News in brief – 07.09.2017

National Conference booking opens

Bookings for the ACL’s National Conference have opened. It takes place on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 October 2017 at the Park Plaza London Riverbank Hotel.

With budgeting, fixed costs and the new bill of costs under the spotlight, this year’s event promises to be the biggest and most important yet.

Lord Justice Jackson (pictured) will be giving the keynote speech, while the all-star line-up also includes Senior Costs Judge Andrew Gordon-Saker, Master Jennifer James, District Judge Ian Besford, Master Victoria McCloud, District Judge Christopher Lethem, Professor Dominic Regan, Nick Bacon QC, PJ Kirby QC, Vikram Sachdeva QC, Andrew Post QC and Dr Mark Friston.

On the Saturday, there will be an open forum for ACL members.

Members who book by 22 September will receive a 30% discount on tickets, while no bookings will be accepted after 6 October.

For all the details and to book, click here.


New costs judge

Prinz Nagalingam, a solicitor and specialist costs advocate who was working at Victoria Square Chambers, has been appointed a costs judge of the senior courts. He will take up the role at the SCCO on 18 September. Mr Nagalingam has worked in costs since 1999 and qualified as a solicitor in 2006.

According to the chambers, he was previously part of the costs management team of a major international practice and ran his own business.


Pub owner awarded costs in Premier League dispute

The Portsmouth publican who has been in litigation with the Premier League for more than a decade over her use of a satellite decoder to show Premier League football matches broadcast in Greece has been awarded her costs from central funds.

In 2007, Karen Murphy was convicted of two charges of contravening section 297 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, in a private prosecution brought by a company called Media Protection Services (MPS) on behalf of the Premier League. In addition to this and other criminal cases, it brought civil claims in the Chancery Division against the businesses that were importing the decoder cards, as well as against certain publicans.

The cases raised complex issues of European law which were referred to the European Court of Justice, following which the High Court allowed Mrs Murphy’s appeal and quashed her convictions in 2012.

Shortly afterwards, the court decided that an order should be made under the civil costs regime in view of the unusual nature of the case as being effectively commercial litigation designed to protect the Premier League’s commercial interests.

The order was made against MPS, but it ceased operations in 2012 and is now in liquidation. Ruling recently in R (On the application of Murphy) v Media Protection Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 2151 (Admin), Lord Justice Bean noted that the Premier League had “quite deliberately not indemnified those who have obtained orders for costs” against MPS.

Moreover, late last year in Darroch v Football Association Premier League Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 1220, the Court of Appeal said the Divisional Court has no power to make a costs order on a civil basis in a criminal case.

Bean LJ said: “In the light of these developments, Mr Martin Howe QC for Mrs Murphy is clearly right to contend that there is no prospect of Mrs Murphy being able to recover her costs under the order made by this court against MPS, and that there is no realistic prospect of obtaining a non-party costs order against the Premier League itself. At the very least, an attempt to apply for such a non-party costs order against the Premier League with all its immense resources would involve Mrs Murphy in an enormous costs risk to which, as it seems to us, she should simply not be exposed.

“Despite the unusual facts of this case and the very protracted history involving the reference to Luxembourg, Mrs Murphy is in the end a defendant in a criminal case who has ultimately been exonerated, who has not misbehaved in any way in the course of the court proceedings and who is entitled to her costs from central funds.”

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Costs News
Published date
07 Sep 2017

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