Symes v Phillips and others: CA 19 May 2005

The applicant was in contempt of court. He successfully appealed a sentence of two years imprisonment, with the sentence being reduced to one year. Legally aided, he sought his costs from the claimant. The claimant replied that their part was only to assist the court, and what sentence was imposed or reduced was between the contemnor and the court.
Held: The court had to recognise that ‘the contemnor, by his admitted contempts of court, has brought the entire proceedings upon himself and is in a weaker position to claim costs as between the parties than most litigants. Another is the need not to deter claimants, who may, as in this case, be in the best position to assist the appellate court as to what happened at the trial, from doing so. ‘ In this case the court exercised its discretion to order payment of one half of the contemnor’s costs.


[2005] EWCA Civ 663




England and Wales


CitedRe W (B) (An Infant) CA 1969
Where part of a sentence for contempt was suspended, and the defendant failed to meet the condition required for continued suspension, the court was not under an obligation to make the suspended part operative. . .
CitedHarris v Harris; Harris v Attorney General FD 21-May-2001
The applicant had been committed for ten months for contempt, being in breach of family court injunctions. He applied to be released after two months on the basis that the unserved balance of the sentence be suspended. The court held that it had the . .
CitedEnfield London Borough Council v Mahoney CA 1983
The contemnor had refused to comply with a court order requiring him to return an ancient cross, the Glastonbury Cross. He now sought his release from prison saying his contempt was purged, the Cross having been returned.
Held: The reasons for . .
CitedKnight v Clifton CA 1971
When dealing with an application to strike out, the judge should record his reasons for the finding, but it is sufficient if what he says shows the parties and, if need be, the Court of Appeal the basis on which he has acted. The court also . .
CitedIn re Barrell Enterprises CA 1972
A judge has power to reconsider a judgement which he has delivered before the order consequent upon it has been sealed, but the judge should only exercise this power if there are strong reasons for doing so. When oral judgments have been given the . .
See AlsoPhillips and Another v Robin James Symes and Robin Symes Ltd ChD 9-Jul-2001
English proceedings were issued to claim against a partnership. Simultaneously proceedings were issued in Greece, but the Greek proceedings were served on the London parties first. The plaintiffs in Greece asked the English court to issue a stay of . .
See AlsoPhillips v Symes CA 2003
Courts should be reluctant to exclude altogether evidence merely because it is written. If the purpose of the order sought was to trace assets it would be wrong to permit cross-examination which was designed to show that there had been a contempt of . .
See AlsoPhillips, Harland (Administrators of the Estate of Michailidis), Papadimitriou; Symes (A Bankrupt), Robin Symes Limited (In Administrative Receivership), Domercq etc ChD 30-Jul-2004
Under the Ciivil Procedure Rules, experts have acquired greater responsibilities to the court. Those responsibilities transcend their perceived obligations to the parties whom they give evidence. . .
See AlsoPhillips, Harland (Suing As Administrators of the Estate of Christo Michailidis), Papadimitriou v Symes (A Bankrupt) Robin Symes Limited (In Administrative Receivership) Jean-Louis Domercq ChD 20-Oct-2004
Dr Z had given expert evidence in the principal proceedings. It was now said that that evidence had not been given in the proper way, and a remedy was now sought in costs.
Peter Smith J had held that: ‘It seems to me that in the administration . .
See AlsoPhillips, Harland (Suing As Administrators of the Estate of Christo Michailidis), Papadimitriou v Symes (A Bankrupt) Robin Symes Limited (In Administrative Receivership) Jean-Louis Domercq etc ChD 20-Oct-2004
. .
See AlsoSymes v Phillips and others CA 6-May-2005
. .

Cited by:

See AlsoPhillips, Harland (Suing As Administrators of the Estate of Christo Michailidis) v Symes (A Bankrupt), Nussberger, Galerie Nefer Ag, Geoff Rowley ChD 19-Aug-2005
The court allowed the appellant’s application to dispense with service of a claim form under the rule. The High Court became seised of the matter as at 19 January 2005. Further directions were given. . .
See AlsoPhillips and others v Symes and others ChD 12-Jul-2006
. .
See AlsoPhillips and Another v Symes and Others (No 6) CA 19-May-2006
Proceedings were issued in England for service on the defendant in Switzerland, but because of an error by the Swiss Court were not properly served. Proceedings were then issued in Sitzerland, and seisin was claimed for the Swiss Court. The claimant . .
See AlsoPhillips and others v Symes and others ChD 16-Oct-2006
. .
See AlsoPhillips and Another v Symes and others HL 23-Jan-2008
Various parties had sought relief in the English courts and in Switzerland after an alleged fraud. There had been a mistake in service of the proceedings in England. The high court had dispensed with service an backdated the effect of the order to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Costs

Updated: 30 June 2022; Ref: scu.226058