COST BITES 6: GETTING A SCHEDULE OF COSTS TO COURT
The claimant’s failure to provide costs schedules, and eventual compliance, can be seen in a series of judgments by HHJ Emma Kelly in cases brought by North Warwickshire Borough Council. The cases move from non-compliance to attempted compliance and eventual success for the claimant.
The judge was hearing a number of committal applications relating to breaches of an injunction in relation to protesting at an oil terminal. Some of the cases are reported and they show an interesting development.
CASE ONE: NO COSTS SCHEDULE – NO COSTS
North Warwickshire Borough Council v Milner-Edwards  EWHC 1458 (QB)
CASE TWO: ONCE AGAIN NO COSTS SCHEDULE – NO COSTS
North Warwickshire Borough Council v Webb  EWHC 1516 (QB)
“21 I am not going to make any order that you pay the costs of the proceedings. The claimant has failed to provide a schedule of costs, as they should have done, to either the court and or to the defendants. You are disadvantaged in to responding to an application for costs. I therefore make no order as to costs, a position which mirrors that I have adopted with other defendants in a similar position.”
CASE THREE: WRONG COSTS SCHEDULE – NO COSTS
North Warwickshire Borough Council v Coleman & Anor  EWHC 1459 (QB)
The claimant has made an application for costs. Unlike similar cases that have proceeded before the court over the past two days, the claimant has now prepared a costs schedule. However, the costs schedule relates to the hearings on 4 and 5 May 2022. On 4 May neither Mr Colemann or Mr Johnson’s cases were listed. They were not part of the protest group arrested and produced on 5 May. The costs schedule is thus irrelevant to either defendant. In the absence of the claimant serving a relevant costs schedule, I am not prepared to make a costs order. There will therefore be no order as to costs as between the claimant and Mr Coleman and Mr Johnson.
CASE FOUR – RIGHT COSTS SCHEDULE – GET SOME COSTS
North Warwickshire Borough Council v (1) Lucia Whittaker De Abreu (2) Alyson Lee  EWHC 1460 (QB)
The claimant has made an application that you pay a contribution towards its costs in the sum of £195 each. The claimant has produced a costs schedule setting out their costs of the hearings that were listed on 4 May and 5 May. You were supposed to attend court on 4 May but failed to do so. On 5 May you were produced from custody following your arrest. Counsel on behalf of Ms Whittaker De Abreu opposes the making of a costs order on the basis that other defendants that appeared before the court over the past two days have had not been ordered to pay costs. Over the last two days the claimant has failed to file or serve a schedule of costs and therefore the court and the defendants had no information before them as to how those costs were being quantified. The position today is different. The claimant has now provided a schedule of costs. The defendants have had the opportunity to consider that. It is a schedule which is generous to the defendant as it does not include any costs from the hearing on 28 April or in relation to today. I am going to make an order that the defendants make a contribution to the claimant’s costs. Whilst that will mean that there is not parity between all the defendants facing contempt of court matters, that is the good fortune of the defendants who appeared earlier this week and not a reason why the claimant should be deprived of its costs now that it have got their house in order. The general rule is that costs follow the event, and there is no reason to depart from that rule. As to the quantum of those costs, the sum of £195 is sought from each defendant. That is a perfectly proportionate sum and I order each defendant to pay the claimant the sum of £195. Having considered the financial circumstances of each defendant, Ms Whittaker De Abreu has modest savings and Ms Lee’s financial position generally is such that the sums are to be paid in full to the claimant by 1 June 2022.