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No costs set-off

Litigation Letter

No costs set-off

Amin and another v Amin and 17 others (costs) [2010] EWHC 827 (Ch); Costs Lawyer May p15

Where the costs on each side are very large it is not safe to carry out an exercise of setting off by reference to percentages of one side’s cost against the other. Instead, it is appropriate to ascertain the percentage of each side’s costs which is payable to the other and leave the parties to turn those percentages into money amounts and to effect set-off at that level. The litigation concerned two actions concerning a partnership dispute and an unfair prejudice petition against a company in which the court decided that overall 35% of each side’s total costs were to be attributed to the company action, and 65% to the partnership actions. After making reductions the court held that V and X were liable for 33% of U and B’s costs of the company action while V and U were ordered to pay 25% of each other’s costs of the partnership actions. Although it was not appropriate to set off these figures against each other, because of the disparity, the parties were of course free to agree to such a set-off should they wish to do so.

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