Michael Mullin successful in Judicial Review concerning the assessment of costs following a compromised Environmental Protection Act 1990 prosecution.

17th May 2019

In R. (on the application of Notting Hill Genesis) v Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court [2019] 5 WLUK 124, Michael was instructed by Glazer Delmar for the Appellant. A s82 Environmental Protection Act 1990 prosecution for statutory nuisance had been compromised on terms, including £2,500 compensation. Notting Hill Genesis (‘NHG’) had agreed to pay the prosecutor’s reasonable fees of the proceedings. The parties could not agree on costs and so an assessment took place. The magistrates ordered NHG should pay the prosecutor’s solicitors’ costs of £21,052.80 which represented the entire amount sought without any deductions.

Finding in favour of NHG, Supperstone J held that: (1) The prosecutor’s solicitors had used a Grade A fee earner for a simple matter which had resulted in grossly disproportionate costs. (2) The magistrates had erred in finding that there was no need for a direct correlation between costs, damages and non-financial compensation. (3) The reasons did not need to deal with every submission made, but the magistrates had failed to deal with some of the more significant submissions. (4) The prosecutor’s solicitors were not a party to the proceedings and therefore the magistrates’ order that they be awarded costs was contrary to s.82(12) and outside of their jurisdiction. The magistrates’ decision was quashed and remitted to a differently constituted panel