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Lloyds TSB Bank Plc v Wolfe, Chancery Division

14 March 2003
The issues

Detailed Assessment – proportionality – Lowndes -v- The Home Office.

The facts

The Bank had instituted possession proceedings, which had subsequently been compromised, allowing the owners to sell the house privately and for the Claimant to receive 50% of the proceeds. Lloyds sued to recover its share of a side sale of fixtures and fittings and received a Costs Order. Those costs were assessed at £48,845.00 on Detailed Assessment and the costs of Detailed Assessment totalled £32,181.00. The Judge made no adjustment for proportionality. The Defendant/paying party appealed, arguing amongst other matters, that the costs award was not proportionate.

The decision

1. The Judge had not been referred to Lowndes -v- The Home Office.

2. As he had not been referred to it, he did not follow it. This was a serious procedural irregularity.

3. The matter should be referred back to the Judge to consider by way of a preliminary Judgment, whether proportionality was relevant.

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