Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal against interest on costs ruling

Supreme Court: no point of law of general public importance

The Supreme Court has settled the question of the date from which interest on costs runs by refusing to hear an appeal on it.

In Simcoe v Jacuzzi Group UK [2012] EWCA Civ 137, the Court of Appeal ruled that interest runs from the date of the order (the incipitur date) rather than the date the costs are assessed or agreed.

A note on the Supreme Court website said that Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Dyson refused permission to appeal “because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time, bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal; this is a point of practice and procedure more suitable for consideration at Court of Appeal level”.

In the Court of Appeal, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, said the fact that the solicitors in the case (Irwin Mitchell) were acting under a CFA did not justify departing from that rule. It was argued that interest was meant to compensate a party for being out of pocket in funding litigation, but that the existence of the CFA meant they were not out of pocket.

The decision restored the long-standing position which had been thrown into uncertainty by a ruling of HHJ Stewart in Gray v Toner in 2010 and then Chief Master Hurst in Trafigura. The Trafigura case was to be heard with Simcoe before it settled late last year.

The claimants were represented at all levels by John Foy QC of 9 Gough Square and Roger Mallalieu of 4 New Square. The defendants were represented for the application to the Supreme Court by Nicholas Bacon QC and Daniel Saoul, both of 4 New Square.