Charity litigation—costs

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Charity litigation—costs
  • Costs
  • The cost rules for civil litigation in England and Wales
  • The cost rules for litigation involving the Attorney General and realtors
  • The cost rules for litigation involving charity trustees
  • Indemnification of litigation expenses from charity funds
  • Sections 105 and 110 of the Charities Act 2011 and Re Beddoe applications in a charity context

Charity litigation—costs

Costs

The cost of contested litigation in England and Wales can be significant. There is a risk under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 that the court orders one party, usually the unsuccessful party, to pay part or all of the costs of the other party/ies.

There are a number of interlinked sets of considerations for charities who are, or are considering becoming, involved in litigation.

The cost rules for civil litigation in England and Wales

The starting point is that—subject to particular exceptions and to the provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998—the costs of civil proceedings (whether involving a charity or not) are at the discretion of the court. See Overviews: Principles of costs recovery—overview and Practice Note: Cost orders—the general rule and the court's discretion.

The cost rules for litigation involving the Attorney General and realtors

Where the Attorney General is required to be made a party to proceedings, the court must have regard to the nature of the proceedings and the character and circumstances in which the Attorney General appears and, in the exercise of its discretion, may order any other party to pay the Attorney General's costs whatever the result of the proceedings may be. However, the Crown is not deemed to be a party by reason only that the proceedings are by the Attorney General on the relation of some other person.

A relator is

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