The High Court in the case of Marcura Equities FZE & Anor v Nisomar Ventures Ltd & Anor has ruled that it was not disproportionate for a party to spend up to £450,000 to recover £35,000 because it achieved other, non-monetary relief too.
Nicholas Vineall QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, said it was wrong to focus solely on the damages in the circumstances, although in any case it was not a nominal sum.
The case related to the alleged unlawful disclosure and use of confidential information. All the issues settled on the eve of trial save the costs.
The defendants paid £35,000 and were required to deliver up all property within their control that belonged to the claimants, and not to disclose it to third parties, and also to provide witness statements setting out, among other things, what confidential information had been received and used. There was no admission of liability.
Judge Vineall decided that the claimants substantively achieved all of the relief they had claimed, except for a springboard injunction. The claimants had also sought damages or an account of profit. That claim was never quantified, although the claim form sought damages in excess of £200,000.
“I therefore consider that this is not a case in which I should decline to make any order in relation to costs. It also follows that the starting point must be that the defendants should pay the claimants’ costs.”
As a result, the judge ordered that the claimants recover the whole of their costs, subject to detailed assessment.
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