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Mr Justice Briggs has handed down his judgment in Pearson & Ors (The Joint Administrators of Lean Brothers International (Europe)) v Lehman Brothers Finance SA & Ors  EWHC 3044 (Ch) (23 November 2010). The case concerns costs for an administrators application. As the learned judge notes, "There is a sharp divergence between counsel as to how these proceedings should be categorised for the purpose of the exercise of the court's jurisdiction as to costs. For the Administrators, Mr Milligan QC described it as, in substance, commercial litigation between rival claimants to beneficial ownership of specific property (i.e. the Rascalled securities), in relation to which costs should follow the event, as in any other commercial litigation. Counsel for the affiliates all described it as being, in substance, a joint application by the various office-holders of insolvent companies within a common group to the appropriate forum for the resolution of difficult issues affecting them all, and standing in the way of the realisation and disposal of assets to creditors, or to other persons entitled to them." After an exhaustive exposition of the salient law and facts of the case Briggs, J observes, "...I propose to direct that these respondents bear 50% rather than the 75% of LBIE's costs...I consider that LBI ought to pay all that 25% of LBIE's total costs attributable to the issues between these two parties..."
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...