Costs Follow the Event in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • AEI Rediffusion Music Ltd v Phonographic Performance Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 February 1999

    In doing this the new Rules are reflecting a change of practice which has already started. It is now clear that a too robust application of the "follow the event principle" encourages litigants to increase the costs of litigation, since it discourages litigants from being selective as to the points they take. If you recover all your costs as long as you win, you are encouraged to leave no stone unturned in your effort to do so.

  • Scherer v Counting Instruments Ltd (Note)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 28 July 1977

    That party who turns out to have unjustifiably either brought another party before the court, or given another party cause to have recourse to the court to obtain his rights is required to recompense that other party in costs; but (2) the judge has under Section 50 of the Judicature Act an unlimited discretion to make what order as to costs he considers that the justice of the case requires.

  • Baxendale-Walker v Law Society
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 July 2007

    The exercise of this regulatory function places the Law Society in a wholly different position to that of a party to ordinary civil litigation. The normal approach to costs decisions in such litigation – dealing with it very broadly, that properly incurred costs should follow the “event” and be paid by the unsuccessful party – would appear to have no direct application to disciplinary proceedings against a solicitor.

    Unless the complaint is improperly brought, or, for example, proceeds as it did in Gorlov, as a “shambles from start to finish”, when the Law Society is discharging its responsibilities as a regulator of the profession, an order for costs should not ordinarily be made against it on the basis that costs follow the event.

  • Summit Property Ltd v Pitmans Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 November 2001

    If, in relation to any issue in the case before it the court considers that it should adopt an issue based approach to costs, the court must ask itself which party has been successful on that issue. Then, if the costs are to follow the event on that issue, the party who has been unsuccessful on that issue must expect to pay the costs of that issue to the party who has succeeded on that issue. That is the effect of applying the general principle on an issue by issue based approach to costs.

  • Gojkovic v Gojkovic (No. 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 30 April 1991

    That starting point, in my judgment, is that costs prima facie follow the event (see Cumming-Bruce L.J. in Singer v. Sharegin (1984) FLR 114 at p. 119) but may be displaced much more easily than, and in circumstances which would not apply, in other Divisions of the High Court.

  • Arkin v Borchard Lines Ltd and Others (Nos 2 and 3)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 May 2005

    Somehow or other a just solution must be devised whereby on the one hand a successful opponent is not denied all his costs while on the other hand commercial funders who provide help to those seeking access to justice which they could not otherwise afford are not deterred by the fear of disproportionate costs consequences if the litigation they are supporting does not succeed.

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Legislation
  • Common Law Procedure Act 1852
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1852
    ... ... the rent and arrears, together with full costs, and without proceeding for relief in equity ... ...
  • Arbitration Act 1996
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1996
    ... ... are free to agree what is to happen in the event of a failure of the procedure for the appointment ... to any other party to pay all or any of the costs of the arbitration (see sections 59 to 65) or any ... on the general principle that costs should follow the event except where it appears to the tribunal ... ...
  • Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1875
    ... ... of its debts and liabilities and the costs of winding up, the same rules shall prevail and ... concurrence of the Treasury, may, in the event of such office being considered unnecessary, ... same consequences in all respects shall follow as if they had been named as the plaintiffs in ... ...
  • Bankruptcy Act 1914
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1914
    ... ... for the benefit of the creditors in the event of the debtor ... being adjudged bankrupt, or ... of law, and of the costs of establishing the debt, may, instead of ... follow the event, unless, upon application made at the ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
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Forms
  • T420)
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Includes the refund form for claimants.
    ... ... For details of the standards we follow when processing your data, please visit the ... employment ended or the event you are complaining about happened. This means ... Do I have to pay the respondent’s costs? ... Generally, no. However, the tribunal can ... ...
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