Costs - 1930- 1959

Costs. See also Litigation Practice, Legal Profession, Legal Aid.

These cases are extracted from a very large database. The entries on that database are now being published individually to the main swarb.co.uk website in a much improved form. As cases are published here, the entry here will be replaced by a link to the same case in that improved form on swarb.co.uk. In addition the swarb.co.uk site includes very substantial numbers of cases after 2000. Please take the time to look.  

This page lists 21 cases, and was prepared on 18 May 2014. These case are being transferred one by one to the main swarb.co.uk site which presents them better, with links to full text where we have it, and much improved cross referencing.
Hulbert -v- Thurston; 1931
In re Leighton's Conveyance [1937] 1 Ch 149
1937
CA
Lord Wright MR, Romer LJ
Costs, Land Casemap
1 Citers
Rules of court provided that a person suing as a poor person should not be ordered to pay costs. Held: The Order did not prevent the mortgagee adding to her security her costs in an action brought by the mortgagor suing as a poor person. Lord Wright MR said: " Now what the learned judge has done is to deny the ordinary right of a mortgagee to add to his security all costs, charges and expenses reasonably and properly incurred in ascertaining or defending his rights, or in recovering the mortgage debt. It is not really a matter which arises in connection with the awarding of costs. If it had been a question of the awarding of costs as between parties to the action the learned judge could not have ordered Mrs. Priestman to pay any costs, because she was proceeding as a poor person, and under the terms of Order XVI r. 28 'no poor person shall be liable to pay costs to any other party'; but that is not the question at all. What the learned judge has done here has been to do something entirely different from ordering ordinary costs in the action : he has made an order which has the effect, if it stands, of depriving the mortgagee in this case . . . of the ordinary rights of a mortgagee. The mortgagee here was compelled to defend her rights, or at least cannot be said to have acted unreasonably in seeking to defend her rights."
Romer LJ said: "Where a mortgagee's title is attacked by somebody who is a stranger to the mortgagee, the circumstances in which the mortgagee is entitled to add his proper costs in defending his title to the mortgagee's security are stated by Sir W. Page-Wood, V.C., in Parker v. Watkins (John 133, 137) where he said this: ' I quite agree that, where a mortgagee has been put to expense in defending the title to the estate, the defence being for the benefit of all parties, he is entitled to charge those expenses against the estate; but if some litigious person chooses to contest his (the mortgagee's) title to the mortgage, that should not affect the parties interested in the equity of redemption, unless they can be shown to have concurred in or assisted the litigation.''
Myers -v- Rothfield [1939] 1 KB 109; [1938] 3 All ER 498
1938
CA
Legal Professions, Costs Casemap
1 Citers
Myers -v- Elman; HL 1939
Egerton -v- Jones; CA 1939
Barnard -v- Gorman; HL 1941
In re Taxation of Costs In re Solicitors [1943] KB 69
1943

Costs, Legal Professions Casemap
1 Citers
Regina -v- Willesden Justices ex parte Utley; 1948
Rex -v- Coventry Rent Tribunal Unreported, 1 December 1948
1 Dec 1948

Lord Goddard
Costs
1 Citers
The court would not grant costs against justices or similar tribunals merely because they had made a mistake in law, but only if the tribunal had acted improperly, that is to say perversely or with some disregard of the elementary principles which every court should obey, and even then only if it was a flagrant instance.
Rex -v- Kingston-upon-Hull Rent Tribunal ex parte Black [1949] 1 All ER 260
1949

Goddard L
Costs Casemap
1 Citers
A landlord obtained an order of certiorari to quash an order of a rent tribunal which had reduced the rent of certain premises without hearing evidence on behalf of the landlord. Counsel appeared on behalf of the tribunal to oppose the making of the order. The court discussed the award of costs: "We decide this case on the ground that the landlord had to come here at considerable expense to herself, to have the decision of the tribunal quashed, and the tribunal have appeared by counsel and have disputed her right to have an order for certiorari. On the whole, as the tribunal have appeared here and contested the case, we think that the landlord ought to have her costs. If there had been no appearance by the tribunal, of course we should not have given costs in this case."
Review of Justices' Decisions Act 1872 3
Anglo-Cyprian Agencies -v- Paphos Industries [1951] 1 All ER 8
1951

Costs
1 Citers
Korner -v- Korner & Co [1951] 1 Ch 10
1951
CA
Legal Professions, Costs Casemap
1 Cites
1 Citers
It was submitted by the receiving parties (being 7 out of 8 defendants) that they should receive an equal portion of the total costs of the defendants by number, that is to say 7/8ths. The taxing master disagreed, permitting each defendant 7/8ths of the general costs of the action, and costs relating to their defences and such part of the fee for instructions for brief and counsel's fees as may be attributable to their defences. Held: The approach taken was a rule of thumb, convenient in an ordinary case. The principle contest had been between the plaintiff and the other, unsuccessful, defendant. No authority compelled the court to allow simply a share of the overall costs of the action in every class of case, even if to follow it would result in injustice. To do so would "be to fly in the face of the generally accepted principle as stated in Ellingsen's case? that the successful party is to be recompensed the liability he had reasonably incurred in defending himself'"
In re A Debtor [1951] Ch 162
1951

Costs Casemap
1 Citers
Factors (Sundries) Ltd -v- Miller; CA 1952
Regina v Highgate Justices ex parte Petrou [1954] 1 All ER 406; [1954] 1 WLR 485
1954
QBD
Lord Goddard CJ
Magistrates, Costs Casemap

The Appellant was the owner of premises which she let to another party for use as a club. The other party was charged with 10 offences relating to the supply of liquor at the premises and the Appellant was joined to show cause why the club should not be struck off the register. After the hearing, the justices were informed that the costs of the prosecution amounted to 21 guineas. They convicted the manager, fined him 10 and ordered him to pay 20 guineas costs, and also ordered the appellant to pay 100 costs and they ordered the club to be struck off the register. Held. The appeal by way of motion for certiorari suceeded. Costs are to be awarded as compensation, not as punishment. The order against the Appellant was a penalty in the guise of costs.
Lord Goddard CJ said: "I regret that any bench of justices could have acted as these justices did. They were not imposing costs on the applicant; they were imposing a penalty on her when she had not been convicted of any offence, but had only come before the court to show cause why the premises should not be struck off the register. Under the guise of making an order for costs, the justices inflicted a penalty of 100, which could only have been intended as a penalty. Since, by their order against [the manager], they had satisfied the costs of the prosecution apart from one guinea certiorari will go..."
Regina -v- Paddington South Rent Tribunal ex parte Millard [1955] 1 All ER 691
1955

Lord Goddard CJ
Costs
1 Citers
Counsel had been appointed for the tribunal to resist an appeal against the order the tribunal had made. Held: As to costs: "It does not matter to the tenant (who is legally aided) whether the costs come out of one fund or another, but so that we should not be making a precedent I do not think we should give costs against the tribunal. We never give costs unless they act improperly."
Polak -v- Marchioness of Winchester; CA 1956
Edwards -v- Edwards [1958] P 235; [1958] 2 WLR 956; [1958] 2 All ER 179
1958

Costs Casemap

Fairfax (John) & Sons -v- E C de Witt & Co [1958] 1 QB 323
1958
CA
Costs Casemap

London County Council -v- Monks [1959] 1 Ch 239; [1958] 3 All ER 6
1958

Danckwerts J
Costs
1 Citers
Danckwerts J considered the powers of the court over money paid in as security: "The real basis of those cases seems . . to be that where the court has the fund under its own control, as in the case of a fund standing to the credit to some account of the Paymaster-General, the Paymaster-General being the officer of the High Court and all the judges of any division of the High Court being judges of that Court, the judges will enforce a High Court judgment by directing their officer to pay out the money or make a charging order on the fund in question, so that the judgment creditor shall not be defeated in regard to satisfaction of the judgment."
Re Cutliffe's Estate [1959] P 6
1959
CA
Morris LJ, Hodson LJ
Wills and Probate, Costs
1 Cites
1 Citers
In attacking the will, the unsuccessful defendants had pleaded undue influence as well as lack of due execution and want of knowledge and approval, but their evidence had been disbelieved. They complained that in awarding costs against them the court had not applied Spiers v English. Held: The testator himself had not been responsible for the litigation. Morris LJ said: "Costs are always in the discretion of the court; but, without restricting or in any way making rigid the exercise of that discretion, the courts have given general guidance which will enable those embarking on litigation to know how, in particular cases, the discretion is likely to be exercised."