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Wasted Costs

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Thanks to Will Young of Outer Temple Chambers for preparing this case summary

What is the correct approach for a tribunal to take in relation to an application for costs or wasted costs?

It must be fair (with both sides having full opportunities to comment) and should normally be relatively swift, according to the EAT in Single Homeless Project Ltd v Abu.

The Claimant had brought a series of claims under nine different jurisdictions, all of which were dismissed. The tribunal indicated a provisional intention to order costs of £500 against the Claimant and £12,550 + VAT against his representative, but altered this to an order for £500 against the solicitors after receiving written submissions but not passing them on to the Respondent. 

The EAT, following the previous guidance in Godfrey Morgan Solicitors Ltd v Cobalt Systems Ltd, stated that the Respondent should have been given an opportunity to make submissions in response to the Claimant's submissions. It also held that there was a discretion, but not an obligation, to take the paying party's financial means into account, and that the Tribunal was not obliged to restrict its order to one the paying party could pay.