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Costs considerations

Rihanna's claim against Topshop is a useful reminder to litigators to take steps to manage costs at an early stage, advises James Barrett

26 February 2015

In 2013 superstar Rihanna succeeded in preventing the use of her image on T shirts made by the retail giant Topshop, representing the first occurrence within the English jurisdiction of a celebrity succeeding in a 'passing off' claim relating to the use of an image on clothing.

The costs implications of this litigation have been as controversial as the main litigation. In September 2013 Mr Justice Birss ordered Topshop to make a payment on account of £200,000 against an estimated bill of costs of £919,000 (a figure that he found to be 'startling'). The failed appeal led to an increase in the claimant's costs to £1.5 million.

There is nothing new in judges raisi...

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