Issues-based costs order: only where an issue on which the successful claimant lost “so starkly stands out as being separate”


Canary Wharf (BP4) T1 Limited and others v European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 921 (Ch)

The Court considered whether it could make an issues-based costs order, i.e. an order in favour of the winning party in respect of issues won and countervailing in respect of issues lost.
The Court noted that in any litigation, but especially in complex commercial litigation, any winning party is likely to fail on one or more (often intertwined) issues. The Court found that “unless there is an issue which so starkly stands out as being separate and on which [the Claimant] lost, [it] should not make an issues-based costs order”.
The Court found only one issue which stood out so as to justify an issues-based order and, as a result, reduced the recoverable costs by 15%.

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