In Lenkor Energy Trading DMCC v Puri [2022] EWHC 1958 (Comm) the court carried out a summary assessment of the defendant’s costs, the grounds for the reductions are instructive.  They show the grounds on which costs are reduced on assessment.


The judge had made various orders relating to a freezing injunction.  Each of the parties were entitled to costs in relation to separate issues.  The judge then assessed those costs.


The judge held that the claimant’s costs were reasonable. Reductions were made to the Defendant’s costs.

    1. The Applicant argues that it has been successful in relation to this application, even though the order I have made is not as broad as that sought. The Defendant argues that it has succeeded on a number of issues and this should be reflected in the costs order that I make.
    1. I adopt the normal principles set out in CPR Part 44 in this regard. Thus, I am to take into consideration the overall event, whether there are some specific issues on which the successful party has lost, and the conduct of the parties. Here, I have concluded that the applicant has succeeded in obtaining relief which was not on offer; and that, although there has not been total success, this is not an appropriate case for reducing costs, particularly since this application was only necessary because of a failure on the part of the Defendant to comply with the terms of HHJ Waksman’s order. Accordingly, I order that the Defendant pays the Applicant’s costs of and occasioned by this application.
    1. Turning to the application to vary the freezing injunction, then I take the view that the applicant was entirely unsuccessful in this regard and that the Defendant should have its costs of this application.
    1. As to the quantum of costs, then the Claimant’s total fees for the overall hearing were £10,967.50. I regard the rates and hours set out in the Schedule as reasonable. Those costs are related to both applications, and I would divide them 50/50. It follows that the Claimant is entitled to £5,483.75.
    1. As regards the Defendant’s costs, then its costs totalled £23,133.50 in respect of both applications. I regard these costs as clearly excessive, for a number of reasons.
a. Both a partner and a senior associate were involved, at hourly rates of £350 and £295 respectively, together with a costs lawyer. There was no need for both fee earners in the preparatory stage. The partner should have been supervising only, and for a much shorter period. I would halve partner time, leading to a reduction of some £1750 over the two applications.
b. There was no need for both fee earners to attend the hearing. This leads to a reduction of a further £1750.
c. There was no warrant for leading counsel. The brief fee and preparatory fee was £10,000. This should be reduced by half, to £5,000.
d. Overall, therefore, the total fees would be reduced by £8,500 to £14,633.50. Half of that sum is £7316.75. That is the amount which will be awarded to the Defendant.
    1. The two sums set out above may be set off against one another, or included in any accounting in relation to costs, given that I understand that other litigation in relation to this matter has been ongoing.
  1. In addition, I do not have a figure for the sums payable in respect of the banks’ costs, which, insofar as paid by the Claimant, may also be set off against the payment to the Defendant.