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William S Roper v Auckland Risk Advisors Ltd & Anor (2011), QBD (Comm), 05/09/11


The court was required to determine costs following settlement between the Claimant and the Defendants. Following a determination by the American courts, the Claimant sought payment of money. The Claimant demanded payment within four days. The Defendants initially disputed that it owed any monies but later agreed that they had no defence to the Claimant's claim and that they were content to submit to the court's judgment in the sum claimed and interest. However, costs remained in dispute. The Defendants submitted that (1) the amount of costs the Claimant could recover should be reduced or no order for costs should be made as the issuance of the claim form was premature and that he pursued the claim aggressively; (2) it was an open and shut case and that should be taken into account. It was held that the the sum could not be said to have been pursued aggressively as it was due and there was nothing in the correspondence to suggest that the Claimant had an aggressive manner. It was not relevant or of assistanc e to the Defendants if proceedings were issued prematurely as once the proceedings were issued the Defendants did not respond and later put in a defence stating that no monies were due. There was therefore no effect on their position and on costs. The submission that it was an open and shut case was not favourable from a party that put in a defence. The Claimant was entitled to costs on an indemnity basis but the costs claimed were too high.


  • High Court (Queen's Bench Division)
  • Thursday, 03 November 2011