Fitzhugh Gates (A Firm) v Claudia Louise Elaine Borden Sherman: CA 1 Jul 2003

The firm of solicitors challenged a wasted costs order. The order had been made on the basis that they had persisted with a case which the court had told them was misconceived, and had acted despite a conflict of interest. The order had been made under unusual circumstances on appeal from the original costs order.
Held: The conflict of interest had been recognised, and appropriate proposals rejected. It was not significant, and did not contribute to the costs (Ridehalgh). A different form of action would have not saved any costs. The executors were met with a threat to challenge the will, which undermined their capacity to administer the estate. The position was not clear. The primary responsibility for the difficult task of protecting the interest of litigants in person must rest with the court. Appeal allowed.
Sir Christopher Staughton Lord Justice Carnwath
A3/2002/2244, Gazette 17-Jul-2003, [2003] EWCA Civ 886
Supreme Court Act 1981 51
England and Wales
CitedIn Re Freudiana Holdings Ltd CA 4-Dec-1995
A judge can discharge his own wasted costs order when issues came to required the re-litigation of the case. . .
CitedRidehalgh v Horsefield; Allen v Unigate Dairies Ltd CA 26-Jan-1994
Guidance for Wasted Costs Orders
Guidance was given on the circumstances required for the making of wasted costs orders against legal advisers. A judge invited to make an order arising out of an advocate’s conduct of court proceedings must make full allowance for the fact that an . .
CitedMedcalf v Mardell, Weatherill and Another HL 27-Jun-2002
The appellants were barristers against whom wasted costs orders had been made. They appealed. They had made allegations of fraud in pleadings, but without being able to provide evidence to support the allegation. This was itself a breach of the Bar . .
CitedConnolly-Martin v Davis CA 27-May-1999
A claim was brought by a party against counsel for his opponent who had gone beyond his authority in giving an undertaking for his client.
Held: The claim had no prospect of success, and had been struck out correctly. Counsel offering to the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 January 2021; Ref: scu.184169