Costs orders—Sanderson and Bullock orders
Produced in partnership with Nevil Phillips of Quadrant Chambers

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Nevil Phillips of Quadrant Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Costs orders—Sanderson and Bullock orders
  • Sanderson and Bullock orders—what are they?
  • In what circumstances may a Bullock or Sanderson order be made?
  • What is the rationale for a Sanderson or Bullock order?
  • Effect of a Bullock order
  • Effect of a Sanderson order
  • Court’s discretion to make a Sanderson or Bullock order?
  • Principles set out by the Court of Appeal
  • Cases in which these principles have been applied
  • Matters affecting the court’s discretion to make Bullock or Sanderson orders
  • More...

Costs orders—Sanderson and Bullock orders

Sanderson and Bullock orders—what are they?

Sanderson and Bullock orders are co-defendant costs orders which may be appropriate in circumstances in which a claimant proceeds against multiple defendants.

The orders derive from the following decisions:

  1. Sanderson v Blyth Theatre Company—in which the court ordered the unsuccessful defendant to pay the successful defendant’s costs (a Sanderson order)

  2. Bullock v. London General Omnibus Co—in which the court ordered the claimant to pay the successful defendant’s costs, but permitted the claimant to add those costs to the costs the claimant was to recover from the unsuccessful defendant (a Bullock order)

A Sanderson order is sometimes also referred to as a Bullock order (Mayer v Harte). They are closely related.

Both types of orders are intended to streamline the costs consequences of proceedings against multiple defendants, and to avoid the complications which may arise from an application of the general rule as to costs.

The two cases on which the orders are based were decided well before the introduction of the CPR. However, the jurisdiction to make such an order has survived the introduction of the CPR due to the wide discretion the court has to make a costs order as seen in the Court of Appeal decision in Irvine v Metropolitan Police Comr).

In what circumstances may a Bullock or Sanderson order be made?

CPR 44.2(2)(b) provides the court with

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