1 — GENERAL
1 Costs in general to be in the discretion of Court
1. (1) Save as otherwise provided by statute or by these Rules, the granting or withholding of the costs of any party to civil proceedings or other proceedings in the Court in which by law the Court may award costs are in the discretion of the Court.
(2) Notwithstanding sub-rule (1), the Court
(i) in considering the awarding of the costs in proceedings in which the parties have been invited by the Court to consider mediation as a means of attempting to resolve the dispute the subject of the proceedings in accordance with section 16(1) of the Mediation Act, 2017, may, where it considers it just, have regard to the matters set out in section 21 of that Act,
(ii) in considering the awarding of the costs in proceedings may, where it considers it just, have regard to the refusal or failure without good reason of any party to participate in another ADR process referred to in Order 49B, rule 1, where an order has been made in the proceedings under Order 49B, rule 7.
2 Scales of costs
(2) The Court may, where appropriate in the special circumstances of a case, to be specified by the Court, award an amount for costs and/or counsel’s fees in excess of the amount provided in the Schedule of Costs.
‘actual and necessary outlay’ must include a sum for miscellaneous outlays set out under the heading ‘Schedule of Outlays’ in the Schedule of Costs to include postage, photocopying, registered post, fax and sundries and the Schedule of Costs must also be read accordingly.
3 Information and documents in support of application for costs
3. (1) Where a party intends to apply for costs otherwise than in accordance with the Schedule of Costs, that party must have available in Court any information or document which establishes the special circumstances in the case which to support such an application.
(2) Where a party applies for an item of cost not provided for in the Schedule of Costs to be allowed, that party must have available in Court any information or document which establishes that the item of cost was necessary or reasonable to be incurred, and documents vouching the cost (if already incurred or paid) or providing an estimate of such cost.
(3) Where a party applies for the costs of a civil proceeding, that party must have available in Court information or documents sufficient to confirm the particular pre-hearing steps taken or applications made in the proceeding (including particulars, discovery, applications for judgment on affidavit or judgment in default and any case management hearing) so as to enable the proper amount of costs to be determined.
4 Witnesses’ expenses
4. The Court has discretion to allow or to refuse to allow the expenses (or any part thereof) of any witness (including a claimant or respondent) and where allowed, the amount of such expenses (or part thereof) may be measured by the Court.
5 Where no solicitor retained
6 Where respondent not professionally represented
6. Where the claimant is successful and the respondent has not been professionally represented at the hearing, the costs must be in the appropriate scale for undefended cases, unless the Court, on application made to it at the hearing, directs that the scale for defended cases is to apply.
7 Costs of adjournment
7. The Court may allow the costs and expenses of any adjournment of the hearing or further hearing of any civil proceedings and may order that such costs be added to or deducted from the costs allowed to either party on the final determination of the proceedings, or may if it thinks it reasonable to do so, make a separate order for their payment.
8 Power to strike out with costs claims where no jurisdiction
8. (1) Where civil proceedings are brought in the Court or in a Court district or Court area which the Court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine, the Court must, as soon as such want of jurisdiction becomes apparent, order the proceedings to be struck out.
(2) Where the court strikes out proceedings in accordance with sub-rule (1), it may, if it thinks proper, make an order awarding the respondent such costs as the Court could have awarded if it had jurisdiction to try and determine the proceedings and either the claimant did not appear or appeared and failed to prove his or her claim.
Note: See Courts of Justice Act, 1936 (No 48 of 1936), section 60
9 Costs of question or part of proceeding
(2) If the Court makes an order under sub-rule (1), the Court must by order fix the amount of the total costs of the proceeding which is attributable to the particular question in or the particular part of the proceeding.
10 Extension or abridgement of time
10. If a party applies for an extension or abridgement of any time fixed by these Rules or by any order fixing, extending or abridging time, that party must, unless the Court otherwise orders, pay the costs of and occasioned by the application.
11 Discontinuance or withdrawal
11. (1) Unless the Court otherwise orders, a party who discontinues or withdraws part of a proceeding, counterclaim or claim by third party notice must pay the costs of the party to whom the discontinuance or withdrawal relates to the time of the discontinuance or withdrawal.
(2) sub-rule (1) does not apply to small claims proceedings.
12 Lodgment or tender offer
12. If a lodgment or tender offer is served and the lodgment or tender offer has not been accepted at the time a final order is made on the claim that relates to the lodgment, tender offer or offer of compromise, liability for costs must be determined in accordance with Order 45.
13 Scale fees
13. Where counsel is allowed, the scales of counsel’s fees in the Schedule of Costs apply, provided that in any proceedings not covered by these scales the fees must be determined by the Court having regard to the scales and to the amount involved in the case.
14 Application of scales
(a) as between party and party, the amount recovered or the value of the property in dispute regulates the scale of the claimant’s costs, and the amount sought to be recovered or the value of the property in dispute regulates the scale of the respondent’s costs; and
(i) if the claimant is successful on both claim and counterclaim, by the amount which the claimant recovers on the claim, unless the amount of the respondent’s counterclaim is the larger, in which case the costs incurred subsequently to the delivery of the counterclaim must be determined by the amount of that counterclaim;
(e) despite anything in these Rules, if in a proceeding or matter the Court considers that the application of the rules in this Order which determine that a particular scale of costs applies would be inappropriate or unjust, the Court may, either at the hearing, or within a reasonable time after the hearing, fix the costs.
(2) For the purposes of sub-rule (1)(a) the amount recovered is—
but does not include any amount recovered by or awarded to the claimant for interest or damages in the nature of interest relating to the period after the day the payment into Court was made or the offer of compromise was served.
15 Costs to be fixed at hearing where possible
15. The Court may fix the costs of any claim notice or application at the hearing at which the claim notice or application is heard and determined, or may adjourn determination of such costs for such time as to the Court seems just.
16 Time for costs order and payment
(4) In sub-rule (3)—
‘respondent’ includes any person against whom a claim is made in a proceeding;
‘claimant’ includes any person who makes a claim in a proceeding.
17 Proceeding or counterclaim dismissed
(2) sub-rule (1), with any necessary modification, applies to a counterclaim and to a claim by third party notice as if the counterclaim or third party claim were a claim notice.
18. If a pleading is amended (whether with or without permission) the costs of and occasioned by the amendment and the costs of any application for permission to make the amendment are the parties’ costs in the proceeding, unless the Court otherwise orders.
19 Non-admission of fact or document
(a) under Order 45D, rule 3, disputing a fact, and afterwards that fact is proved in the proceeding;
that party must pay the costs of proof, unless the Court otherwise orders.
20 Costs reserved
20. If by order of the Court the costs of any interlocutory or other application, or of any step in a proceeding, are reserved, the reserved costs are the parties’ costs in the proceeding, unless the Court otherwise orders.
21 Trustee or mortgagee
21. A party who sues or is sued as trustee or mortgagee must, unless the Court otherwise orders, be entitled to the costs of the proceeding out of the fund held by the trustee or out of the mortgaged property in so far as the costs are not paid by any other person.
22 Costs in hire purchase claims
22. Proceedings by the owner of a chattel against the hirer of the chattel under a hire-purchase agreement for the recovery or return of the chattel must, for the purpose of the measurement of the costs, be deemed to be an action in contract in which the amount sued for is the amount of the instalments due and unpaid under the agreement at the date of commencement of the proceedings.
23 Costs in claims for wrongful detention
23. In claims for wrongful detention brought by virtue of section 33(3) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961, the costs awarded must be on the tort scale according to the value of the goods as determined by the Court.
24 Costs in claims to which the Attorney General or a Minister is a party
25 Costs in consent proceedings
25. Solicitors’ costs, where allowed, in consent proceedings to which section 4(c) of the Courts Act 1991 and Order 40, rule 7 relate, must be in accordance with the provisions of item No. 10 in the Schedule of Costs.
26 Costs in proceedings transferred from the High Court or the Circuit Court
26. Solicitors’ costs, where allowed, in civil proceedings remitted or transferred from the High Court or the Circuit Court and to which Order 40, rule 8 relates, must be in accordance with the provisions of item No. 11 in the Schedule of Costs.
27 Value Added Tax
27. There must be added to the costs and, where relevant, counsel’s fees, awarded in any civil proceeding any sum payable by way of value-added tax on the costs by the party to whom they are awarded where, and only where, that party establishes that the sum payable by way of value-added tax is not otherwise recoverable.
3 — COUNSEL’S FEES
28 Not allowed where sum does not exceed €2,000
28. (1) Subject to rule 2(2), in any award of costs in any civil proceedings in the Court a fee for counsel may not be included—
(a) in any action in contract, breach of contract, tort or in claims for damages unconnected with contract, where the amount recovered by the claimant or, where the claim was dismissed, the amount claimed against the respondent does not exceed €2,000, and
29 Court to certify for counsel
29. In the award of costs in any civil proceedings in the Court to which rule 28 does not apply, a fee for counsel may not be included unless the Court certifies that, in its opinion, the employment of counsel was necessary for the attainment of justice or for enforcing or defending the rights of the party concerned.
30 No separate counsel’s fee for barrister employed on a full-time basis
30. Where a barrister who acts as advocate for a party in any civil proceedings in the Court to which rule 28 does not apply is employed on a full-time or exclusive basis by the party’s solicitor or by the party, a fee for counsel may not be included in the party’s costs in addition to any solicitor’s scale fee.