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Cantor Fitzgerald International v Tradition (UK) Ltd

Civil Procedure - Brief fees paid in advance of commencement of trial - Brief fees to be assessed as falling into period in which they were paid even though they would generally be treated as costs of trial

12 September 2003

This was an appeal concerning costs by the claimants (C), from their claim against the defendants (D) for infringement of software copyright used in connection with C’s business of bond broking. D served various sets of admissions over a period of nine months, concerning the extent that the source code had been copied and made an open offer to admit liability in respect of certain specified infringements and to submit to an inquiry as to damages. The offer was rejected and it was held at trial that liability had not been established beyond the extent admitted by D in the open offer. Pumfrey J approached costs by dealing separately with three periods of time, namely: (i) those between the issue of the claim and D’s admissions; (ii) between the admissions and the trial; and (iii) the duration of the trial. The costs order was that: (a) D should pay C’s costs for the first period; (b) C should pay 75 per cent of D’s costs for the second period; and (c) that C should pay all of D...

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