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How To Lose On Costs. If you are a creditor or director of an insolvent company or a bankruptcy, Oliver Elliot can help you address your claim and concerns arising from the insolvency.

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Costs Cases

There are many ways to be hit for costs in litigation; lose the case, do not comply with a court order, run a hopeless case, conduct litigation in an unfair and unreasonable manner etc etc. However, one way that is usually going to materially increase your risk is to not turn up.

Summary Of How To Lose On Costs

In the matter of Vanquish Developments Limited – In Liquidation (“the Company”), the Liquidator, Elliot Green (CEO of Oliver Elliot) succeeded in obtaining judgment for costs on the indemnity basis against the Director respondents in relation to an adjourned trial.

In a short judgment handed down by Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Prentis on 28 May 2021 the following points were made about the question of costs arising on that day:

  1. The Trial was adjourned due to the non-attendance of both respondents.
  2. Whilst there was a report provided on the day before the Trial in respect of one of the Director respondents’ capacity, nevertheless neither turned up nor had representation.

The Court was persuaded that although the respondents were litigants in person and one of them filed a report with the Court as to matters of capacity the conduct was out of the norm and an order for indemnity costs was accordingly made.


  1. I have given judgment this afternoon adjourning this trial but also granting judgment on one aspect of the liquidator’s claim in the relatively modest sum of £9,790 odd; modest compared with the overall claim.

  2. The adjournment of this trial which has been listed since last December in accordance with the party’s consent orders has been brought about by the conduct of the respondents. I have described that conduct in my earlier judgment relating to the report as to capacity which the court received yesterday morning at 11.15 or so.

  3. It is the consideration of that report which has caused the adjournment. It has also been caused by the non-attendance of the respondents.  The respondents have not attended either to support their position that there ought to be an adjournment, or anyway.  There has been no excuse as to that offered.  The court has been in contact with the respondents telling them about this hearing and the links for it.  The non-attendance has been notwithstanding that the respondents have been operating through Mr Ainley and notwithstanding that no issue is raised as to the second respondent’s, Mrs Danaher’s, capacity.

  4. The respondents, moreover, were told on 19 May by Judge Jones exactly what they needed to do if they were to seek an adjournment, and that including issuing an application. That was reiterated by myself a few days later.  We have no application and actually in the first letter, that of 13 May, which initiated the indications from the respondents that there were was a problem with Mr Danaher’s health, he said “I have asked for this adjournment”, which he had done informally by that letter, “outside of the 14 days before the hearing”; and he appeared thereby to recognise that an application for an adjournment of a trial ought to be made.  His condition is one which he has known about, he says, for three years, nevertheless the consent order was made and this matter was listed.

  5. This report could hardly have come at a later stage, and I cannot but believe that it was intended to cause the adjournment which it has. Had we not had an adjournment then this was listed for a day and we would have got it done.  It therefore seems inevitable that the respondents must pay the costs thrown away today and they must do so on the indemnity basis.  Even bearing in mind, so far as that it appropriate, that they are litigants in person, this has been conduct well outside the norm and is conduct which must be censured by the court.

  6. Therefore, costs on an indemnity basis. I am going to say costs thrown away today, so it is not just the costs of today, it will include the costs of preparation for today and so forth.

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Disclaimer: How To Lose On Costs

This page: How To Lose On Costs is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. This article How To Lose On Costs is provided for information purposes only. You can Contact Us on the specific facts of your case to obtain relevant advice via a Free Initial Consultation.

This page contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Elliot Green

Licensed Insolvency Practitioner & Chartered Accountant. We Know Insolvency Inside Out.

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