0370 270 6000

Princo v Phillips, Chancery Division, 16 September 2003

25 September 2003
The issues

Costs – non-party – funding of action.

The facts

This was a claim brought by Phillips for alleged patent infringement against Aventi. The subject matter of the patent related to unlicensed discs made by Princo. Phillips was aware that Aventi obtained its supplies from Princo, but decided not to join Princo to the litigation. Princo paid the costs of the Defence of Aventi. That funding was relied on to defend the action. Princo eventually decided, becoming concerned as to the extent of the liability to refuse to continue the funding. Subsequently Aventi went into liquidation. The action collapsed. Princo were joined for the purpose of seeking costs.

The decision

1. It was clear from the Authorities (Murphy -v- Young & Co 1997 and Hamilton -v- Al-Fayed 2002) that a clear distinction had to be drawn between disinterested funders and funders whose interests would be advanced by a successful outcome to the litigation.

2. It was a precondition for the making of any order against a funder that without the funding, the litigation would not take place.

3. If the funder was a “disinterested funder” an order would not be made.

4. It was clear in this case that Princo had an interest in the outcome of the English proceedings. Princo was not disinterested. Moreover, the funding was necessary for the action to be defended and the action would not have been defended but for the funding. Princo should pay the costs of the action.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Court of Appeal confirms exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies in Canadian pipeline dispute

On 10 June 2022 the Court of Appeal upheld an anti-suit injunction granted in favour of insurers by Mr Justice Jacobs in September 2021 restraining proceedings from being brought in Canada and enforcing the exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies.



Payment Fraud landscape shaped by technology in 2021

Payment systems across Europe are under increased pressure to mitigate fraud risks and defend against persistent attacks from enablers using ever more sophisticated and malicious viruses and malware.


Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.


Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up