A precedent-setting High Court judgement has stopped organisations and companies that use salaried in-house lawyers from claiming for costs when they have won a case. Those who could miss out on costs claims include city and regional councils, government organisations such as IRD, large corporates or listed companies; any entity that employs its own in-house lawyers. The more than century-old discretion of the courts to award costs came under scrutiny in Judge Matthews' decision, released last week. Since Judge Matthews' decision, it has been reported that in subsequent cases involving costs claims, the winning lawyers had sought to have costs claims deferred to another time for consideration. He noted that over time, higher-priced contract lawyers meant it was ''likely'' cheaper to use in-house lawyers, even though costs could not be claimed.
Source: Otago Daily Times May 16, 2018 17:03 UTC