Walker v Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons: PC 21 Nov 2007

The committee allowed the veterinary surgeon’s appeal for his removal from the register, substituting a six months’ suspension. The College opposed his request for his costs.
Held: The costs should be awarded.
Lord Mance said: ‘The Royal College takes three points in relation to this application. First, it submits that it conflicts with a principle to be derived from cases such as City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council v. Booth . . Gorlov v. Institute of Chartered Accountants . . and, most recently, Baxendale-Walker v. The Law Society . .
As to the first point, the Board, without commenting upon or going into the principle advanced, considers that it cannot bear on the present situation. The authorities relied on concern the different position of costs before disciplinary tribunals or before a court upon a first appeal against an administrative decision by a body such as a police or regulatory authority. In the present case, the Disciplinary Committee made no order for costs in respect of the proceedings before it (in which Dr Walker was represented by counsel), and no-one has challenged that.
The present appeal came before the Board under section 17 of the 1966 Act, subs. (2) of which provides that
‘The Council of the College may appear as respondent on any such appeal and, for the purpose of enabling directions to be given as to the costs of any such appeal, shall be deemed to be a party thereto whether they appeared on the hearing of the appeal or not.’
The Board has in practice made costs orders against the Royal College when an appeal succeeded . . and in the College’s favour in cases of unsuccessful appeals . . A similar position has applied with appeals from other similar disciplinary committees . . No order for costs was made in two cases where the appeal failed on liability, but succeeded on penalty . .
The Board sees no reason to depart from its previous practice. Here, there was no appeal on liability and it was at all times accepted and submitted on Dr Walker’s behalf that the appropriate disposal would have been and was suspension for a period such as that which the Board in the event advised should be imposed. The present appeal was at all times also fully and firmly opposed by the Royal College. If Dr Walker has lost, there would been good reason for a costs order against him. As he succeeded, a costs order in his favour seems to the Board in principle fair.’


Lord Mance, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe


[2007] UKPC 64




Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 1792)

Cited by:

CitedPerinpanathan, Regina (on The Application of) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court and Another CA 4-Feb-2010
The appellant’s daughter had been stopped entering the country with andpound;150,000 in cash. The police sought an order for its forfeiture, suspecting a link with terrorism. The magistrates found no evidence of such, and declined to make the order, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health Professions, Costs

Updated: 12 July 2022; Ref: scu.261491