Seaga v Harper (No 2): PC 29 Jun 2009

No conditional fees without country approval

(Jamaica) Jamaican domestic law did not allow conditional fees or for the recovery of an after the event insurance premium for costs. When the case was appealed to the Board, his English solicitors represented him under a conditional fee agreement with a success fee and under such insurance. The defendants refused liability for either.
Held: The fees were rejected. The Board was not a court of England but of the Commonwealth. It was governed not by Parliament but by Her Majesty in Council. Such fees had been allowed in England only by virtue of an Act of Parliament, which itself limited its effect. It is ‘unthinkable that a CFA/ATE regime should be introduced into the taxation of costs incurred in appeals before it without any prior attempt to ascertain ‘the wishes of the [parts] of the [Commonwealth] primarily affected.’ ‘

Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Mance, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury and Sir Henry Brooke
[2009] UKPC 26, Times 10-Jul-2009, [2009] 4 Costs LR 607, [2010] 1 WLR 312
Judicial Committee (General Appellate Jurisdiction) Rules Order 1982 (SI 1982/1876) 75, Judicial Committee (General Appellate Jurisdiction) Rules (Amendment) Order 2005 (SI 2005/1139) 3, Judicial Committee Act 1833 15
England and Wales
CitedBritish Coal Corporation v The King PC 1935
The Board was asked as to the competency of a petition for special leave to appeal to the King in Council from a judgment of a court in Quebec in a criminal matter. The petitioners argued that notwithstanding the provisions of a Canadian statute . .
CitedAlexander E Hall and Co v Mackenna PC 1923
Viscount Haldane discussed the status of the Privy Council: ‘The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is not an English body in any exclusive sense. It is no more an English body than it is an Indian body, or a Canadian body, or a South African . .
See AlsoSeaga v Harper PC 30-Jan-2008
Public meeting gave no qualified privilege
(Jamaica) The appellant politician pleaded that his words about a senior policemen when spoken at a public meeting were protected from an action in slander by qualified privilege.
Held: The appeal failed. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Costs, Constitutional

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.349076