Search court cases and case law in the UK


Vava & Ors v Anglo American South Africa Ltd [2013] EWHC 2326 (QB) - 30/07/13


Dispute raising the issue as to whether a contractual agreement concerning one way costs shifting had the effect that the successful defendant, who sought to set-off an order for costs in its favour, could not seek to enforce any costs order against the claimants.

Held: A judgment or order for costs may be set-off against another. The right is not equitable but based on the court's inherent jurisdiction to do what is fair. There is no exact definition of the expression 'one way costs shifting'. It broadly means a regime whereby the court might exercise its power to make costs orders in favour of claimants but not in favour of defendants. The concept of enforcing a costs order has a wide interpretation, which includes enforcement by action as well as by execution.

No order for costs made. It was unfair for the defendant to set off an order for costs that it agreed should not be enforced.