Costs orders - who pays the costs of legal proceedings?

Date: Aug 25, 2014
Document Type: Article

The Court has power under Section 98 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 to determine by whom, to whom and to what extent the costs of the proceedings are to be paid.

Ordinarily, costs follow the event which means the unsuccessful party pays the costs of the successful party.

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (UCPR) 42.1 provides that as a general rule, costs follow the event.

Subject to this Part, if the Court makes any order as to costs, the Court is to order that the costs follow the event unless it appears to the Court that some other order should be made as to the whole or any part of the costs.

The consequence of this rule is that successful litigants receive their costs in the absence of special circumstances justifying some other order.

Success is defined by reference to the event.

The “event” extends to any disputed question of fact or law and the notation is not limited to issues in the technical pleading sense.  

Once the successful party has been identified by reference to an event, the “competing position” is that it is ordinarily appropriate to award the costs of proceedings to the successful party without attempting to differentiate between the particular issues on which it was successful and those on which it was not.

The usual rule may be departed from if a particular issue or group of issues in which the successful party failed was clearly dominant or separable. 

The usual rule may also be departed from where the matters upon which a party was unsuccessful took up a significant part of the trial, either by way of evidence or argument.

A successful party who has failed on certain issues may not only be deprived of the costs of those issues but may also be ordered to pay the other parties costs of them.

The demands of the community for greater economy and efficiency in the conduct of litigation may be reflected in a qualification of the presumption that the successful party is entitled to all its costs.

To speak with an experienced lawyer call us on 02 8268 4000.

Applying for Business Loans
Date: Sep 02, 2010
Australian Consumer Law
Date: Apr 01, 2011
Being Sued
Date: Nov 02, 2010
Closing your Company
Date: Feb 02, 2010
Consideration in contract law
Date: Jun 10, 2015
Contract: the rules of the game
Date: Jun 15, 2015
Goods Shipping and the Law
Date: Oct 01, 2012
Insurance Basics
Date: Feb 03, 2011
Is your business True Blue?
Date: Sep 02, 2009
PPSA Protection and Perfection
Date: May 25, 2015
Security for Costs
Date: Aug 08, 2010
Social Media and your Employees
Date: Apr 03, 2010
Social Networking in Business
Date: Jul 05, 2011
Tax Time Record Keeping
Date: Aug 03, 2010
Trusts and family law disputes
Date: Jul 06, 2015
What is a guarantee?
Date: Nov 10, 2014
What is consideration?
Date: Sep 14, 2014
When should a warning be given?
Date: Sep 14, 2014
Why Choose Bankruptcy?
Date: Dec 14, 2007
Working with Contracts
Date: Mar 02, 2011
Back to Publication List