Success in the High Court case of Mussell v Patience

22nd May 2019

John Dickinson

John Dickinson of the Wills & Trusts team, provides a brief note on the success of his clients, the executors and trustees of an estate, in the cost issues decided in the High Court case of Anita Mussell and David Williams v Christopher Patience and Veronica Patience [2019] EWHC 1231 (Ch).

His Honour Judge Matthews in his judgment, gives helpful guidance on the principles to be applied in deciding the entitlement of executors and trustees to an indemnity for costs under CPR 46.3 (2) and section 31 of the Trustees Act 2000. The court held that the executors would only be deprived of their indemnity for costs out of the estate if they had failed to act reasonably and expenses had not been properly incurred. The Court explained that the indemnity right was not affected by any ‘carry over’ from a litigation costs order made in the same proceedings for the Defendants to pay 80% of the costs of the executors. The court held that such a litigation order did not deprive the executors of their right to an indemnity from the estate for all of their costs.

The judgement was handed down on 15 May 2019 and is reported on Lawtel at AC5007098 [2019] 5 WLUK 230.

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If you would like to instruct John on a related matter please contact his clerks: [email protected] or 0117 923 4740.