Wates Construction Ltd v HGP Greentree Allchurch Evans Ltd: TCC 10 Oct 2005

A unit constructed by the claimant had collapsed under a weight of rainwater. It had been constructed according to a design provided by the defendants. The claimants had discontinued the action on the morning of the trial, and the defendants now sought costs on an indemnity basis.
Held: An order for indemnity costs may only be made where a party maintains a claim or application which it knew or ought to have known was doomed to fail on its facts and on the law.
The pursuit of a weak claim will not usually, on its own, justify an order for indemnity costs, provided that the claim was at least arguable. But the pursuit of a hopeless claim (or a claim which the party pursuing it should have realised was hopeless) may well lead to such an order.


Peter Coulson QC


[2005] EWHC 2174 (TCC), [2006] BLR 45, 105 Con LR 47




CitedAtlantic Bar and Grill Ltd v Posthouse Hotels Ltd 2000
The third defendant sought an order that the costs of the claim for an injunction against him, once it was discontinued on the second day of trial, should be assessed on an indemnity basis.
Held: The order should be made. The power of the . .
CitedReid Minty (a firm) v Taylor CA 2002
New CPR govern Indemnity Costs awards
The defendant had successfully defended the main claim and now appealed against the refusal of an order for costs on an indemnity basis even though judge thought that the claimants had behaved unreasonably. He had said that some conduct deserving of . .
CitedKiam II v MGN Ltd (2) CA 6-Feb-2002
An appeal against a damages award in a defamation case had been unsuccessful. The claimant now appealed for the award of indemnity costs. The claimant had made an offer of compromise, which had been ignored by the defendant.
Held: If a party . .

Cited by:

CitedEvans and Others v The Serious Fraud Office QBD 12-Feb-2015
The claimants had had criminal charges brought against them by the defendants. A court had ordered them discharged, but the defendant had recommenced proceedings and these second set of proceedings had also been dismissed by the court. They now . .
CitedElvanite Full Circle Ltd v AMEC Earth and Environmental (UK) Ltd TCC 14-Jun-2013
Following the proncipal judgment there were disputes as to the basis of assessment of costs and the interaction between the existing costs management order (which approved the defendant’s budget costs of andpound;264,708) and the total costs now . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Construction, Professional Negligence, Costs

Updated: 04 July 2022; Ref: scu.231287