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Alan Williams Entertainments Ltd v Hurd

Where both parties had been partially successful, a judge had not erred when ordering defendants to pay 75 per cent of the claimants’ costs as the number of issues on which a party won was not a guide to the issue of costs.

10 November 2006

The appellants (D) appealed against a decision ordering them to pay 75 per cent of the costs of the respondents (W). W had claimed damages for breach of a compromise agreement and D had counterclaimed damages in respect of the same agreement. Each side was partially successful and the judge made the costs order reflecting that. D contended that the costs order was wrong as they had succeeded on more issues than W and that the judge should not have made the order until the issue of damages had been decided.

HELD: Appeal dismissed

The judge’s decision on costs was correct. It was well established that costs were within the judge’s discretion and the judge had not failed to observe any principle by not reserving the issue of costs until damages were decided. Under r 1.4(2)(i) of the CPR, a court had to deal with as many aspects of a case as possible in one hearing. The number of issues on which a party won was not a guide as to the issue of costs. It was not a rule that...

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