Mouchel Ltd v Van Oord (UK) Ltd (No 2)
Citation: BLR 492, 137 Con LR 105
Nature of case:
The court was required to determine the amount of costs, if any, payable on a claim for contribution under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978. The court held, that where a party settled a claimed made against it by a third party, and in doing so paid costs to such party, section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 empowered the court to order the party liable to make contributions to also pay the costs paid out. Further, under sections 1 and 2 of the 1978 Act, “contribution” was not limited solely towards damages but could also include contribution towards costs where it was part of an overall settlement. Van Oord was held liable to contribute 8% of Mouchel’s costs paid out to Kier. No claim could lie for its own costs as it did not form part a liability of a third party as required by the Act.