisdiction to make an order for security for costs under rule 3.1 and, . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromAllen v Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd and Another CA 14-Jul-2011
The claimant appealed against an order requiring him to deposit a substantial sum as security for costs for the bringing of his action for copyright infringement in respect of the Harry Potter series of books.
Held: The appeal failed. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Costs, Intellectual Property

Updated: 04 September 2022; Ref: scu.431281