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R (on the application of Hunt) (Appellant) v North Somerset Council (Respondent) [2013] EWCA Civ 1483; (2014) PLLR 009

Costs - substantive issues won on appeal - no relief granted - appeal of no practical value

A party should not be entitled to recover costs where it was successful on the substantive grounds of an appeal but fell short of achieving any relief.

21 November 2013

Court of Appeal

Moore-Bick, Rimer and Underhill LJJ

(1)        The appellant succeeded on the substantive issues that were argued, but by the time the appeal came on for hearing, it was too late for any grant of relief to be awarded. The appellant invited the Court to make an order dismissing the appeal but ordering the respondent to pay his costs of appeal.

(2)        Rimer LJ (reading the judgment of the Court) held: (1) In the circumstances it would be wrong in principle to award any costs to the appellant. The appeal proved to be of no practical value to him. (2) The respondent was in principle entitled to its costs as the successful party. However, it should only recover a proportion of these costs having regard to the fact that the respondent resisted the appeal on the two substantive grounds upon which it lost, which increased the costs of the appeal.

Appellant ordered to pay one half of the costs of the respondent

Key paragraphs

[1] - [2] Introduction

[2] - [6] - Discussion

[7] - Conclusion

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