A court which was considering ordering a third party, who was not party to the action, to pay costs in an action, should first be satisfied that it is just to do so in all the circumstances. There is no need to establish any exceptional circumstances. There must be a connection between the incurring of the costs and the actions of the third party.
Morritt LJ said: ‘Ultimately the test is whether in all the circumstances it is just to exercise the power conferred by subsections (1) and (3) of section 51, Supreme Court Act 1981 to make a non-party pay the costs of the proceedings. …[I]t will be a matter for judgment and the exercise by the judge of his discretion to decide whether the circumstances relied on are such as to make it just to order some non-party to pay the costs. Thus, as it seems to me, the exceptional case is one to be recognised by comparison with the ordinary run of cases not defined in advance by reference to any further characteristic.’
Times 14-Apr-1999,  EWCA Civ 905,  BLR 232
England and Wales
Cited – Hamilton v Al Fayed and Others (No 2) CA 17-May-2002
The claimant had lost a libel action and been bankrupted. The defendant sought to recover his costs from those who had financially supported the claimant. He now appealed a dismissal of his request for contributions.
Held: An order for the . .
Cited – BE Studios Ltd v Smith and Williamson Ltd ChD 2-Dec-2005
The claimant company had failed in its action. The court was asked to make a costs order personally against the principal director of the claimant who had controlled the litigation and funded it. He responded that no impropriety had been shown on . .
Cited – Chantrey Vellacott v The Convergence Group Plc and others ChD 31-Jul-2007
The claimants, a firm of accountants, sued their former clients for unpaid fees. The defendant company counterclaimed for professional negligence. The claimant had expended andpound;5.6m in costs. The claimants now sought a non-party costs order . .
Cited – Nelson v Greening and Sykes (Builders) Ltd CA 18-Dec-2007
The builders had obtained a charging order for the costs awarded to them in extensive litigation, and a third party costs order but without the third party having opportunity to test the bill delivered. They had agreed to sell land to the defendant, . .
Cited – Travelers Insurance Company Ltd v XYZ SC 30-Oct-2019
Challenge to the making of a non-party costs order under section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 against the product liability insurer of one of the defendants in litigation being managed under a Group Litigation Order (‘GLO’). Many of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.145820