On the side of the Angels?

John Hodgkinson

John Hodgkinson, Senior Solicitor Advocate

At this time of year we will have heard much of angels, whether in Nativity plays or carols. News being brought by archangels features in all of these.

It must therefore be unusual to hear news about archangels.

It is especially unlikely to have the Courts jurisdiction invoked on their behalf. Such news would be strange tidings indeed!

In (1) BANK ST PETERSBURG, (2) ALEXANDER SAVELYEV v (1) VITALY ARKHANGELSKY, (2) JULIA ARKHANGELSKAYA 6 December 2013 the Hon Mr Justice Hildyard had to decide whether to come down on the side of the Arkhangels on costs.

Having made a decision in his main Judgment to allow the Defendants leave to pursue a counter claim he addressed three issues in a Supplemental Judgement.

These included Supplemental issue (3): Costs on four separate applications.

The Defendant’s applications for fortification, and an anti-suit injunction were dismissed and costs were awarded against them.

Their application for an adjournment was granted albeit for less time than sought. In weighing up the appropriate order for costs the Court took account of each party’s conduct: the Defendants ‘were seeking to be relieved from directions and a trial date which with more focus earlier on might have been achieved’ but the ‘Claimants’ opposition was disproportionate and overdone.’ Thus neither party was awarded costs.

The fourth application was the Defendant seeking permission to introduce a counterclaim. This succeeded and each party sought costs: the Defendant, as they had succeeded, and the Claimant, on the basis that the standard order in applications for permission to amend was for the applicant to pay the costs. The Court decided the fairest way was to reserve costs to the Trial Judge who would be better placed to decide ‘whether the effort has been worth the resources expended.’

The moral? Just because you think you are ‘on the side of the angels’ make sure the fight is worth the costs.

In the final analysis the decision might not be good news!

A slightly older case than we would normally select for our e-shot, and chosen for a tenuous seasonal connection. In that context we take the opportunity to reflect on a busy year behind us and look forward to being of service to clients old and new in the year to come.

We trust your New Year brings success and new opportunities for expansion. We at PIC would be delighted to partner with you on your journey towards greater profitability.